If Schumacher was disqualified for 1998...


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Following on from RasputinLives' Alonso post, I thought I could do an alternate reality F1 story... so here we go!

Schumacher's year long ban for nerfing Villeneuve off the road in Jerez is confirmed at the end of 1997. Therefore, Ferrari need to move quickly and take a proven winner - Damon Hill - to lead Eddie Irvine's team. However, the Ferrari car isn't good enough and the Brit finishes 3rd in the Constructors Championship behind Hakkinen and Coulthard, winning the French and Canadian Grands Prix.
However, there is one victory for the Schumacher family, as Ralf beats home team-mate Barrichello at Spa.

Schumacher's return sees Irvine leave for Stewart, where he is teamed with Johnny Herbert. Ralf joins Alex Zanardi at Williams and Barrichello is joined by Frentzen at Jordan. Its surprisingly competitive and Jordan have a year-of-years. Schumacher is injured at the British Grand Prix, and replaced by Mika Salo, but his team-mate Hill steps up to the plate, taking his second title ahead of Hakkinen. Stewart, meanwhile, collapse and are brought by Jaguar but miss the second half of an uncompetitive season, to return in 2000. Jarno Trulli takes his maiden win for Prost in a crazy race at the Nurburgring. Hill retires on the spot.

Schumacher is back at Ferrari, and joined by Jarno Trulli. McLaren, unhappy with being second best, poach Jordan's Barrichello to replace Coulthard, who is forced to drive alongside Giancarlo Fisichella at Benetton. British d├ębutant Jenson Button joins Ralf at Williams-BMW. Hakkinen has a mid-season blip with Barrichello taking a couple of wins, and Schumacher (fresh from the best of two years out) doesn't recover from a pair of first lap collisions with Fisi in Germany and Austria, with another Hakkinen win at Suzuka securing his second title.

Juan Montoya comes into a Williams seat, with Button loaned out to Benetton, who are forced to drop Fisichella, who takes a seat at Jordan. Frentzen is sacked, so EJ takes a chance on Flavio Briatore's latest young driver, Fernando Alonso. A confident Hakkinen starts the season well, but Ferrari are just too strong, with Schumacher taking the laurels whilst his team-mate Trulli holds up half the field. But the talk of the season is the inspired gambles by Jordan and Sauber on Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen respectively.

There are no driver changes at McLaren, Ferrari, Williams or Sauber, but Renault and Jordan swap Coulthard and Alonso. Ferrari run away with the championship, and despite controversy about Trulli having to hand over a win in Austria, its a largely untroubled year. McLaren, meanwhile have a bad one, Hakkinen announcing a sabbatical for 2003. However, Alonso stuns everyone by winning the British Grand Prix.

Williams take up their option on Renault's Jenson Button, who has had two successful years at Renault after his mentoring by reformed playboy David Coulthard. He is replaced by Mark Webber. Montoya moves to McLaren and Jordan take a chance on Raikkonen, allowing Sauber to bring in their test driver Felipe Massa alongside Heidfeld. Coulthard joins Jacques Villeneuve at BAR. The season starts with a couple of wins for Montoya at McLaren, with Raikkonen winning the Brazilian GP for a dishevelled Jordan team. It is Williams and Button who dominate the mid-season though, and despite Ferrari's meddling with the rules, Button keeps smooth in the last two races to take a first World Title.

Trulli is made Ferrari's scapegoat for the 2003 fiasco, and Raikkonen joins Ferrari. McLaren jettison Barrichello, who joins Coulthard at BAR. Alonso replaces him in a silver arrow, and Renault sign Nick Heidfeld to join Webber. The title is always between Raikkonen and Schumacher, as Ferrari dominate, with Barrichello and Coulthard doing well at BAR to fight off Webber for 3rd and 4th in the WDC. McLaren don't win a race all season, and Williams need Button to win at Interlagos to bring honour to car #1!

