A move too far: Schumacher forces stewards to take a stand

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2010

There was only one thing more shocking than Michael Schumacher’s move on Rubens Barrichello in the closing stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

It was the announcement a few hours later that he was being punished for it.

Previously it seemed drivers could do what they liked to defend position. Yesterday’s decision will hopefully set a new precedent for a better standard of driving in motor racing.

Time and again we have seen drivers make questionable defensive moves that have gone unpunished. It would be wrong to say Schumacher invented such driving, but many of the most shocking examples bear his name.

Yesterday’s attempt to intimidate Rubens Barrichello was straight out of the Schumacher playbook. He did much the same to Mika Hakkinen at Spa ten years ago, only on that occasion the track was bordered by grass and not a solid wall.

He dished out the same to his brother the following year and did it again to Fernando Alonso at Silverstone in 2003. The stewards turned a blind eye every time.

It’s scarcely surprising that drivers who wanted to beat Schumacher chose to do so by adopting his tactics. After all, it was clear the stewards weren’t going to stop them.

But we’ve rarely seen other drivers be quite as uncompromising at high speed as Schumacher. Remember how Mark Webber defended his position from Felipe Massa at Fuji two years ago:

Robust stuff and, like Schumacher on Sunday, Webber continued to move towards Massa even as the Ferrari drew alongside. The difference was that as Massa had already cleared the end of the pit lane he was not pinned up again a barrier as Webber leaned on him.

Schumacher said today he accepts the stewards’ decision. They have set a potentially significant precedent by punishing him, one that could force him and other drivers to be more restrained in similar situations in the future.

This is good news for two reasons. It’s clearly better from the point of view of safety. The crash in the Superleague Formula race at Brands Hatch this weekend showed the violent accidents that can happen when drivers veer towards each other during overtaking moves:

Driver Chris van der Drift, who was sent skywards by Julien Jousse, suffered a broken ankle and other minor injuries.

Clamping down on this sort of driving may also help encourage overtaking, as defending drivers know they mustn’t go too far in their efforts to keep an attacking driver behind.

The stewards – bolstered this year by the long-overdue inclusion of former racing drivers – deserve applause for taking a stand against reckless and dangerous driving such as this.

But the policing of driving standards in Formula 1 remains unsatisfactory, largely because so little of it is spelled out in the regulations. Schumacher was punished for “illegitimately preventing a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre”. But there are many questionable things drivers may do to keep rivals behind which are not considered “illegitimate”.

For example, pushing a rival clean off the track is allowed. We saw that when Robert Kubica did it to Fernando Alonso at Silverstone this year, and when Kimi R??ikk??nen did to Lewis Hamilton at Spa two years ago, to name just two particularly memorable examples.

And the rules about respecting the track’s limits make no sense at all, based on recent precedents.

Drivers may gain an advantage by going off the track on the outside of a corner (as Schumacher did at the start last weekend and as R??ikk??nen did at Spa last year) and they may cut corners when a rival is trying to overtake them to keep position (Schumacher defending in Canada this year).

But they may not gain a position by going off the track on the inside of the corner (Alonso at Silverstone this year) nor if both cars go off the track (Webber and Alonso at Singapore last year).

These are clear double standards. Either a driver is allowed to go off the track and gain an advantage or he isn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether they’re on the inside or outside of a corner.

There have been some improvements in the quality of stewarding this year, particularly as we have seen fewer penalties for minor infractions – a welcome relief after the excessively punishment-prone stewarding in recent years.

And I was impressed that the stewards intervened over Schumacher’s driving this weekend as it’s the sort of dangerous move they’ve turned a blind eye to too often in the past.

But a re-thinking of the rules of engagement is still needed to make racing fair between the drivers and clear for the fans to understand.

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219 comments on “A move too far: Schumacher forces stewards to take a stand”

  1. F1 is a zoo… No consistency in rules, hypocrisy in abundance and biased reporting everywhere. Take away the money involved and nothing of interest remains.

    1. Then don’t watch F1.We won’t miss you.

      1. I was gonna say the same…Not everything in F1 can be determined by rulebooks and yes, clear and concrete rules need to be made for these incidents but it is very difficult. Every issue is different and unique – and common sense needs to come into play when making decisions, like what happened today. I think they made the right decision. People would still complain if they hadn’t done anything about it.

      2. Say that a few more times, the lack of F1 interest seems to be on the decline. They say that Hockenheim was a sell out!? I saw plenty of empty seats. The only race I haven’t seen empty seats was in Silverstone. You and your friends may not miss him, but I’m sure Bernie will. He wants everybodys money!

      3. Obviously you didn’t quite get what I was saying. Or maybe you handle all the problems you encounter like this: run away from them.

        1. that last comment was directed at svetlio.

        2. So, what are you saying ?
          F1 is not a stock-car race !

      4. svetio, what Schumacker made on sunday is also F1, but we complain about it. We don’t have to leave F1 just because we think there are a lot of things wrong.

    2. A little cynical in my view, its your opinion though :)

    3. People keep bringing up the Raikkonen Spa move, but it seemed to be an agreement in the drivers briefing more than anything. No teams lodged an appeal (FI surely would have if it wasn’t deemed acceptable).

      You can also see where such an agreement comes from, cars will be inevitably pushed off the track/find themselves with no space into the first corner. It’s doubtful that Raikkonen got a traction/speed advantage from it (otherwise it would be used as the racing line), and more likely a combination of KERS + Fisi defending (so taking a slower line).

  2. Clamping down on this sort of driving may also help encourage overtaking, as defending drivers know they mustn’t go too far in their efforts to keep an attacking driver behind.

    Hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right.

    1. Interesting development: apparently with more time during the race to check the video evidence, the stewards would have black-flagged Schumacher – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8880167.stm .

      Pity they didn’t or couldn’t react quicker, but it’s the right response and it would have been the best solution: black-flag and maybe a one or two race disqualification. To quote Derek Warwick (one of the stewards): “Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers.”

      Thinking Vettel here.

      As Keith suggests, it would also encourage overtaking by discouraging some of the more idiotic maneouvres to defend.

      1. Well, i think it would have suited you better to have him crufied or burned at the stake? Wouldn’t you agree? Certainly there has been reckless overtaking in the past… However, i’ve never seen such an uproar before on the forums here…

        Also, the responsibility of the move to certain extent lies with the guy pulling that move, as that chap is coming from behind and has all the decisions to make. Just because some wimp got up close doesn’t mean that the guy in front bends over. Of course, the only guy who (admittedly) intentionally ran off people (for that matter backmarkers) off the tracks is hailed as a racing legend. Either flail them all, or approve of them all. The way most people go about on this forum is merely based on convenience. Hyprocritical, in other words.

        Schumacher has given an interview… in which he clarified that he’s sorry if rubens thought/ felt the way he did, but Schu never meant to put him in the wall. Rubens could have braked or gone on the outside (racing line), but didn’t and somehow i don’t see many people mentioning that… which is why my claims of rampant hyprocrisy on this forum is by and large valid.

        1. I forgot to make an excellent case in point. The Webber crash… he was coming in from behind to lap a car… Well, somewhat akin to an overtake, only here the car in front is supposed to give way… What instead happened was a coming together of two cars, blame was to be laid by and large on Webber who got it wrong. Could you in this case blame the guy in the front? Similarly here, there needs to be a certain degree of common sense applied before jumping to any conclusion what so ever. I’ll give you that it was a tough move by Schumacher. However, here in this case, the car following is to find a way past the one in the front, not given way, as the words you chose make it sound. The guy in the front does have a right to defend his position and don’t forget that he’s doing it at 300 kmph, just like the guy pulling that move. There’s a reason why you and i (most of us here) are called armchair enthusiasts… we are doing neither… so being ever so critical as you are mate, it is just your opinion and not what people will live, or (god forbid) die by on the track in a racing car.

          Ah, this reminds me… “Old men start a war, but it is the young who must fight and die!”

  3. Rubens said to the BBC on Sunday that there aren’t any rules but just an understanding between the drivers. An unspoken code if you will. Stewart once said in his day the drivers all had a special bond like brothers and trusted each other, it was a lot more dangerous then of course. Now, I’m not saying racers were saints back then as they weren’t but it does seem like there’s been a loss of respect or bond between the drivers over the years which is unsurprising but very sad.

    This has to be looked at. I can name many other incidents not even mentioned in the article; Sebb turning in on people at least 3 times this year, Lewis after Kimi forced him off at Spa in 08 pushed Timo onto the grass at Monza, Massa tried to run Hamilton right off the road at Bahrain this year. On it goes. I don’t like it as it isn’t really coming out on top if you win by weaving or ramming someone off or whatever. The other guy can’t respond at all to that unless he wants a hefty crash.

    F1 is dangerous but it doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t have to be excessively dangerous. The drivers are absolutely ruthless, competitive monsters in the main with adrenaline running through them. Mistakes can be made whether intentional or not but the stewards have to be there to provide a sense of calm and keep things sporting and they can only really do that if they have the rules on their side to back them up.

    I have to say brilliant article once again Keith. You always give a fair commentary I feel and are brilliant but you’re at your best when you look at the wider issue too. I also adore reading all the comments and debate after this type of post. Yes, I’m a proper geek :P

    1. I also adore reading all the comments and debate after this type of post

      I have not been as active as I would like on f1f recently as I have limited free time at the minute. However when I read an article I always find myself getting sucked into reading more and more comments, I can’t seem to help it! I would like my free time back please everyone!

    2. Thanks Steph :-)

      1. keith, ‘when Kimi Räikkönen did to Lewis Hamilton at Spa two years ago’ don’t you mean Alonso pushing Lewis wide on the exit of turn 1 at the start?

        1. Tom M in Australia
          3rd August 2010, 1:27

          Well there was that, but Keith is reffering to how Kimi pushed Lewis over the new Bus Stop chicane. Lewis gave the place back then overtook Kimi into La Source, but was penalised anyway.

          1. That’s a rather harsh call on Kimi. It’s a chicane, thus there is really only room for one car through it, Kimi had the line, should he have just given up?

          2. Oh, it was almighty Lewis, so everyone is suppose to clear the way. Come on! Kimi had the line as Daniel mentioned.

          3. I don’t want to get into the specifics of individual cases too much – I was only looking for examples to illustrate my point.

