"Who the hell is Schumacher?"
- Eddie Jordan, 1991.

1994 was a tumultuous year for Formula One racing, bringing the loss of one champion and the arrival of another. The young German driver Michael Schumacher soon proved to be a lot like Ayrton Senna, his predecessor on the international racing scene, brilliant and controversial in equal measure. Michael's younger brother Ralf arrived in F1 in 1997 and was initially viewed as somewhat of a "joke" by the racing fraternity, but is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with even for his double World Champion sibling.

Michael and Ralf Schumacher

At first glance, a case study of the brothers Schumacher (pictured left) may seem an odd choice for a theory that is attempting to illustrate the intense feelings of hatred that siblings may develop for one another since they are known to have a very close relationship. However, my aim is to show that even in a family that is ostensibly as close as theirs is, jealousy and rivalry lurk beneath the surface. Ralf and Michael are good subjects because they fulfil all the conditions of the model described in the previous section. Being male and having no other siblings means that they also belong to the family constellation most likely to have experienced intense sibling rivalry in childhood. The brothers' well known negative traits such as their arrogant attitude towards other drivers (which has resulted in their own alienation from them), may also make them more prone to psychological disturbances. Alfred Adler saw this lack of social interest as fundamental in the creation of a neurosis, and both, as we shall see, have developed fine inferiority complexes.

Why use "famous" people? I am simply not in a position to make detailed observations from personal life so have little choice in the matter. I do not think that this limits the effectiveness of the study - Freud's famous case history of Saxony judge Daniel Paul Schreber was almost wholly based on Schreber's reflections in his autobiography Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Using the Schumachers also gives readers already familiar with them a better chance to agree or disagree with my observations.


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ã Robin Tamblyn, 2000.

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