Schumacher given ten-place grid drop for his swerve at Barrichello (Updated)

The Hungarian Grand Prix stewards are investigating Michael Schumacher for his attempt to keep Rubens Barrichello behind late in the race.

Barrichello took Schumacher for tenth late in the race but the Mercedes driver pushed him towards the pit wall and off the track on the run towards turn one.

Update: The stewards handed Schumacher a ten-place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix for the incident.

Afterwards Barrichello said:

He made a mistake on the last corner.

You know we’ve been there and what we want from racing is to be fair and have battle, especially on a track that is so difficult to overtake on. You should choose a line and that’s it. But he just closed, closed, closed and luckily the wall ran out.

There’s not a rule for that but between ourselves we should just take a line, stick to a line and that’s it.
Rubens Barrichello

Schumacher was unrepentant:

There’s not much to say other than he obviously had fresher tyres and my job was to get last corner spot on. I had a line of about five centimetres that I had to hit and on that lap I ran a little wide and started sliding so my exit speed was compromised.

I knew he was coming so I was moving over to the inside to make it clear to him to go on the other side. He didn’t choose to so it was a bit tight.

But we know certain drivers have certain views and then there’s Rubens.
Michael Schumacher

Barrichello urged fans to share their thoughts on the incident saying:

It was the most dangerous thing that I’ve ever been through.

His view is that I’m always a big crier. I’d like to see the public vote. Let me know on Twitter!
Rubens Barrichello

The verdict of the stewards was as follows:

Fact: Illegitimately impeded Car 9 during an overtaking manoeuvre.
Offence: Involved in an incident as defined by Article 16.1 of the 2010 FIA Formula One Regulations
Penalty: Drop of 10 grid positions at the drivers next event.

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302 comments on Schumacher given ten-place grid drop for his swerve at Barrichello (Updated)

  1. Jack Payne said on 1st August 2010, 16:18

    Looks like we need a poll, Keith!

  2. Daniel said on 1st August 2010, 16:19

    The thing is: Schumacher kept pushing dangeoursly even when they already were side by side. He should have backed off once he saw Barrichello wouldn’t give up. He didn’t risky Rubens life, he risked his own life too and perhaps lives of those who were on the other side of the pit wall…

    Yes, Barrichello is a big crier, but today he was right.

    • So you think there was nothing wrong in Barrichello putting himself in such a situation and Michael should have backed off as Rubens was brave and knight in shining white armour and Michael is the “ruthless” black knight :P?

      This is not to insult you mate… but this is motor racing… if you think this is dangerous… please watch some crashes from BTCC… :D People do it on two wheels in Moto-GP at 300 Kmph+… why should overtaking be any easier on two wheels?

    • Damon said on 1st August 2010, 17:11

      “He should have backed off once he saw Barrichello wouldn’t give up.”

      Do you even listen to yourself when throwing that stupid, hypocritical nonsense around?!?!?!

      Why shouldn’t it be: Rubens should have backed off once he saw Michael wouldn’t give up????

      What is this? Does attempting an overtaking manoever make you more important than other drivers?? Huh???

      • claudioff said on 2nd August 2010, 2:58

        You are absolutely right. If you have a car which dares to be side by side with you at 300 km/h you should not change your trajectory whatsoever. You should continuously keep it until:
        1) The other car vanishes in the air.
        2) The other car smashes into pieces at the wall.
        3) The other car stops and the driver writes a note of appologies to you.
        You are right, this thing called steering wheel is designed only to change the car trajectory only once. Never give up, don´t blink. That´s the way a great driver must act.

        • Sri said on 2nd August 2010, 8:48

          @claudioff
          Wow mate… It was nice how you twisted what was said completely out of context… Unless you were blind , which i guess you’re not, you saw Rubens come in from behind… Rubens chose to put his car where it was and as such becomes more responsible than Michael in that regard. Michael did leave enough room on the outside line. Rubens should have started the move on the outside line… but he did what he did… which was clearly not the best option…

          Let us say you have an option to on the outside where there’s empty track and and on the other hand… there’s inside line, where there’s a car already… between you and me mate… which way would you go? Rubens cut it really tight as he tried to be in the slipstream till the last second… and then chose what was honestly not the best option… Then his verbal diarrhoea followed…

          By your logic, the driver of the car in front should have had bent over and let the one coming from behind do him over (yes, i know it sounds cheesy :D)… is it? You’re talking about racing drivers… who don’t give an inch, unless required…

          • claudioff said on 2nd August 2010, 13:16

            I am not blind and I watched the overtaking from many angles. I am also don´t think that overtaking should be easy, like the guy in front must be adviced by radio and gently forget to accelerate after a curve. My points are: When Barrichello choose the inside line (the best one), Schumaker was at the middle of the track. Barrichello managed to put half of his car side by side Schumaker´s car while he was still inside the track. Ýou could clearly see from the frontal camera angle that Schumaker´s head is looking towards Barrichello´s wheels (He knew he was there). The amazing thing is that all I described until now took only 1 second. In my opnion Schumaker at this point should stop to squeeze him. But he continued doing so, endangering Barrichello and himself for another second. I am not blind, so as the stewards.