            But I think when one driver is alongside another one shouldn’t be allowed to push the other off the track, regardless of whether they’re doing 200mph or twenty.

          4. @ll1,

            I don’t think many people think Kimi did not have the right to keep his line at spa but it highlights the point of where do you draw the line. I think Kimis move on Lewis was perfectly good racing but equally I thought that the attempted overtake by Lewis in the first place was great racing. What was very strange in that incident was that Lewis gave back the position (that was all that was required at the time in the rules) but was crucified by all the haters. Not only that but he was actually punished for leaving the track! He was never punished for gaining an advantage (clearly because he didn’t according to the rules). Keith is right, there is no consistency in the rules. Why on earth was Lewis punished for leaving the track, but Kimi was not a few corners later (when he clearly gained a grip advantage) and how come after that precedent was set drivers can be seen going off the track pretty much routinely (in fact I am not sure I have seen a single race for years where multiple cars have not left the track at the first corner).

            In relation to the schumacher incident, I am pleased that finally he has been punished, he is by far the worst driver for these sort of moves and I am still amazed that he was allowed to race in F1 the year after he purposefully and cynically took crashed into Damon Hill in what could have been a very nasty incident. Vettel has also been doing a schumacher lately so hopefully this punishment may also have an effect on his driving too. I am all for defending a line and trying to push other drivers into mistakes, but there is a big difference between that and squeezing someone against a wall at 200mph.

          5. oh yeah. i thought 2 years ago was 2007 for some reason. anyway, alonso pushed him wide at la source in 2007 and kimi did the same at the bus stop.

      2. Great job with this article again Keith.

        In this bbc article they have a audiocast interview with Warwick (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8878400.stm). Great stuff and from what he says it seems the driver stewards are going to do follow up on this.

    3. For me the kind of incident Schuie used to get away with was Canada 1998 when he came out of the pits and immediately put Frentzen in the gravel trap.

      Unfortunately in Schuie’s first era, few drivers were prepared to stand their ground and let wheels touch, and the FIA turned a blind eye to it.

      I still can’t believe the “one move” rule appeared only because Schuie said it existed to justify his outrageous starting swerves.

      1. Off the top of my head I’m sure I’d heard about the ‘one move’ rule before Schumacher came along but I’m not 100% sure.

    4. “brilliant article once again Keith” agreed. and also with the idea that limits on aggressive defending helping to encourage overtaking.

  4. Personally, I would have been shocked if the stewards had not penalised MS. IMO, that ridiculous move of his was purely one of intimidation, not a defensive one, and good on Barrichello for making it through. It so easily could have ended in tears, to say the least.

  5. Even though I agree with the stewards descision, I think it’s now become a trend for everyone to gang up and berate a certain driver or team after every race. The situation has been blown out of proportion.

    Also I havent heard anyone else say it, but wasn’t Barrichellos move on Schumacher a contender for overtake of the season? Serious balls to keep his foot down into an ever closing gap.

    1. It’s not a trend. What you are seeing is a decade or so of pent up frustration being released. Schumacher has never been held accountable for his actions before. What used to be a killer instinct to win has now become a totally single-minded desperation to score a single point for tenth place. It really is pathetic and probably borders on sociopathic.

      1. It’s called the Will to Win and that’s the reason why he and Senna are number ones in this sport. He had it back in his early days and he has it now. Senna would have done the same if he was alive.

        It’s pretty Ironic that Barrichello is complaining so much considering this move is probably the only positive thing he will be remembered for once he retires into the history books. So stop whining Mr B!!

        1. Did I miss something? Is this a sport, and do sports have rules and conventions? Unsportsmanlike conduct and cheating without being penalized will give any average driver a serious competitive advantage. If you drive for a team that owns the sport and never get taken to task, you’ll rewrite the record books. Here’s one example of a WDC Schumacher won by cheating. This is his legacy:
          Adelaide 1994

          Really, now. Where does this “will to win” crap originate? And where does it end? I’ll run you off the road? I’ll take your life? Using your car as a battering ram is not driving.

          1. “Did I miss something? Is this a sport, and do sports have rules and conventions? Unsportsmanlike conduct and cheating without being penalized will give any average driver a serious competitive advantage.”

            I didn’t say that he shouldn’t be penalised or that he wasn’t out of line, but that move gave the race something spectacular which would’ve otherwise ended as dull and boring.

            “Here’s one example of a WDC Schumacher won by cheating. This is his legacy:
            Adelaide 1994″

            For you and many other Brits probably. I remember him for having Nerves of Steel and not taking cr@p from anyone. Oh and small thing of winning 7 WCs.

            “Where does this “will to win” crap originate? And where does it end? I’ll run you off the road? I’ll take your life? Using your car as a battering ram is not driving.”

            This is a competitive sport (as you mentioned before). Not a Sunday Picnic so that comparison is moot. Ruthlessness is part of the Will to Win and also part of this sport if you want to be great. You can’t win WCs by babying your car and other drivers around you.

          2. This is a it ridiculous, Schumacher, has a style, his way or the highway, which sometimes leads him to do things that, aren’t so nice.

            But the whole, trying to kill someone theme is, to be honest, more disgusting than Schumacher’s move on Rubens, I mean seriously do you actually believe he tries to do that? He tries to win the race, and that’s it.
            Stupid? sometimes, Evil? … grow up.

            New Topic

            Erm…. that’s the first time I saw the 94 footage… no offence, but, it doesn’t look so bad, Schumacher made a mistake, Damon got alongside in the corner, Schumacher didn’t leave enough room, they crashed…
            I have seen a lot worse than that…
            I’m actually surprised, I was expecting something much more dastardly.

          3. @ROBERT,

            “It’s called the Will to Win”, yep Ben Johnson also had the will to win…….


            I would not say that he tries to kill and anyone that says that is ridiculous. However Drink drivers also do not try to kill but are still a disgrace and danger. And being a cheat as a style is not a good trait and is exactly why I do not class him as one of the greats.

          4. Does this will to win stem from Nietzsche’s Will to power per chance?
            Philosophy was a good course to pick ^^
            Well, Lee, he is one of the greats, your going to have to deal with it, there aren’t many great drivers who haven’t done things which could be labelled “suspect” either…..

            Calling him a cheat, isn’t fair this time, unless you want to bring up Monaco for instance, but, speaking of just this event, it wasn’t cheating, you could call him many names for it, but I don’t think cheat is the right one.

          5. @MIKE,

            Purposefully trying to force a driver to crash while looking directly at him is cheating, it ceased to be an aggressive blocking move as soon as Rubens was fully alongside. In fact they wanted to black flag him but there was not sufficient time once they had fully reviewed the incident. I do not think the Monaco incident was purposeful cheating, I think he like many of the drivers was a little confused by the new safety car rule.

            And no I do not have to deal with him being a great as in my mind he is not. Yes many great drivers have done suspect things and this is natural as they are on the very limit so mistakes or the odd poor decision is obviously going to happen. However I can’t think of anyone with such a poor record as schumacher, not even close. Senna had the incident with prost, however there was a lot more behind that than the FIA would like to admit.

      2. Well, as you can see on videos in this post, Webber did the same to massa and then everybody thought that webber was just hard, but not sociopathic.

        I agree with Lenny about that it’s become a trend for everyone to gang up and berate a certain driver or drivers or teams.

        In fact, even FOM was looking for the morbid situation showing the persecution for 5 or 10 laps while the same situation was occuring between alonso and vettel for 2nd place.

        1. RaulZ – you know that is cr@p. Webber did nothing close to the same thing. Not that it would exonerate Schumacher if he had. This is clutching at straws, at best.

          When you look at the MS/ RB incident in isolation, it was simply horrible. The problem is that when you take Schumacher’s history into account, it only looks worse, because they are cumulative. There are drivers who would get the benefit of the doubt when they pull a bad stunt, because their prior conduct was good. For example, I always thought Prost was the recipient of that kind of slack when he side-swiped Senna at the chicane in Suzuka in ’89. It was his first real attempt at a professional foul and, as Keke said, you could tell he hadn’t done it before, because he did it so badly. But in this case, well…

          I have argued that Webber has sometimes blocked too hard and too late, but he’s done nothing comparable, really.

        2. Webber did the same to massa and then everybody thought that webber was just hard, but not sociopathic.

          It clearly wasn’t “the same”, and I explained why in the article.

        3. Sean and keith, it’s the same kind of maniouver with a wall at the end, the differences between each cases are 1 meter. I explained in other comment here that being allowed this things for the show and fight it’s easy to think that one day, 1 meter is 1 cm, or less.
          Despite his own black history.

          1. Some people don’t seem to realise that fighting dirty is just part of the sport. The only difference is that Schumacher is on the fore-front. Hamilton voted the ‘meanest driver’ by the rest of the field with Alonso 2nd behind him. Both World Champions. Alonso pushing Massa out of the way on the Pit-Lane entry. Hamilton weaving like crazy to prevent Petrov move. All dirty moves which are just part of the sport. Yes Schumacher is the worst of them, but why aren’t we discussing the other drivers, Hamilton specifically? And all these talks about Schus ‘history’. He’s 42! Let’s see how many ‘priors’ Ham is going to have in 17 years shall we? He’s 25 now and already had a few scandals up his sleave. Especially when McLaren pulled that awesome one few years back which cost them all the points.

            I can see many people here don’t consider Schu great, but please remember that’s just your opinion and mostly clouded by the Hill incident in 94 (which is the main reason for the bashing here and not the Barichello move). Other people actually remember him for the 7 Wcs and masterful performances he’s brought to the sport.

  6. The best comment about Barrichelo X Schumacher fight at Hungary is from a guy in the BB from Autosport:

    “…Last year Top Gear revealed that Michael ‘the cheating *******’ Schumacher was The Stig.

    Less then a month after Rubens Barrichello beat The Stig’s time in a reasonably priced car, MS tries to run Rubens into the wall in Hungary. Is this a coincidence?…”

    1. Haha that’s a nice one :)

    2. I thought Stig was Stig Blomqvist from Sweden, rally and rallycross driver ?

      1. He’s the only other Stig I know – apart from Stig of the Dump!”

      2. The stig is not from this planet or if he is he is a product of some secret British Military experiments. Everyone knows that.