Ferrari keep Schumi and Kimi for 2005. Montoya, distraught at McLaren's lack of pace, heads off to NASCAR, with Button jumping ship to McLaren to join Alonso. Williams break their deal with BMW and replace Button with Jarno Trulli, with Takuma Sato joining Ralf at Toyota, having betrayed Honda!
The Renault is fast, with Heidfeld and Webber both taking wins at the start of the season, but McLaren bounce back. The supreme car-nursing skills of Messers Button and Alonso mean McLaren have a grip on the Constructors Title, with the little Spaniard taking his first crown.

Alonso announces a deal with Ferrari for 2007, but stays with a shellshocked McLaren team for 2006. Sato leaves Toyota for Super Satoru, a Japanese Toyota subsidary where he was joined by Kazuki Nakajima. Kimi looks faster than the Old Master at Ferrari, but his car breaks under pressure quite often and Schumi takes a fifth title. Barrichello finally wins a race at the Hungaroring for Honda!

Raikkonen, forced out of Ferrari, joins half-countryman Nico Rosberg at Williams. Toyota take promising GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton on loan from McLaren, while McLaren themselves take Nick Heidfeld to join Button in the steadiest team of all time, with Renault taking on Flav-friend Nelsinho Piquet to join Webber. Ferrari start well, with up-and-comers BMW (Massa, Kubica) and Red Bull (Villeneuve, Liuzzi) getting on podiums too. McLaren are the faster car, and with Schumacher and Alonso clashing more often than not, Button takes his second title. Schumacher retires, with Ferrari taking a chance on a young German BMW tester named Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso's calm is rudely interrupted by his young team-mate taking the first five poles of the season, winning two races. Data suggests that the Ferrari car is similar to the McLaren car, and the World Champions are thrown out mid-season, with Button guesting for Red Bull in place of Villeneuve. Vettel and Alonso take points off each other, giving BMW hope - but Massa and Kubica are also doing so. In the end Vettel takes the title - in his rookie year! Alonso storms back to McLaren!

Ferrari decide to bring in Kubica to replace Alonso. Button makes his move to Red Bull permanent, with McLaren taking Alonso on alongside Heidfeld. Brawn GP's Brazilian driving combination of Barrichello and Senna is not best placed to take advantage of the new regulations, with the pace being set by young Briton Lewis Hamilton, who wins the title for Toyota after a stiff challenge from Red Bull's Button. Vettel suffers an almost fatal head injury at Hungary, but Kubica wins at Spa. Meanwhile, Webber's win at Singapore the previous year is thrown under scrutiny, with Flav and Pat Symonds banned.

Vettel returns to his roots and joins Red Bull, with Hamilton treading the path to Ferrari after Toyota sell their team to Mercedes. It becomes clear the Red Bull is the best car, despite some great wins from Alonso's McLaren and Hamilton's Ferrari. Vettel simply outpaces Button and he takes his second title.

The Red Bull dominates, with one-twos all season. Vettel's only real challenger is Button, despite Hamilton's great win at home and Alonso's brilliance at Germany. However, Vettel is just too good and wins his third title.
A very interesting series of thoughts, I enjoyed reading it. In my version I have moved to Jordan after my '97 domination of the season from the seat of my Williams and pick up a handful of points before jumping ship to Ferrari after Eddie Irvine is dumped after he ******s his ******* in one of the ************** belonging to **** de ***********.
Two wins in the latter half of the season culminate in a phonecall from Newman/Haas and 99,2000 and 01 are back to back Indycar titles including two 500 wins. The only UK reporting of these phenomenal results is of me saying that F1 is a piece of piss and that only real men can drive on ovals.
02 sees a ban from all forms of employment in the states due to misjudged comments to the IRS.
03 sees a pundit role at Sky TV.
04 sees a coach role at Pembrey.
05 sees a full seasons employment on the waltzers on my mate Will Holmes' fairground.

Autobiography to follow.
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