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. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. Nixon (@nixon) said on 1st August 2010, 17:05

    Too bad i missed the race wish there was a video.

  7. A grid penalty seems fair. I think a race ban would have been a bit harsh. If he had scored points, I probably would have black flagged him.

  8. Christopher Vissing said on 1st August 2010, 17:20

    Thinking about it after the race, u can also say that it was a pretty stupid move by barrichello.. U guys are out of mind overreacting thinking of ban and so on..

    And btw.. how can Rubens say this was more dangerous than his driver mistake at Imola 94??

  9. paul sainsbury said on 1st August 2010, 17:24

    Rubens did not make a ‘mistake’. That is plainly ridiculous. Anyone who has done any racing themselves will have shuddered at that move. I think a 10 place penalty is very lenient, and I really hoped that there would have been a ban to send out a clear message that this kind of thing is unacceptable. Someone really could have been killed there.

  10. paul sainsbury said on 1st August 2010, 17:26

    I meant to say Rubens did not make a mistake today, not in Imola 1994. Certainly that was a mistake, and totally irrelevant when discussing the events of today.

  11. Alan (F1 Assie fan) said on 1st August 2010, 17:32

    Schumacher has yet again lost my respect as a great driver.Rubens was forced to play 2nd fiddle to Michael many times but had victory over him today and most importantly and luckily survived a blatant act of dangerous driving.Michael,hold your head down in shame.

  12. Christopher Vissing said on 1st August 2010, 17:35

    Making my point more clear.. I do think Michel did make it a little bit too intense with what he did.. But aswell.. I do think that what Rubinho tried was a bit risky, and not to clever (it was not a “mistake”, but i think it was a Rambo move)..

    And I don’t believe anyone could’ve been killed with the safety we got in formula 1 today.. Have u seen some other crashes and incidents we’ve seen recently?

    And of course i can mention Imola 94 was more dangerous, because Rubinho says that THIS is the most dangerous he tried in his (is it 17-year?) career.. Which it isn’t..

    (Sorry for bad english)

  13. sojcarter said on 1st August 2010, 17:40

    The concequences of what could have happened if Schumacher did touch or force Barrichello to the wall were scarily demonstrated today at the Superleague race at Brands Hatch coincedentally enough. Similar to Mark Webber’s crash as well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXkTFocu6ho

    He was lucky to escape!

    • Christopher Vissing said on 1st August 2010, 17:43

      Yeah indeed.. The safety is still bigger in F1.. and Mark Webber’s crash shows how safety the sport is..

  14. Christopher Vissing said on 1st August 2010, 17:41

    Btw.. anybody remember what Kubica did in Canada with the force india? Why didn’t that get any attention? Today was big, but it’s about names also..

    • Sandman said on 1st August 2010, 17:47

      Not really.

      1st off, Kubica wasn’t defending his position during a fight for points.

      2nd, Kubica did let Sutil past and then set straight for pits, but Sutil understood it as an overtake attempt and blocked the outside.Kubica had to pit, so he decided to get around Sutil on the inside, since he was left with little choice.

      3rd, it looked dangerous, but after the race, on recaps, you could clearly see Sutil didn’t even have to slow down or change direction. He got confused, sure, but it had more to do with a car suddenly flashing in front of him.

    • Patrickl said on 1st August 2010, 17:59

      Kubica got a penalty for that

      • nelly said on 1st August 2010, 18:28

        I don’t get the whole ‘names’ argument. Even if there is more media coverage of this it’s obviously because Schumacher is a 7-times world champion and is notorious for doing this kind of thing. He gets punished for it and then does it again and again so obviously there is going to be greater media coverage because the media know how much disbelief people will be in. Kubica is not a 7-times world champion and not notorious for doing this kind of thing and, if I remember, people still said that was a bit of a distasteful move by him. Being successful or well known will bring more media attention so I don’t see what the argument’s trying to prove. People are reacting to this because it’s unsportsmanlike and the media will react to that.

      • sumedh said on 1st August 2010, 19:42

        No Patrickl, you have got your facts wrong.

        Kubica was given a ‘reprimand’. No penalty

        • patrickl said on 2nd August 2010, 0:52

          You’re joking right? What do you think a reprimand is? A blessing?

          A reprimand is one of the “penalties” that the stewards can hand out.

          You really should get your facts straight when you tell people to get their facts straight …

  15. sojcarter said on 1st August 2010, 17:45

    Did anyone see the Superleague crash today at Brands Hatch? Similar to Mark Webber’s accident in Valencia and could have happened to Barichello today!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXkTFocu6ho

    He was lucky to escape alive

  16. Enfurnoh said on 1st August 2010, 17:47

    Schumacher pulled a totally dangerous move. There was no need to push Rubens to within inches of the wall. That could have caused a terrible accident for BOTH of them. It was soooo right to give him a penalty!

  17. JUGNU said on 1st August 2010, 17:58

    MS should get bigger penalty. That could have been very bad and Rubens would have been hurt very badly.
    Give MS some big penalty as he is doing these kind of things too often.

  18. That MS might (?) have realised what he was doing is a fine point. The problem really is do other drivers realise what you are doing. From what I saw either MS messaged RB, or MS calculatingly and deliberately tried to impede RB, with a dangerous and illegal move.
    In either event it seems very clear that MS’s return to F1 is damaging his status as a formerly respected ‘winner’. He is not the man he once was and ‘professional fouls’ like this one only serve to diminish him and put other driver’s lives at risk.
    F1 is not a sport where any true fan wishes to see such unsportsmanlike conduct or to see skilled and brave drivers pay the price for someone else’s error of judgement with their own lives.
    Time to go, MS!

  19. Todd Livingstone said on 1st August 2010, 18:14

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIJLRbU-lDI

    Watch it from that point of view. Michael clearly has his car on one line down the straight, which Barrichello, as a racing driver, should have realised would have left little to no room to pass. There’s no onus on Michael to reposition his car on the track when another car is behind him in terms of track position. It’s not like he made some kind of deliberate move to put him in the wall, Barrichello made the decision to move to the inside, when you can clearly see not only that Michael was going right as well, but there was adequate room on the outside to pass as well.

    I think this was a dangerous move on Rubens’ part. It clearly isn’t a deliberate attempt on Schumacher’s part to put him into the wall, and Barrichello decided to try and pass him against the wall and kept his foot flat. As Martin Brundle said, Barrichello was either going to pass Schumacher or put them both in the wall. He very nearly did the latter.

  20. A good video showing the incident.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRv0AfpIANo&sns=em

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