Many are expecting Michael Schumacher to equal Ayrton Senna’s record of six Monaco GP wins this weekend, but three-times F1 champion Nelson Piquet already rates the German superior to the late Brazilian.

Many are expecting Michael Schumacher to equal Ayrton Senna’s record of six Monaco GP wins this weekend, but three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet already rates the German superior to the late Brazilian.

The five-times world champion not only has the world championship lead in his sights in Monte Carlo this weekend but is also set to add another record.

The German Ferrari driver has won the last three races and is confident his new Ferari F2003-GA, which was introduced at Barcelona two races ago, will be perfect around the narrow Monaco streets.

"It is no secret that I like this race very much," Schumacher told . "With our car we should really have fun there."

But Piquet believes that Schumacher does not need to equal Senna’s Monaco record to prove that he is as good as the late Brazilian. In fact, Schumacher is already a better racing driver than Senna and could well be the greatest racing driver ever, the Brazilian said.

Piquet, who won the F1 world championship in 1981, 1983 and 1987, is now managing a team in the British Formula Three Championship. The Brazilian was Schumacher's first team-mate at Benetton in 1991 and beat Senna to the 1987 world championship.

“Michael Schumacher is the best by far right now and can be the best ever, if he is not already,” Piquet was quoted as saying in the newspaper. “If you take all the electronics off the car, Schumacher will be much better than most drivers, much better than Rubens Barrichello, much better in the same Ferrari.

“Schumacher can be the best ever. He did something that many good drivers did not do by making his team better. He had the courage to go for a team that was not strong. Ferrari had not won the championship for 21 years.

“Senna always wanted to drive for the best team. It was the same when he went from McLaren to Williams (at the end of 1993). For me, this makes Schumacher much better than Senna - and I say this as a Brazilian,” Piquet added.