  3. Most sensible drivers would have backed out the move when they saw that MS was closing the door. RB chose to try and squeeze though and thats exactly what he did.

    MS didn’t swerve one way and then the other to try and keep RB behind, he just decided to block the inside line. RB decided to go for it anyway which meant it was always going to be close because MS wasn’t likely to mve aside and wave him through.

    • But he kept on pushing him towards the wall and later towards the edge of the track when they were already side-by-side. That is the dangerous part and that is why Schumacher received a penalty.

  4. Christopher Vissing said on 1st August 2010, 16:21

    Omg.. Not referring to Schuu but U guys.. 3 race ban? A lifetime raceban? Michel didn’t actually do anything “wrong” according to the rules..

    The biggest thing he can get is a disqualification.. even that is maybe taking it a bit to far..

    And nice post by “Pi”

  5. Steph90 (@steph90) said on 1st August 2010, 16:31

    Schu apparently has a 10 grid drop position for Spa

    • Austin said on 1st August 2010, 16:34

      Yeah, seen it on the bbc forum. Hes being punished for it, lets hope things like that don’t happen again, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  6. CapeFear (@capefear) said on 1st August 2010, 16:33

    10 grid drop, how you like them apples schumi!

  7. Peter said on 1st August 2010, 16:33

    10 place drop for MS

  8. Younger Hamilton said on 1st August 2010, 16:34

    10 Grid Positions Penalty for Schumi in Spa,Absolutely correct punishment poor Rubens could have had a serious accident if he did indeed touched the wall and Schumi could have took himself out too.

  9. Kimi squeezed micheal to pit wall in 06 brazil… As slater famously said ” wat is it like at 300 kms per hour” … Nobody bothered to say a word for kimi… When it’s micheal everybody has an opinion..

    And mercilessly say senna would ve been a legend for this kind of move… How biased can ppl get..

    And yes it’s because he left him space was Rubens able to overtake… Gutsy move by Rubens … If he had taken it like a man without crying ppl d ve credited him as a great gutsy move… Like micheal on kimi.. 06 brazil

    • almanac said on 1st August 2010, 18:06

      kaks
      well said
      if the situation was opposite michael would have not even talk about that. because he is a man not a “Barrichello”

  10. Klon said on 1st August 2010, 16:42

    To be honest, now, with the calm after the race setting in, I think there is a big disappointment into this: everyone will now talk about Schummel-Schumi, but will anyone admire the sheer guts of Rubens pulling this one off? I mean, virtually every other driver would have pulled back and cried on the team radio that Michael’s so mean to them. … well, Rubens complained as well, but only after passing and thereby telling Michael: “Up yours, buddy!”

  11. Gary said on 1st August 2010, 16:47

    10 Place Grid Drop for MSC! Should have been a race ban for Spa, out of order IMO

  12. Ok… now it is time for a lesson in facts… There’s a pit-lane light(blue colour, blinks), which warns cars coming from in the pit-lane of oncoming faster cars on the track… These chaps notice it alright… that’s what they do for a living, live at 300 Kmph+.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFsi2kSeubU

    You could see in this video rather clearly… there was a lot of space on the outside… Schumacher DID slightly turn his car to the right to hint that he would go to right… and then Rubens went to the right as well… the result of this was some real scary close-up driving… Rubens did have a choice… he didn’t make any other than the one he did…

    As i saw it, Rubens was trying to force an issue with Schumi, which he was able to… bless him… However, the flip side would have been him hitting the car in the front, or the wall first and then collecting Schumacher as he went crashing… If at all there was an accident, i’d blame Rubens more… Schumacher could be blamed if he pushed him away when they were side by side… but, Ruben was behind and he chose the line… In this case, Michael could be perhaps blamed if he slowed on the straight, like DC in Spa, ’98. Michael didn’t!

  13. Craig said on 1st August 2010, 16:59

    Too bad for Schumacher this wasn’t 40 years ago, or someone would have punched his lights out before the media got to him.

