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Friday, 29 December, 2000, 15:25 GMT
Win record important to Schumacher
Michael Schumacher
Schumacher was overcome with emotion after Monza`
Michael Schumacher has revealed that surpassing Ayrton Senna's mark of 41 Grand Prix victories was almost as important to him as winning Ferrari's first world drivers' championship for 21 years.

The German broke down into tears after the Italian Grand Prix this year, the race in which he equalled Senna's mark of 41 victories.

Schumacher was chasing Senna for the lead of the 1994 San Marino GP when the Brazilian crashed to his death.

Schumacher has since added another three wins to that mark, leaving him just seven-short of Alain Prost's all-time Grand Prix record of 51 wins

Ayrton Senna
Senna is a towering figure in F1

Schumacher said in an exclusive interview with the BBC: "You saw what it meant [to equal Senna's score]. These emotions got out were because of remembering him. He was my idol [when Schumacher was a child].

"We had a difficult time in the beginning [of Schumacher's F1 career]. But in the end we had a lot more respect for each other and then we had the tragedy at Imola [where Senna was killed in 1994].

"So there has been many things going through me when I was reminded about this and when I achieved this situation in Monza to be equal with him.

"There is probably only one statistic that counts after winning the championship, and that is how many victories you have. To be on the level of a person like Senna means a lot to me."

Previously, Schumacher had pointed out that Senna would have won many more races had he not been killed.

In the interview, recorded just before Christmas, Schumacher also talks of his Monza victory as the critical turning point of his championship year.

And he discusses his rival David Coulthard and the debut season of Britain's Jenson Button.

Click here for full interview

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