  7. These videos are tremendous and thanks for pulling them together here. But there are some solid and very recent examples including Kobayashi/Najakima at Brazil, and the modern classic from Turkey this year. What about Raikkonen putting Massa in the grass on Kemmel in 08.

    How about we have a rule that putting another driver who has a wheel inside your wheels at the point where you put him in the grass, off the road is a foul—you let the guy through on that lap or you get a drive-through penalty (and another one if you drive through showing the stewards the back of your hand). This would have the added effect of limiting the need for the Hamilton-Spa rule and all the off-track passing we need to police now. It would also increase passing because outside passes would become much more plausible. For example, Alonso would have taken the lead at Hungaroring

    I don’t like the idea of a “no blocking” rule because I fear this ends in the inanity of the IRL rule where you have to let a car drive by on the inside by taking your “normal line” and the stupidity with the Castroneves penalty last race.

  8. I don’t think this kind of dangerous move can be legislated with proscribed penalties. They have to be judged on a case by case basis on the potential dangers and circumstances.

    Drivers need the flexibility to be aggressive but not to the point where they risk lives defending or overtaking.

    With former drivers now on the stewards panel at each race I think fair and balanced judgments can be made about these kinds of incidents without excessively tying up the drivers with regulations that may cause indecision. Even tho I thought Schumi should be parked for a race, the 10 place grid penalty is probably a fair response.

    1. The 10 place grid penalty is actually harsher than him being parked.

      He was out of the points after that incident, so being told to step out of the vehicle wouldn’t really hurt him from a racing perspective.

      The 10 place grid drop will…

    2. “They have to be judged on a case by case basis on the potential dangers and circumstances.”

      Absolutely agree on this.

      The main problem F1 has for that is Stewarding process. Stewards take so much time to analyze and impose a penalty, despite the enormous amount of technology available for them.

      And my personal opinion is F1 does not have proper stewards because stewarding process over many years has been a political issue managed directly by Max Mosley. F1 have never had professional stewards, just marionettes asking MM what penalty impose in each claim.

      So, F1 has to learn how to make a proper stewarding process, wiser and quicker than it was used to be in the past. F1 doesn’t need more rules, just professional people making a professional job.

      I hope FIA is in the way to do so. They just need some time to implement it.

      Everybody was expecting a Black Flag for MSC, as a red card in football, just for telling the driver his behavior was a shame for the sport. (And, as in football, a black flag should mean a race ban for the driver)

      1. This is what I’m telling all the time. The problem are the stewards. If they weren’t so arbitrary the actual rules would be ok, but they distort them.

        I think it’s just because of their incompetence. I don’t want to think they make so many mistakes on purpose.

        if you apply one rule only when it’s dangerous then it’s not fair, because the danger of the situation cannot be evaluated by the driver in just one second.

        Then, we think Schumaker is krazy just because there was a dangerous situation and the rest of the cases we think they are very spectacular just because they were lucky not finding the wall so near.

        A rule must judge an action, not the circumstances. Someone is guilty of doing one thing even if the circumstances doesn’t occur, but it’s ruled to avoid the times when circumstances could occur.

        Vettel throwing Alonso to the wall at hockenheim is the same action than schumacker to Barrichello. The difference were 25 cm or going 300kph instead of 150kph.

        If stewards doesn’t punish Vettel, then they are inducing the rest of the drivers to try to do it, and generate a lot of situations where the circumstances can occur, like on sunday.

  9. I believe in the old days the rule (written or unwritten I don’t know) was, as far as I can remember. If the car behind his frontwheels are next to the other cars back wheels, the pass is on and you can’t move over anymore.. that’s how it should be anyway!

    1. But schumacker didn’t move, he followed his line, head to the wall. That rule is not enough to avoid discussing this topic next year again. It must be decided one rule and applied allways, despite the dangerous situation, bacuase it must be made to avoid those situations.

  10. Well there are a load of things which could be set about Schumacher’s crazy move and all the other questionable defensive driving we’ve seen over the past few years. But I’m lazy and other people will be saying the same sort of things anyway so I won’t bother.

    But what I will say is this- crude though Schumacher’s driving was, at least it gave us one of the most spectacular passing moves in recent F1 history! For Barrichello to squeeze through that almost non existant gap was ridiculously brave. Unquestionably pass of the season IMO

    1. Tom M in Australia
      3rd August 2010, 1:40

      100% agree. Pass of all seasons in recent memory for me.

    2. I agree about most of your thoughts, but I don´t think it was a brave move by Barrichello. He has two young sons and wife and I am sure he doesn´t need to prove that he is corageous. He was, in my oppinion, pretty determinated to overtake MS. Once he chose the inside line the he just reacted by reflex on MS moves. It is absolutetly amazing to me, and that it is part of my fascination by F1, that tons of words and thougths have been written since last Sunday about an event that took only 2 seconds (from the moment Barrichello started to move right behind MS until he moved left pushing back MS at the pit lane exit).

      1. True it was two seconds claudioff, but it’s a distillation of much more – the past history of the two drivers, their current form and how the end of the career is panning out (good for RB, terrible for MS). Barrichello’s comments are interesting: he knew Schumacher could do something like he did, but was determined to show him he wasn’t intimated and could and would pass him. It wasn’t courage, but pride.

        Best overtake of the season, definitely.

  11. What I find funny, is the only people defending him (like on blogs and forums) are the real schumi fans. Even a fan has to see this was to dangerous!

    1. I am a Schumi fan, and I’m defending him,
      What he did was stupid and dangerous, but I don’t think this is the only stupid and dangerous thing we have seen this season, and I suspect he is being attacked more because of his reputation than the actual move itself.

      1. Hi Mike, thanks for your post, not a fan myself, but not a basher as well.

        I respect him for giving it another go and i am looking forward to seeing some good driving still.

        As you said, there’s far to much of these hardball defence moves in F1 in the lsast years. As this is the first time something like this is really penalized, we can now hope for clearer rules/guidlines what is allowed and what is unsportsmanlike/dangerous.

      2. Well, he built that reputation. And it was by far *the* most stupid and dangerous move this season, if not the only one.

        Schumacher deserves all the criticism for this and for what he’s done in the past, some of the most anti-sporting moments in the history of any top sport. Admittedly you can’t accuse him of being inconsistent.

  12. It has to be said that Michael Schumacher has nerves of steel,otherwise by now another driver should at least have made an inroad into his unbeaten records that measure as long as your arm.Schumacher holds the lot,an amazing feat, and each record was approved and stamped by the FIA as legitimate.

    Also when Michael Schumacher was a young driver just starting off in F1, there was definitely more aggression from many drivers at the top of their profession……….but there were also far more severe accidents than thankfully there are now.Drivers were killed and many were sadly maimed for life.

    Mark Webbers recent violent accident proves that safety has exponentially improved in F1 sport,as no one thought he would get out of that car in one piece,or rather,what was left of it.Mark walked thankfully and heroically away.

    Also, manouveres that were “mildly acceptable” in Michael Schumachers early years, and, looked on as “heroic daring moves” I might add, are definitely not acceptable now,and absolutely looked on with distaste.

    The dividing line is a tightrope of what F1 stands for today.The fans want action,they want excitement but there is a thin red line seperating excitement from danger.Motor racing at any level is a highly dangerous sport and all young drivers are aware of this before entering the fray.

    We can say that there are “drivers and drivers”……some are mediocre,some that stand out from the rest,some are promising but never quite get there, and there are others that quietly fade into the background.

    However there are a few drivers,that not only stand out from the rest, but drive with such an electric,exhilirating passion that they leave onlookers constantly gasping for breath.And,these drivers miraculously do this over and over again as if they are a special elite force in F1…….they somehow attain such a standard that other drivers can only dream about.

    However a few of these top racers are constantly balanced on the thin red danger line,pushing their skills to the limit…….. then one day a slight technical or mental error can push them right over the edge,into what seems to us as onlookers, a very dangerous manouvere.Why do they do this? because they ultimately are human,just like us all.

    Drivers of this calibre normally have fans who either love them or hate them,they never seem to have the “in between fans”.This is why Michael Schumacher, who has risen above every F1 driver in the record books for stunning and unbelievable race achievements will always be remembered more for his failings, rather than his oustanding jaw dropping races that have contributed more to F1 popularity than any other driver in the past.

    As for what he did to Reubens yesterday,well he has manfully apologised after watching the race again carefully,and, he admitted that he went too far.

    Michael is an F1 Maverick,he is an individual that avoids conformity,and who exhibits great independence in thought and speech.This is a trait of many a Genius,but sadly often not realised or appreciated until the ultimate demise of that Genius.

    1. The damning indictment of this move is still the photograph – because it shows not only the miniscule gap seperating Rubens’ car from the wall (an impending death for him, michael, or anyone in the pitlane) but that Schumacher is very clearly looking directly at Rubens while he’s doing it. He’s not glancing in his mirror, he’s not checking his braking point – he’s eyeballing the helmet of the man and the concrete wall he’s forcing that man into.

      Totally inexcusable on all counts.

    2. Very nicely put Dianna! I’m glad to see at least some people looking at this with common sense. I think the other 99% are just using any excuse they can get to bash him.

      I’m not saying his actions were right (and they clearly weren’t for which he apologised as well), but I’m just sick of the constant scrutiny put forward towards him.

      1. @Robert,

        I think there is a lot of eye on schumacher as he has such a reputation for cheating and bad manouvers. His crash with Hill was the beginning of a series of incidents that were all directly caused purposefully by schumacher. Dangerous moves, parking on corners to prevent others from posting times, forcing barichello to let him past, going off circuit in order to prevent an overtake and now this (which could easily have ended with us talking about a horrific crash). If he wants less scrutiny then he needs to prove that he can be trusted.

    3. Thank you, Hairs. Exactly the point.

      To you others, it’s one thing to admire a person or his skill, but you speak as if you worship Michael Schumacher as a god. That is seriously unbalanced.

      There is a body of evidence concerning Michael Schumacher, and none of it can be ignored. He is certainly a great driver, but he has has certain advantages in amassing his record and repeatedly demonstrated a serious lack of sportmanship and concern for the welfare of others. That is why he attracts all of this commentary.