  14. Schumacher almost could have killed rubens. He’s a hasbeen. ban him for the rest of the year

  15. Peter said on 1st August 2010, 17:00

    I’ve read here people comparing Schumacher’s actions today with that of Ayrton Senna’s at Estoril in 1988. While not condoning either drivers actions, I don’t think Senna’s was as dangerous as what Schumi did and it does show a continuation of MS’s win at all costs attitude, even though this wasn’t even for the win, it was more of a personal FU to Rubens Barrichello.

    The reason I don’t think Senna was as bad in Portugal in 88 was because once he saw that Prost was actually going to get past him he backed off and stopped pushing Prost towards the pit wall. Schumacher kept going until the Williams was almost touching the wall. Remember also that Senna & Prost were on lap 2 of that race. Off the line Prost had actually almost pushed Senna off onto the outside grass before Turn 1. Still, it didn’t stop Prost from being very upset about it and the two had words later.

    But for mine the difference is that while Senna probably meant no malice in his move, history has shown that Schumacher would sometimes rather crash his rivals for the win rather than fight them to the finish (Hill in Adelaide 94 & Villeneuve in Spain 97 come to mind). The only time Senna did this was Suzuka 90 when he deliberately crashed into Prost. He admitted it was payback for what he believed was Prost’s deliberate crash into Senna 1 year earlier. That and he firmly believed that FISA president, Frenchman Jean-Marie Balestre, was favoring Prost.

    To make a short story long, Schumacher should be punished. I now read he has a 10 place grid drop for the Belgium Grand Prix. Tough luck but justice really.

    • Xanathos said on 1st August 2010, 17:15

      good comment, but there’s also that undertone like in most of the other comments: Senna the saint, Schumacher the villain.

      • You should watch the Jerez ’97 video… again… Here’s a clip of Schuey’s onboard video just before the incident…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2MeWpZSeL8

        You could see just before the coming together… that Villeneuve was going straight… which was a result of late braking (which is why the other video is important) and wouldn’t have bloody made the corner, had Shcumacher’s car was not there to help him… A plain racing incident… Even the commentator said as much… However, the F1 media (still largely British to this day and resents ’94) thought otherwise :D

        Frankly, Michael was rather popular with the British press ever since ’94, which again was a racing incident. The onus was on Hill, as he was behind and franky, who dives into a corner when there’s another car already :P. Wait… Damon Hill!

        Monaco ’06. I wouldn’t defend that… trust me… not unless i see telemetry from his car. Then again, Kimi got stuck in that same same corner the next year… Nobody picked him up on that :D

        Today, Michael didn’t want to kill Rubens, as many put it… he just wanted to scare him into braking and not fight for the position… Rubens did and questionably so. He didn’t take the best line… Then he went on a whinge spree :D

      • Peter said on 1st August 2010, 17:40

        I really wasn’t trying to paint Senna as a saint and Schumacher as a villain. I was just pointing out that MS has never had a problem with forcing other drivers off the road if it means that he stays in front of them whereas Senna rarely did that even though he probably had as many opportunities as Schumacher.

        In race commentary Martin Brundle actually recounted after the MS/RB incident that Schumi had actually done something similar to him when they were team mates at Benneton back in 1992 so it shows a long history of Schumacher’s on-track behavior. Team mate or rival, it didn’t seem to matter to Schumacher. Beat them at all costs seems to be his attitude.

        Other than Suzuka 1990 I can’t recall Senna deliberately taking an opponent out to win or gain a place. Hard racing was done yes but not to the point of almost causing a major accident. I point out Jerez in 1986 on the run to the flag. Did Senna take out Mansell? No, he let him race and beat him by 0.14 seconds

        There is a difference between racing hard and crashing someone to win or for personal reasons.

        Oh well, he’s been penalised now. Time to move on to Belgium.

        • Xanathos said on 1st August 2010, 18:23

          I wasn’t so lucky to see Senna race in F1, I have to rely on youtube footage here and so I’m not trying to argue your point here ;)

          But I also don’t remember Schumacher crashing into opponents that much, I can only think of two well-known incidents where the Championship was at stake.
          Today he was racing hard, but no one crashed since there were two highly-skilled drivers involved.

          But you are right, let’s move on…Schumacher can propably live with the penalty and maybe we’ll get to see him move through the field at Spa and see some more positive aspects of his racecraft :)

    • Alias J said on 1st August 2010, 17:49

      Hey, watch the Senna’s tribute on Top Gear, he crashed into Brundle, into Prost, into anybody, just to say you either get out of my way or you crash too.

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