I dunno, John...even in this thread, Schumacher is referred to as the "cold, calculating German." I don't know if it's as overt as, say, the newspaper article which asserted that anti-German sentiment is the only remaining "acceptable" form of discrimination in Europe. And obviously, death certainly enhanced the profile and positive memories of Senna.
But I don't know if there has been, in recent memory (certainly not in mine) the level of unreserved bile that there is for a driver, as there is for Schumacher. Even now, people say "he cheated in 1994." Nobody could prove it, nobody has proven it, there were and still are just the rumors. After all, nobody could be that fast legally now, could they? History has shown us that he is indeed that fast. Jackie Stewart said recently that Senna was supremely gifted, but that Schumacher uses "more" of his gifts. I think this is true. Lap in and lap out, Schumacher can go fast. Other people are good for three, four or five laps. But to be able to drive at near-qualifying effort for lap after lap after lap, is what makes those rare drivers great. Hakkinen had that ability, so did Senna, to name a couple.
If Schumacher went to Toyota, IMHO, they would be on the podium within two seasons, and winning races in three. It's because not only is Schumacher himself a great driver, but he also attracts the best personnel, because everybody likes to win. Ferrari was a joke when he showed up, and now look.
I think that the FIA is asking these same questions with the proposed new rule changes. The sport is too expensive, and one team is too dominant. Nobody was complaining when McLaren or Williams were dominant, but some argue that the Ferrari dominance is a different thing becuase of its lengthy tenure. It's pretty hard to argue with six constructors championships. I don't know if people would be howling as much, to raise another speculative bit, if Ferrari (a beloved marque) were winning constructors' titles, while other drivers were winning the WDC.
What's funny is that, I think, the closer they make the cars in performance, the more Schumacher will shine, and he'll just keep on winning, because he is the best driver. Dominance establishes a target. The problem is that people are whining about it, instead of trying to hit that target. It's crabs in a barrel. When one crab gets ready to climb out, pull it back down.