      If he had stayed retired, this would have been a largely academic or historical argument. Unfortunately, Schumacher is destroying his own legacy by his behavior this season. He’s certainly no one’s role model, and he certainly isn’t in any position to mentor Nico Rosberg. His inability to perform even as well as a relatively inexperienced driver in identical equipment can’t help but raise the question of what his true abilities really were when he was at Ferrari and how he would have measured up on a level playing field.

      If he cared a penny about you Schumacher fans, he would have stayed retired. It was hard to deny he was the greatest before, but now that’s a wide open question. He must be wondering himself, by now.

  13. fishingelbow
    2nd August 2010, 22:36

    You forgot the classic Schumacher move on J. Villeneuve in Jerez in ’97.

    1. That was something different – that was not a defensive move, it was an attempt to take Villeneuve out of the race.

    2. Villeneuve on Schumacher around the outside of last corner at Estoril ’96 was excellent :)

    1. Shhhh don’t mention something like that here … just say something against the big bad Shumi.

      That will get you along here :)

  14. My only hope is that other drivers too get punished if they attempt such moves, and not just Schumacher.

    Every incident seems to get blown out of proportion because Schumi is involved. It is almost as if the reporters and other press people have been waiting hungrily for the past 3 years for Schumacher to come back to racing so that they can write vile stuff about him again and rebuke him for the slightest offense.

    1. it would have been the same when another driver did it. Be sure of that!

    2. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
      3rd August 2010, 0:51

      Yes but schumacher has a history of moves like this. It’s not like anyone is picking on him.

      1. “It’s not like anyone is picking on him.”

        Hahaha… that made me ROFL

        1. He has made his bed and now he is finding out that it does not provide a great nights sleep.

          1. @Lee

            Don’t think he cares much tbh Lee, which is part of the reason why he’s Schumi. ;)

  15. One thing about that Webber move on Massa was he made it very clear he was covering the inside before Massa got alongside (before moving over far too much), unlike Schumacher.

  16. I don’t think a ten place grid penalty is “taking” much of a “stand”… we’ve seen people get the same penalty for far lesser offences. This one spooked the hell out of a lot of people because it could have ended in catastrophe. A one-race ban should be the punishment, but correct me if I’m wrong, we haven’t seen one of those in a long while. I suspect it’s because Ecclestone, for money reasons, doesn’t want star drivers sitting out races.

    1. But those harsh punishments were while Mosley was in office, and penalties were unpredictably harsh, or erratically absent, depending on the race, politics, and driver, and how the wind was blowing, or something.

      Now, this year, the FIA has seemed to want to be more reasonable, but has also perhaps been a bit lenient on this sort of aggressive driving, and is starting to turn that around and make clear that they may be reasonable, but that not everything is allowed.

    2. Perhaps it should have been a tougher penalty – but the fact they’ve punished him at all is remarkable when similar incidents in the past have gone unpunished.

      1. Warwick has said that they wanted to black flag him but ran out of time. That would have been very embarrassing and brought even more attention to the incident. However I am not a big fan of massive punishments and have found it quite refreshing that the stewards are being a bit more sensible this season.

  17. If Barichello would have hit the wall with his back tyre (only 10cm away) he could have hurt himself really bad.

    Schumcher is a disgrace !

  18. Before today I was almost begining to like Schumacher, he seemed to have a more relaxed approach and I was even reconsidering what I thought about his Ferrari days. But yesterday only reminded me of everything I hated about his first career in F1 and why I can never be a Schumacher fan.

    For me Sunday summed up the Senna/ Schumacher attitude of utter ruthlessness which can cross the line into complete disregard for the saftey of other drivers. Senna was prepared to ram Prost off the road of 170 mph while Schumacher was prepared to show his own brother the pit wall to defend his position.

    in contrast when I watch documentaries and videos from the 70s and early 80s what struck me was the way that the drivers spoke of the mutual trust they had for each other not to do anything stupid when racing side by side. Much of the reason the famous Arnoux vs Villeneuve battle was possible was that each man trusted the other not to do anything reckless and dangerous.

    Schumacher and Senna were the opposite in that they wanted to make you fear overtaking them for what they might do. Thats why despite their immense ability I’ll never view them as highly as the likes of Villeneuve Stewart or other greats who didn’t resort to such tactics.

    1. Exactly that is part of the reason why Michael and Senna are the undisputed No.1s of this sport. You can hate them all you want, their results and what they have achieved speaks for itself.

      1. Floda Reltih
        3rd August 2010, 2:59

        Absolutely right Robert!!!!

        Their ruthlessness goes hand in hand with their greatness.

        Let the hippies cry over the rest… :-)

        1. lol I’m not crying over it, Senna and Schumacher are without doubt two of the most talented men to ever drive a racing car and I have huge admiration for both drivers’ remarkable skill. But their enormous talent meant they had even less reason to use such tactics. It may have made them more successfull but it made them less great.

          1. I agree with Ads a 100%. This was the cotd for me even if you didn’t get the actual title :P

            It’s that ruthless vs sporting. I admit I’m a Senna fan and adore Ferrari so owe a lot to Michael but they went too far at times.

            Brundle has said that Senna would come and to overtake he’d give you the option of letting him through or having a crash basically. There wasnn’t much choice in that. I find it fascinating the lengths he went to but I can’t say it sat well with me or it was a quality I could admire.

            I don’t want to pick on Ayrton as he was supremely talented and lots of drivers have done it but for me a battle or overtake means much more when it is fair and sporting.

          2. The more determined and talented you are the MORE you use those tactics to succeed Ads21. Unfortunately that’s part of the sport. Those things go hand in hand. It’s not just Schumi who uses them either. Ham and Alonso are just the recent World Champions which prove this point. Some of the moves they pulled this season speak for themselves. Sometimes you have to use a dirty move to gain or lose a position. It’s just that MS is the king of those tactics.

    2. theRoswellite
      3rd August 2010, 21:59

      BRAVO, Bravo, bravo….wonderfully statted!

      1. theRoswellite
        3rd August 2010, 22:04

        …sorry, that was aimed at Ads21.

  19. Sidney Vianna
    2nd August 2010, 23:34

    Just for some fun. Technically, and notwithstanding what Michael did, Barrichello should have been forced to give the position back, just like Alonso was supposed to, when he overtook Kubica with all four wheels out of the track in England. Overtaking a competitor

    1. Looks to me like he only ever had two wheels off the track.

      1. I’m afraid he had the 4 wheels off the track:


        Just to continue the joke, btw.

  20. Schumacher just went over the line. In a big way. Nothing more. The stewards haven’t changed their position on anything.

    Indeed the fact that Kubica was allowed to push Alonso off track while defending his line in Silverstone showed this.

  21. Kinda start to like the Indycar rule that prevents blocking and defending your position. You stick to race line and that is it. On some road tracks they on specific corners specify “lanes” where you can only take the inside lane if your overtaking to prevent defending issues. Gives lot of overtaking and action. Sure all car are spec with their own individual setups. There are numerous hundreds of thousands different setup choices (combination’s) that can be done on the car and each driver and team do their own setup work.

    1. Yes, it’s like watching slot cars zip around their little lanes. What exactly is a pass if the driver ahead is bound by rule to let the guy behind drive up the inside at his leisure? Even with this contrivance IRL drivers can’t resist slamming into each other with all four wheels locked or slamming the door way too late. Did you see Toronto? It looked like a kids kart race.

  22. Forget all rules and all the discussions about them. Just take a look at the second video above – it is exciting, man. Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Prost vs Piquet, Senna… If these guys were in place of Massa in that race, they would have said to engineer: “Of course he is faster than me, so what is preventing him from overtaking me?” hahaha…

    1. Yes, it is very interesting, I assume Massa, from your point of view, would say the same thing to Kimi at Interlagos when Kimi overtook him (easyly) to win the championship, or Kovalainen to Lewis when he did the same thing or etc. etc.
      Come on, Doy you really think it does not happen every time (“Save fuel! Button”).

      1. Kimi overtook Massa by putting in a batch of FLs after Massa pitted.

        Whilst Massa probably would have let him past for the WDC (which you’d hope would be a gentleman’s agreement between the drivers rather than coming down to team orders), that’s not what happened.

    2. Like Barrichello did when Button claimed he was 2 seconds faster:

      Shows exactly what the difference is between simply telling a driver that his team mate is faster and the way Ferrari said it to Massa.

  23. @Keith
    “For example, pushing a rival clean off the track is allowed.”

    Good point.

    “Drivers may gain an advantage by going off the track on the outside of a corner (as Schumacher did at the start last weekend and as Räikkönen did at Spa last year) and they may cut corners when a rival is trying to overtake them to keep position (Schumacher defending in Canada this year).”

    Although you keep referring to Schumacher, which is fair enough given that this is an article about him, I can think of at least 10 other drivers who have done this more so than Schumacher. Cutting corners especially.

    1. From Keith’s article i gain he is in no way saying there’s not a whole bunch of others doing questioable moves, using only a few examples to show there is not much their not allowed to do.
      That is exactly the point of the artickle, as it states this is the first time the defender is penalized for a move and it might help in curbing the overagressive defending we have seen in the last years.

    2. Well name them then. The only driver I can come up with who got warned for cutting corners is Massa (Monaco)

    3. I can think of at least 10 other drivers who have done this more so than Schumacher.

      Please do. Schumacher at Canada this year was the first one that came to mind. I remember Ralf Schumacher doing it a lot at Suzuka once when he was with Williams but I’m not sure if it was while he was defending a position.

  24. I’m glad you addressed the fact that many drivers seem to be going off track more and more while gaining a position. Personally, I’m already irritated that so many corners have the tarmac which leaves mistakes unpunished. SOMETHING needs to be there to deter going “out of bounds,” otherwise you get things like Silverstone’s new Club corner. I don’t wish to see drivers wreck, but the thrill and challenge seems to be less when there’s nothing more than a few tenths lost for going wide.

    I DIGRESS, I got off topic. I did notice Schumacher going wide at the start of Hungary and many drivers going wide at the start of Germany. But because it’s chaos, it’s hard to dish out punishments. I’m not sure what they can do because there’s surely other parts of the race that need to be focused on rather than spending hours going over the start to see who gained illegally. But, this is also argument for what I spoke of before: that there needs to be a greater deterrent for leaving the track. Something immediate and not necessarily damaging, but certainly effective in slowing the driver. I know time and time again, Paul Ricard is brought up for it’s abrasive run-offs. Maybe that should be looked into?

    1. weren’t the drivers told before the race that they could use the runoff area first corner on the first lap?
      Sliverstone and here in Hungary.
      that was what i heard correct me if im wrong.

  25. Apparently Schumacher words:

    “Yesterday, right after the race, I was still in the heat of the action, but now I’ve watched the moment with Rubens again I must say that the stewards are right with their assessment.”

    “The manoeuvre against him was too hard. I certainly wanted to make it hard for him to pass and I also clearly showed him that I did not want to give up the inside line, but I didn’t wish to put him in any danger with my manoeuvre.

    “If he feels that I did, then I’m sorry because that was not my intention.”

  26. I love the way everyones banging on about shuey senna did much more dangerous things in cars that were not half as safe as they are now but everyone says he was the best driver of all time. The only thing a drivers thinking about is winning not I could kill someone if they did they would never make any sort of move.the fact is racing at that speed is dangerous and always will be even if you replace them with robots. Without the near misses and the danger we wouldn’t watch. Ps Becken Lima schumacher isn’t the STIG.

    1. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
      3rd August 2010, 0:55

      Senna was a great clean blocker he wouldnt turn into somebody who is half a car lengths beside him. What are you on about?

      1. What? Senna is probably the most famous after Schumacher for dirty driving.

        1. You must be one of these 20 year old guys here that never really saw Senna race. Senna was so admired because he won through raw talent. Mansell was much more hot headed at those days, not malicious, just hot headed.
          Prost crashed on Senna on purpose in Suzuka 1989 and Senna, for the disappointment of many, did somewhat the same the next year. That tells it all, he had never done that, he didn’t need it. He knew how to win and how to lose, as his years with weaker cars show.
          Martin Brundle was the ‘best of the rest’ in F3 when he raced Senna. You can’t compare 1980 F3 with current F1, just look at the enormously stupid moves we see in some access categories.

          1. I’m glad someone pointed this out. All I hear these days is “Senna and Schumacher” this and “Senna and Schumacher” that. As if they drove the same way, or had the same mentality.

            Senna did a couple of things I wouldn’t defend. I would never defend Japan 1990 because two wrongs don’t make a right. He was fouled by Prost in ’89 to seal the WDC, wrongly persecuted by Balestre for it and then screwed again when Balestre personally intervened to make sure that Senna’s pole would be on the dirty side for the start in Suzuka 1990 (only after Senna had already won the pole and it had been offically agreed it would be on the clean side). All of this was wrong, horribly wrong, and I sincerely hope that Balestre’s death was an uncomfortable one. But I still say, and always said, that Senna should not have taken Prost out at turn 1, because two wrongs don’t make a right, and there are wider consequences.

            All this was a far cry, and way, way different a situation to Michael on Barrichello on Sunday, or Rascasse 06, or Jerez 97, or Adelaide 94, or on Alonso/ Hangar straight in ’03, or pushing Ralf against the pit wall in Germany. A far cry. Because those were just cynical acts of opportunism and thuggery, where none of those people had done anything bad to him at all, other than (gasp) challenge his speed. In Adelaide he had already thrown it off the road and ended his own race, for heavens’ sake, and he still came back to foul his way to the WDC.

            I also think Senna’s block on Prost in Estoril 88 was too hard and, again, the fact that Senna said he was incensed that Prost had just driven sideways at him off the grid to take P1 still didn’t make it OK. Again, two wrongs don’t make a right. But what the replays have shown here is that it was actually very mild compared to what we just saw at Hungary. There was still far more space and he didn’t drive Prost anywhere near the pitlane exit. Just not comparable at all, in severity.

            None of this will stop the “Senna and Schumacher were utterly ruthless” meme but I think it needs pointing out. Senna’s worst deed was in the context of a bitter feud where there was plenty of blame to go around, including a personal and vindictive intervention from the French head of FISA, Prost’s personal friend, trying to exclude Senna from the sport altogether, to end his career. But where are all these other horrible deeds from Senna? How severe do they really look now, in a 2010 context? Please show them all. He was actually a very clean, pre-emptive blocker and someone who could race inches from others *without* taking them off. Look at Silversone ’93 against Prost, wheel to wheel, no acrimony. Look at Barcelona on the straight against Mansell, wheel to wheel, inches to spare, no problem. Where exactly are all the cynical and disgusting fouls which are truly comparable to the ones we all list for Michael? Did he ever park a broken car on the racing line in order to get the race black-flagged? The truth is that Senna was hard as nails but was only occasionally unfair. He did push the boundaries of what was considered fair at the time, something that was always going to happen with the arrival of the carbonfibre monocoque safety cell, and whether it was too far in particular cases will always be open to debate because the actual ‘line’ will always be undefined. But he actually had a very strong sense of sporting fairness, which is what he was (wrongly, in my view) using as his frame of reference in Japan 1990, and the notion that Senna and Schumacher are just peas in a pod, equally ruthless and cynical, is way, way, wide of the mark.

            There will always be a fine line between being a competitive racer who puts peoples’ noses out of joint, and someone who steps over that line into unfairness. Then there is serial thuggery and theft. The two are different things.

            In short, please stop tarring Senna with the same brush as Schumacher. The rights and wrongs of his actions can and should be judged on their own merits, and I think it’s a pity he’s been lumped in with F1’s worst ever in terms of sporting fairness.

          2. @Sean

            You seem to forget that Sennas ‘streak’ ended. Michael has been in this sport for almost 20 years. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Same thing when people compare what he’s done in his career to other drivers currently racing. He’s 10-15 years older!

            and @fyujj
            “You can’t compare 1980 F3 with current F1, just look at the enormously stupid moves we see in some access categories.”

            My point exactly. Crashing into each other just belonged to the sport back then which Michael was part off. He’s an old School racer. So him crashing into Hill is also shouted WAY out of proportion considering all the greats used that tactic back then. Just because it was Hill it’s still the main reason why MS is hated nowadays. No-one is talking about Senna or Prost doing the exact same thing.

    2. Is this not a sport? If all a driver thinks about is winning, he should be taken off the track. What drivel. What about going fast within the rules? What about not killing yourself or leaving some other family fatherless? People who say nothing matters except results don’t understand Formula One. Sport is about excelling while playing fairly. No steroids. No unnecessary roughness. No cheating. No dirty driving and no late hits. You “results only” people will kill the sport.

      1. You make me laugh Bridge. You almost make me believe that you think every driver out there is a perfect saint and that every Championship is won by an angel. Oh.. every one except the ones won by the EVIL Schumacher… haha

  27. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
    3rd August 2010, 0:54

    It was poor blocking of schumacher. But I also give credit to Barri for keeping his foot in the throttle :D

  28. Somewhat unrelated, but with the recent fines I got to wondering. Where does the extra income end up going? Does it get donated to charities like sports leagues in the US?

    1. Goes into the FIA’s coffers – and apparently they’ve got a bit of a budget shortfall at the moment. The $100K from Renault and Mercedes will have helped.

  29. Not like I’m defending Schumacher or anything, but it appears Schumacher gave Barichello just the exact amount of a cars width. I’ve seen other drivers do much worse.
    What is more worrying is the vehemence with which Barichello complains lately. Even when Hamilton was trying to break a tow from Petrov, the way Barichello went on about it, one would think the drivers were staring death in the face.

    1. If Michael is the King of Dirty Tactics.. Barrichello is the undisputed King of Whining.. He whined when he was No 2 at Ferrari (deservedly so), he whined that he was Number 2 at Brawn (even though there was absolutely no proof of that besides his poor results) and now the saga continues.. hardly a surprise lol..

      1. I agree, Robert. Michael is the king of dirty tactics.

    2. He’s supposed to leave Barrichello enough room to stay ON track. That’s inside the lines. Instead he pushes him 2 meters over the line and almost into a wall.

  30. Senna took Prost out at the first corner by getting alongside and just ramming him off the track ending prosts race doing so sealed him the championship and sennas response after the race (I do whatever it takes to win) and in a gp2 race he rammed Martin brundell for trying to overtake him and his car came to rest on martins head I’m not knocking senna hes the greatest ever but I’m under no illusions about what made him great but people only remember the wins and when shueys gone all people will remember is 7 times wold champ I’m not a shuey fan but I’ve got to admit the guys a legend.

    1. when shueys gone all people will remember is 7 times wold champ

      People used to say that when Senna was gone all people would remember is that he’s a three times champion. Clearly you remember him for more than that and the same will be true of Schumacher.

      1. I think this orginated from Jacques Villeneuve’s comment that Schumacher wouldn’t be remembered when he’s gone. Prior to him returning I think this was true. He won’t be remembered with same affection as Senna IMO.

        As for now, or after this season, difficult to say.

        1. Yeah Senna actually showed great racing. I don’t remember much great things from Schumacher. Only the endless barrage of cheats, unfair driving, FIA interference (veto + 80 million a year), team orders etc etc etc

          1. Now you’re just being ridiculous. You just remember what you want to remember. Only a McLaren fanboy/Ferrari hater would say such nonsense.

          2. I just don’t. Same with Prost though. Or Button.

            All the same type of driver who mostly get their points from consistency and/or being in the fastest car.

          3. “Yeah Senna actually showed great racing. I don’t remember much great things from Schumacher. Only the endless barrage of cheats, unfair driving, FIA interference (veto + 80 million a year), team orders etc etc etc”

            This made me LOL! This just shows how clouded some of the peoples judgements are on here! Nicely done Patricki.. proves a lot I’ve been thinking right..

      2. Actually from Neil saying of Senna x Brundle in gp2 he must have been using diapers at the time if he was born at all.

  31. Back in 2004 (if I’m not mistaken), Schumacher overtook Jarno Trulli using the outside run-off of Hockenheim’s hairpin corner. Renault was going to protest then, but as Schumacher retired from the race, the issue was put to rest.

    It was interesting to see that Kimi did the same last year in Spa and got away with it. What’s your opinion, Keith?

    1. Like I said in the article, they need a consistent rule on whether drivers are allowed to go off track and gain an advantage. Current enforcement of the rule is rife with contradictions.

      1. At the start it is so crowded. It’s seen better to avoid accidents and it is tolerated. But imo they might want to look at the american racing and if this sort of thing happends they should tell the driver immediatly to for example drop a place if it gained an advantage. But they need to be much faster then what they are right now.

    2. When you go offline on the outside of a corner you lose time. That’s not an unfair advantage.

      Of course when Kimi went wide to avoid the collision of Trulli and Heidfeld, the people behind lost even more time. Besides Kimi had KERS and he would have had an advantage there anyway.

      Why do people keep droning on about how Kimi went wide in Eau Rouge anyway. Look at what Barrichello did at the end of Kemmel in Les Combes. He just went straight through skipping 2 corners and passed half a dozen cars!


  32. Come on – this is all a bit over the top – he doesn’t actually hit him. Vettel (or Webber depending where your from) actually hit his team mate earlier in the season in a battle for 1st and 2nd and gets no penalty.

    I’m sorry, but an actual accident is worse then squeezing some one. Not saying its not unnecessary or cringe-worthy but if there was no wall there what would people be saying?

    1. The track ends at the white line.

  33. I agree billatron vettel tried putting alonso in the wall in Germany but there was no fuss let something actually happen before banging on Rubens kept his foot in so he didn’t think it’s was that dangerous or he would have hit the brakes he thought the point was bigger than the risk.

    1. Vettel’s move wasn’t that close to the wall. Sure it wasn’t so clean, but he left more than enough space. And the speeds weren’t that high either!

  34. Yeah but Senna was cut off in his prime unfortunately.

  35. Looking at the replay gives me shivers, Barrichello said on the BBC that he’s really lucky that the wall ended, which is very true! After he passes the wall he continues to go right, if the wall was there God knows what would have happened!

    Wow that Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna clip is amazing! Never saw an F1 car drift like that.. Cool stuff!

  36. Exactly what would we do without legends like them not watch f1 probably.

  37. Rubens could have hit the brake they both wanted the one point and neither of them would let it go Rubens had the speed advantage he could of held back and took shuey later they both played a part.

    1. Schumacher is so pathetic that he would have done anything for that one point. He’s only got 38. Rosberg has 94. Schumacher is probably afraid that Barrichello will finish ahead of him in the points at the end of the season driving a Williams-Cosworth. He’s only eight points behind and doing well.

      1. GWBridge you don’t half talk a lot of rot.Time and time again.It gets really boring.Perhaps you are in the wrong sport.
        Tennis may suit you better?

        Barichello will never attain memorable heights,just like Alessi,a nice chap, BUT, end of story.

  38. The one of Nelson Piquet on Aryton Senna was very spectacular indeed.

  39. It’s only MS who pulls stuff like this currently and this and is part of the reason why I find the sport exciting. And what does he get? A 10 grid penalty.

    Yes the move was dangerous, but NOTHING HAPPENED! I could list 100s of other instances where the driving was dangerous and something could’ve happened. 15 years ago nobody would’ve blinked twice and the cars back then were nowhere near as safe as today.

    It was previously mentioned that he was risking HIS life more then Barrichellos. Only MS has the nerves to do such things. And look at the result.. We get a contender for ‘Pass of the Season’.

    I find such articles a disgrace. Improve rulebooks? REALLY? Haven’t we had enough penalties and rediculous steward decisions this season? Do we really need more?

    F1 is becoming more and more of a joke and all about the politics and Rules.. Where is the racing? I wanna see action.. I wanna see drivers pushing themselves off the track.. I wanna see dangerous driving. This is why they are paid millions of dollars and this is why they love doing what they are doing.

    All the rule book is doing is making this sport as dull as possible. So NO Keith.. PLEASE .. no more ‘policing of driving standards’.

    1. Haven’t we had enough penalties and rediculous steward decisions this season? Do we really need more?

      Compared to previous seasons I think they’re definitely doing better. What decisions do you think were ridiculous?

      I wanna see drivers pushing themselves off the track.. I wanna see dangerous driving. This is why they are paid millions of dollars and this is why they love doing what they are doing.

      All the rule book is doing is making this sport as dull as possible.

      If drivers are allowed to drive towards each other in the kinds of speeds F1 cars can achieve people will be killed. I want to see exciting, wheel-to-wheel racing but you have to set boundaries and what Schumacher did on Sunday went far beyond what could be termed acceptable driving.

      1. Well said Keith. I think the stewards are much more dependable this year, and it would be good if they could decide on clear guidelines for the drivers. Without Mosley seemingly happy to be able to use the stewards to be puppets in his politics, that has a chance of working.

      2. It was exciting,it was wheel to wheel racing Keith.

      3. “Compared to previous seasons I think they’re definitely doing better. What decisions do you think were ridiculous?”

        Maybe not rediculous, but there was certainly enough to last for the remainder of the saison. Every little thing is put under a microscope and analysed. Every small driver error is penalised. How is a young and inexperienced driver supposed to try to overtake someone when his mistake will cost his team a 5 grid penalty? It’s racing for crying out loud. You’re supposed to have crashes, touches, people pushing themselves and their cars to the limits. At least this was the case 10-15 years ago. Look at your videos again and instead of using them as examples for ‘improper conduct’, how about showing off great driving and encouriging it?

        “If drivers are allowed to drive towards each other in the kinds of speeds F1 cars can achieve people will be killed. I want to see exciting, wheel-to-wheel racing but you have to set boundaries and what Schumacher did on Sunday went far beyond what could be termed acceptable driving.”

        Could’ve..should’ve. I repeat again that nothing happened. The two most recent Major crashes during a race which I remember was the Kubica crash in Canada and Webber this year and it had nothing to do with ‘driving towards each other’ (and not to mention that both drivers walked away relatively unhurt). Your article falls flat on it’s face based purely on the fact that there isn’t one recent example where a serious crash was caused as a result of what you’re saying. All we got was exciting racing which gave us those beautiful videos you posted above. Barichellos move will be remembered now.. and why? Because of the “EVIL” Schumacher.

        1. Something I forgot to mention…the Superleague Formula Crash can hardly be used as evidence. Looks like a clear driver error. He had plenty of time to back off but for some reason drive straight into the back of him. I don’t think a Formula 1 driver would make a mistake like that and even if they did, it wouldn’t prove your point. The driver infront had every right to close the door.

  40. schumi was watching his mirrors…..and pushing rubens hard near the wall….but i feel he is causious enough to be safe…as you guys can watch in the video that he moves left to avoid rubens to land up in grass or something……HE KNOWS WAT HE IS DOING…..but he is punished for that…..rather webber in turkey not punished…neither anyone is punished

  41. Barrichello will finish ahead of Schumacher in the final points at the end of the season driving a Williams-Cosworth. That’s the rivalry to watch. Schumacher only has 38 points. Barrichello’s only eight points behind and doing well. Schumacher has Barrichello in his head, not the other way around.

    1. We’ll be all looking forward to hearing Rubens say the same Mark Webber said when lapping Schumi in Hungary.

    2. @GWBridge Yes,so you keep saying over and over again……..you sound like an old gramaphone needle stuck in a groove.

      Has Schumacher personally assaulted you in a dark alley?

      1. Dianna, if Schumacher could gain a championship point, he would assault anyone in an alley. And I do mean assault. I’ve never witnessed such desperation in a driver since I started following this stuff forty years ago.

        And, yes, Schumacher has Barrichello in his head, not the other way around. Barrichello will finish ahead of Schumacher in the final points at the end of the season driving a Williams-Cosworth.

        1. Broken record indeed haha…

  42. theRoswellite
    3rd August 2010, 4:42

    Why has the highest level of motorsport on the planet permitted such an aggressive level of blocking to persist?

    The behavior is unsafe and unprofessional.

    The stewards should treat each occurance as a significant safety violation and suspend drivers accordingly.

    Mr. Schumacher seems to to have lost much of his former speed but little of his penchant for succeeding through intimidation.

  43. WOAH! wait wait wait!

    I think, this is being taken WAY out on context, Now, We all realise that F1 is dangerous, And we also all realise that what Schumacher did was very stupid, But I think, a lot of you guys, Are crucifying him, possibly because he is Schumacher. That’s not cool.

    We see stunts like this, ALL the time, Can anybody remember Sepang with Lewis weaving all over the track? Or numerous other incidents that have occurred and been mentioned by other people, what about Alonso and Kubica fighting over the chicane, This stuff will happen, And I don’t think cutting Schumacher in two will A) make them go away or B) stop anyone from doing these things, it’s racing, sometimes it gets dangerous. And I’m sure many other drivers would do the same thing. Even if they wouldn’t admit to it.

    Keith, is it really fair to use that crash to demonstrate your point? I mean, look at what happened with Webber and Kovy, you could point to that and say fast cars shouldn’t be racing alongside slow cars.

    I know, what happened was very dangerous, but the amount of people who have jumped on this Schumacher is evil bandwagon is astonishing, The amount of comments suggesting Schumacher was purposefully trying to hurt Rubens is just absurd, I think, in the end, We should look at this incident and say, what a great battle, Because it was, an epic piece of overtaking.

    All I mean is, We have seen far worse, don’t let Schumacher’s reputation skew your opinion.
    Pretend it was two other drivers.

    1. I love cool and collected posts like this. Thumbs Up Mike! ;)

      You have to remember that alot of people here are just waiting for a Schumacher mistake so they can jump on his throat. Nothing new.

      1. Cool collected post but one that misses the point and confuses non issues or accidents with deliberate actions.
        Hamilton weaving was no threat to anyone beacause if you watched the race you would notice that his move was immediately copied by petrov hence wasn’t a blocking move Webber Kovi accident was exactly what it was, an accident cause by a driver who through no fault of his, misjudged the performance of the car ahead.

        If he had compared this move with, Massa and Kubica china 07 or even one of Massa and Webber Keith highlighted above, then his comments would have been sensible

        1. Oliver, that’s not very fair, I did say, “what Schumacher did was very stupid” and I meant it.

          Hamilton’s move was clearly dangerous, and could have ended very badly, I think, as long as you say what Schumacher did was potentially dangerous, you must see the chance of Hamilton’s antics being dangerous as well.

    2. But Keith uses this incident with Schumi only to point out, that this move was just a more extreme version of what we have seen all over racing in the last years (just like you say for yourself).
      And he goes on to say the fact it actually got punished might be (hopefully) the start of clearing what’s allowed to curb back on going off track to overtake/not fall back, push people of the track etc.

    3. Keith, is it really fair to use that crash to demonstrate your point? I mean, look at what happened with Webber and Kovy, you could point to that and say fast cars shouldn’t be racing alongside slow cars.

      Do you mean the Superleague crash? Yes, it’s absolutely fair to use that as a point of comparison. This was the kind of accident Schumacher’s driving could have caused on Sunday.

      The Kovalainen and Webber thing only proved that when you’re racing a driver in a slower car you should have the sense to realise he’s going to brake earlier for a corner than you are.

      1. Sorry Keith, My comment was uncalled for.

        It’s just unfair to accuse Schumacher of trying to hurt Rubens on purpose, something others have suggested, but clearly you weren’t.’I took your comments way out of context.

        @BasCB – Your right on the money with that.

      2. “Do you mean the Superleague crash? Yes, it’s absolutely fair to use that as a point of comparison. This was the kind of accident Schumacher’s driving could have caused on Sunday.”

        As I’ve mentioned on the last page, that accident is nowhere near the same thing. The driver infront had every right to close the door and the driver behind just ran into him. Driving error…

        1. I’m not talking about where to pin the blame for the crash, I’m talking about the consequences of the crash.

  44. Webber had also closed the gate far earlier and Massa was pretty cheeky lining up from that far out to go into a place most would say there was no hole. And Webber also pulled left at the critical moment in the pass and it was he who avoided the collision. Schumacher didn’t pull back at all.

    The word “intimidation” is the operative one. Schumacher in Hungary did it into T1 with Buemi and then in the next moments with Button when Schumacher returned to the track dangerously. Both those guys knew Schumacher would take them out if they held station and lost position accordingly.

    1. I agree cheers. Initimidation tactics work for him most of the time though. When they don’t, we get an incident like the one above. But this is what makes him great. Everyone thinks very hard before even attempting it.. purely because he puts the fear in them. How many times did Button fail to overtake him this season? I’m counting 3.. the latest one the last weekend where he didn’t even dare to make a move. Drivers are scared of him…you need to have balls of steel to make it stick and this is what makes Barichellos move so awesome..and the MS bashing so pathetic..

  45. Gleeson@Geelong
    3rd August 2010, 6:35

    I feel that this is partly the fault of Rubens. When you look at the footage above, at 1 second his nose is just at the back wheel of Schumacher. There is only just enough room for him at this stage and looking forward you can see the wall coming out. So it is not Schumacher moving to the right by using the steering wheel, it is the track bending to the left that is reducing the space available.

    So there is very little room to start with, and the wall coming out is going to make it even smaller.

    Schumacher comments that he expect Rubens to go to the other side.

    Also: How wide is the tarmac? 4 car wide? So looking at the one second part (can anyone provide video that goes back further?) they are already far across to the left. That leaves 2 car widths on the left. Rubens has decided to take the narrowest section, just so he has the inside, causing the start of the problem.

    He did put himself on that side. I can only pass on the inside mentality. With all “normal” passing done on the inside, he has been blinded by the inside line that there is a possibility that a pass could be done on the outside.

    Is it not the responsibility of the driver behind to ensure that they are able to complete the pass safely?

    1. Gleeson,
      The thing is that it happened on the start/finish straight, the track doesn’t bend left at all.. have a look on Google Earth and you will see.. (Mogyoród near Budapest). What you are seeing is where Schumacher pushed Barrichello into the pit exit lane then they both had to swerve left to avoid the grass. I reaaly can’t see any fault on the part of Barrichello.

    2. You can’t blame Barrichello for this at all. Look at the moment at which he chose to go to the right of Schumacher – there’s clearly room on the inside for him to go. If Schumacher really wanted to prevent him going down the inside he’d have been two car lengths further across to the right.

      But what Schumacher really wanted to do was wait until Barrichello had begun moving alongside him and then close the gap, intimidating Barrichello into coming off the accelerator.

      Kudos to Barrichello for keeping his foot in.

      1. I guess Schumacher forget to watch formula 1 last year and never saw a Barrichello who was able to fight for the championship until close to the end. He just didn’t believe his former teammate had found enough confidence and guts in himself to stick with it.

  46. Mike,
    I think the point is that Schumacher has brought this level of criticism upon himself for the tactics/questionable moves he has used throughout his career of which there are far too many to list.
    It would seem to me that although he was unqestionably talented once, though now his team mate is giving him a good thrashing, at heart he is a bully. Perhaps now the chickens are coming home to roost as they say.
    As Grantland Rice once said..
    “For when the One Great Scorer comes
    To write against your name,
    He marks-not that you won or lost-
    But how you played the game”.
    Schumacher will be remembered as much for his dirty driving as his results.

    1. So nicely put, Spike. Many people in these forums seem to have lost sight of the fact that this is a sport. The road to greatness is to excel within the restrictions imposed by the rules and by good sportsmanship. The rules are there to make it difficult to achieve the goal of the game. If you ignore the rules and the spirit of the sport, you won’t be regarded as great. You’ll simply have a high tally of scores.

  47. Well, there is a difference between such defending one’s position that may push the other car onto the grass… and a heinous act like this, blocking the other car and threatening it with crushing against a concrete wall…

    Even thoug both may be legitime, I consider the former completely fair, and the latter one unfair. I can’t remember how close the 2 got, but I think it was so close, that if either of them had hit the brakes, the tyres would have collided, which would have meant that the car slightly behind (here driven by Rubinho) would have run over the car slightly ahead, which could have resulted in very serious injuries to both drivers (but Rubinho would have fared much worse, IMHO).
    That is why it was so dangerous – unlike a manoeuver to push the other car onto the grass, which usually ends with a slight “time penalty” for the driver who took the risk and tried overtaking at a corner, rather than on a straight…

    Slightly off-topic: we may see fewer of these next year, because of the introduction of adjustable rear wings, which are there to encourage overtaking at straights. While this certainly increases the attractiveness for the spectators, it is nowhere near any sort of fairness, as only the trailing driver may adjust his rear wing geometry, which gives him an unfair advantage over the leading driver in overtaking, who cannot use the same driving measures in defending his position…
    In other words: your car then may not be as fast as the one immediately behind you, because that driver wants to overtake you…

  48. Yorricksfriend
    3rd August 2010, 8:21

    If they didn’t have bitumen run-off areas, people gaining an advantage by cutting a corner wouldn’t be a problem. I miss the old days when if a driver went off the track, he stayed off the track. Where is the skill these days?

  49. Fair point on what people remember Keith but not everyone remembers the truth mclaren fan seems to think senna was a safe clean racer throuout his career only the real f1 fans remember the dirtier bits and accept it as part of what made them great.

  50. I find it interesting that people always talk about Senna’s move on Prost. Don’t people remember Prost move on Senna years before at Mclaren? Exactly the same thing. However, in this case, Senna was not to blame IMO. Why? In that race, Prost needed to FINISH to win the championship. Senna was ahead in the championship. In that case, if you see the footage, the Mclaren was faster and he got his nose on the side back of the Ferrari. He didn’t crash on the back of Prost. Senna saw the gap and he thought “If we both don’t finish this race, I win, so, Prost, you better let me pass now or I’m champion. Move away”. Prost’s mistake was that he was the one with everything to lose and CLOSED THE DOOR with Senna’s car on his side. His mistake. Its all part of strategy. This is nowhere comparable to the abomination that was Schumaker’s move on VIlleneuve, or him “losing control” against Hill. Again, talking about Senna, I remember there was a particular race in the rain that he was almost lapping the second place driver and he demanded the race to stop to the stewards for everyone’s safety. Have you seen anyone doing this ever in F1?

  51. You’ll never see a driver stop his car on track and jump out to help a driver who’s crashed it’s interesting to read your take on the situation but as I said in an earlier post sennas words after he RAMMED Prost and I quote ( I do whatever it takes to win) and it’s that attitude aswell his skill in all conditions that made him so good

  52. most biased f1fanatic post ever!

    1. specially for the part to throw the players out, putting Kubica taking out Alonso at Silverstone (which I can’t really see, I suppose your cameras had a different angle than mine) just to have a chance to talk again about Kimi taking out Lewis at Spa (tell me, where Kimi should have gone, and why didn’t Lewis continued if he had the inside line… same as alonso)

    2. Biased towards what – safety? Dang that Keith, he’s so unfair!

  53. This is my last post on the matter as I’m bored of this topic what do you think that race will be remembered for shueys dirtiest move (doubt it) or or rubys bravest (probably).

  54. Why do journos and sportsmen always demand 100% consistency from officialdom in an arena that by its very nature isnt consistent. Even if we raced the same track every week with the drivers in the same grid positions there would still be different issues to resolve. The key with rules is to keep them broad enough to cover things like “dangerous monouevres” not define so tightly that pedants can argue if its on the outside inside or whatever.

    Without wishing to stick up for the already unlovely MS, watching the beeb for your F1 does have two commentators who were royally thrashed by him and a 3rd who left his team after 1 race. It was a bad move but Senna wrote the book on these moves and we all wax lyrical about him. So maybe some consistency on the at eh?

  55. I wonder if the drivers are willing to take more dangerous moves now the cars have got safer?
    After all, if your car is going to disintigrate around you, you aren’t going to try and rub tyres with the guy you are overtaking, but if you are confident with your car, then of course you will try anything in the name of winning.
    However, I am glad that the Stewards have taken this stand against dangerous moves (by anybody), but I think we will have to wait and see if any of the drivers take any notice, and if the Stewards at the remaining races this year will be equally willing to punish similar moves.
    Don’t get me wrong, we expect the drivers to be agressive on the race track, but if they aren’t sticking to their own ‘unwritten rules’ and treating each other with respect, why should they be allowed to race at this level?

    1. I have had another thought about this: Has the GPDA said anything about Schuey’s move, or dangerous driving?
      The GPDA, I have always thought, has stood for safety, so if we hear absolutely nothing about this (or relating to this) from them, we can only conclude that they cannot be bothered……..

  56. playing devils advocate you could say he gave rubens just enough room.

    koboyashi made a similar move last season and yet he seems to be fanboys hero.

    1. autosport just ran a claim from Warwick
      that had they had enough time they would have black flagged him.

      They also considered a 1 race ban.

      I almost would have liked to see Nick Heidfeld come in for a race to see how he does relative to Schumi…

  57. Let me get this right shuey has done no good racing in seven count them seven world championships come on give your head a shake that’s the stupidest comment on this whole disscusion join the real world.

  58. To be fair to Senna he set his stall out in the days when a backmarker was legitimately allowed to hold the racing line so your ability in traffic was a huge part of your chances in a race. Thats now gone so we dont need uber aggressive “i pass or we crash” drivers and we dont need moves like MS showed. But hes not the only one, like i said Koboyashi tried a “kart move” last season and we certainly shouldnt let our view of Schumacher the man colour or exaggerate our view of the move, bad though it was.

    1. Totally agree. The Kobayashi move sprung to mind, as well as Rubens pushing Hamilton into the wall at Interlagos actually.

      But Schumacher really should know better than this, that’s why people are going a bit over the top in critisising him.. and because he definitely has previous.

      The actual resultant penalty is actually quite soft.

  59. yes moving across an opponent at a 100km/h chicane with a wide run off is exactly the same as moving across an opponent at 300km/h into a wall.

    The rules need to be applied to each issue which will ALWAYS have its own unique circumstances. To think you could just approach each incident in the same way is naive in the extreme !

    In football they have something called “dangerous play” so that even if you win the ball, sometimes you can be committing a foul.

  60. If people think Schumacher is singled out I think you can understand why people think he should be even if you don’t agree. Old timers remember the transition from the 80s with that storied code of conduct on the track, to the 90s with Senna and Prost purposefully(!) crashing into each other, not to mention other moves by Senna that would have been outrages years before. Senna left us gasping with his skills such that we were often unwilling to condemn properly his homocidal moments. Also, of course ironically, we were in a period where we had become complacent about safety while at the same time the cars had taken massive performance leaps.

    Then comes Schumacher, right in Senna’s footsteps, and he often turns the crazy to 11. His move on Villeneuve is infamous because it characterizes his attitude toward racing generally: good enough for Senna, good enough for me. Schumacher even innovated his own brands of madness, e.g., syndicating the Start Line Chop—now standard procedure across the grid. This madness you see Vettel and often Hamilton doing at the starts would have been considered beyond the pale 25 years ago–the resulting start-line pile could have killed multiple drivers. You even see people lining up diagonally now!

    Schumacher bridged the period of increased safety-consciouness in 93-96, but didn’t seem to get religion like most of the drivers in that period. Thus, people rightfully want to throw the book at Schumacher for these things because in people’s minds he is like “original sin.” He re-established a way of racing that we had a chance to leave behind in 1994, you could say.

    1. Very insightful DaveW.. nice post and I agree 100%. I actually mentioned the same thing in another post.

  61. Perhaps Michael Schumacher should consider a switch to NASCAR which better suits his style of driving.

    1. I remember that Schumacher once suggested that the regulation added that F1 cars ware fitted with bumpers between the front and rear tyres. Much like a go-kart.

      He got a lot of chuckles for that from people suggesting that he only wanted that so he could do even more bumper car driving than he did up till then.

  62. Enjoyed your post daveW even if i dont agree with it all. Sport needs its bad guys and it needs its rivalries. It fuels any sport and particularly F1.

    Drivers in the modern era like Villeneuve, Senna, Schuwhacker and Hamilton have all pushed the boundaries, tested the rules and in lots of instances have had the rules rewritten as a result. This is a good thing, not bad, and part of the sport both from a driver and an engineering perspective.

    We’re too close to this latest MS misdemenaour to know if it is up there with his worst ( i personally dont think it is). I guess to a degree we are prepared to forgive our champions their flaws but thats bound to wear thin if the champ is now a chump and the slower he gets the more desperate he’ll become.

  63. love it “sociopath”

    Ever the diplomat Keith. Thats a much less loaded word than the identical “psychopath” isnt it”

  64. sean

    Senna ushered in a new era of more ruthless drivers. He is the starting point – hence the association – without Senna pushing the boundaries of fitness of racecraft, of everything good and bad then its doubtful Schumacher could’ve pushed these even further.

    And of course we see everything thru a 15-25 year halo. You cant just watch an incident out of context 20 yrs later and judge accurately if it was outrageous or not.

    However i do agree broadly with your sentiments.

    1. In case anyone is wondering what this is a reply to, my argument (essentially that the deeds of Senna and Schumacher came from very different motivations and are not comparable in severity either, so please stop tarring Senna with the Schumacher brush) is all the way back on page 2. I won’t re-post them but I probably shouldn’t have made them as a reply to a much earlier post.

      antonyob – I won’t argue with your points because I agree with them, including the “15-25 year halo” point. I would like to see someone try to post the list of youtube clips that make the case that Senna had a litany or pattern of really cynical or unfair deeds that compare in any way with those I listed for MS, thereby justifying the “Senna and Schumacher were ruthless b@stards” meme. Japan 1990 is a given…Estoril, OK. What else? You are exactly right, Senna was a starting point, a springboard, meaning that his actions should be judged on their own merits in isolation, rather than holding him responsible for what others did in his wake. The latter is what I think is happening, but Ayrton is not responsible for things that Michael went on to do.

      1. “What else?”

        The problem is that Senna died mate. If he hadn’t we might have had some answers to this question. Fact is both of them were dirty.. and both of them are two of the greatest in the sport, which shows that these things go hand in hand. The ‘level of dirty’ is the only thing which seperates great drivers.

        1. Last sentence might be taken out of context:

          I meant that the ‘level of dirty’ is the only thing which differs between great drivers.

  65. Just to say congratulations on the fantastic site. Have been visiting for over a year but was too shy to comment.

    I never liked Schumacher the man, but I have to respect Michael Schumacher as an F1 driver. His World Championships speak for themselves. I still remember his first win in Spa (was it?) in an inferior Benetton. And also lets not forget his performances on rain.

    However, in no way he can be placed on the same level as Senna. As a driver, as an on the track Champion, as a person.Unfortunately, all the records Schumacher have will live in the shadow of Ayrton Senna- you can see that by the drivers votes for best of all time.

    Here’s a curious thing for everyone to see about Schumacher’s past. You might recognize the “move”:


    And, by the way, the other guy is Hakkinen!

  66. Keith, brilliant article. But to me, more shocking than the move or the sanction was Schumacher attitude after the race, with statements that were simply an insult to the fans.

  67. The Milka Duno Award goes to Mikey Shoe…but lets face the fact that he’s always been this way

  68. This article is superb, Keith. Especially the part:
    “These are clear double standards. Either a driver is allowed to go off the track and gain an advantage or he isn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether they’re on the inside or outside of a corner.”
    I couldn’t agree more.

    And I fully agree to Your view that the rules should be improved.
    Every new seasons change in some rules causes some new problems, which are not foreseen and taken care of pre-emptive by the FIA.
    Even though I don’t hate Schumacher, I think he should have been black-flagged. And I think he shouldn’t have been punished in Monaco – the stewards should.
    And I don’t think someone should have a punishment based on previous merits, unless a previous punishment included a conditional part, which would come into effect if … and then a condition for when it would take effect. You can’t issue punishments or not, while holding them up against a “hidden” or “half-official” scorecard, where the drivers merits and punishments are written, together with a post-analysis of the fairness of these punishments and then try to even it out over the season. If so, the FIA should also try to take into account that some driver or team had bad luck with the safetycar or another driver, who caused them a DNF. Every sport has an element of coincidence, which is good entertainment.
    Every violation must be seen separate, punished and then final, maybe with some conditional punishment.

  69. Schumacher is in the wrong as I have commented previously and verified by the stewards and majority of fans on here, (discounting the schu fanboys) also I have to say so is Rubens with his post race comment about not being a rule for this sort of incident just an understanding between drivers! and here it is -Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.
    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such
    more than one change of direction to defend a position,

    deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or

    any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.

    @ Keith, I think there is another more serious and fundamental safety problem, that the FIA needs to address, to prevent possible crippling injury or fatality in the future, at this and other tracks with a similar pit lane exit. Exiting the pits near the end of a high speed straight directly into the path of oncoming traffic is crazy. Other tracks exit after the first corner where speeds are considerably slower and its safer for all concerned to rejoin.
    What say you ??

  70. Looking at the reply doesn’t look that bad, drivers have always done these kind of manoeuvres. Coulthard crashed his car on the back of Schumi’s 10 years ago, which then sent Schumi to the second place in the championships. Nobody said a word… FIA plays its games whenever they like it.

  71. I just want to put it out there and say that nobody forced Barichello to move to the right, he balked

    1. I don’t think backing off would have clear him,with F1 Aero package they have now the trailing car rides in messed up air.

  72. “(…) It’s clearly better from the point of view of safety (…)”

    And this indeed is the one thing that F1 needs now, more safety. I’m honestly thinking to quit watching it, after nearly 15 years of steady decline, “safety” and teams/drivers always playing it safe. No balls, no heroes….welcome to the “safe” Formula 1 for the 21st century. Hope this sport…errr…business dies, it’s keeping a lot of people busy and if it finally were to disappear, a niche in the market would appear and something that’s actually fun to watch could take it’s place.

  73. I read some words of Mario Andretti recently regarding driving the ground effects F1 cars. He said that there was so little suspension travel that there was no room left for driving skill or nuance. While we hear a lot about the efforts to reduce the “tyranny” of aerodynamics in the current cars, it seems to me that we are still in the same quagmire Marion described. I’d rather see “the limit” have more to do with the driver’s ability to position the car and take advantage of suspension changes. Right now, the aero qualities of the car seem to actually PREVENT the drivers from using any nuance or subtlety. The result is that we see the cars being used as battering rams and drivers making desperate runs into corners they can’t possibly hope to make unless their intention going in is to collide with the driver on the outside. Don’t get me wrong. I like to see racers mix it up a bit, but I’m not seeing much amazingly skillful driving. I’m slowly coming to the point where I might start thinking that a spec-car F1 with less aero, more suspension and a chance for outstanding drivers to shine might be an improvement over what we have.

  74. Haug wants us all to forget the incident ever happened! After all Schumi’s apologised (that’s a first) & accepted his punishment. But when Hamilton weaved infront of Kubica (who was never in any danger) the story rolled on & on for weeks.
    Tuff tit Schumi, i think you’ll be in the news for a long time over this act of stupidity, arrogance, red mist, name it what you like.

  75. Yes, I think Barrichello should have been forced to give the position back.

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