Schumacher: “I did exactly what I was supposed to do”

2011 Italian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monza, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monza, 2011

Michael Schumacher brushed off criticism of his defensive driving against Lewis Hamilton in the Italian Grand Prix.

Schumacher said his driving was within the rules: “I felt I did exactly what I was supposed to do and as far as I understand there was no request for me to see the stewards so I guess everything is in order.”

During the race Hamilton repeatedly complained to his team that Schumacher was making move defensive moves than he was allowed to, saying “He’s moving all over the place” and asking “I thought he was only allowed to move once?” to which the team replied: “Understood, Lewis. The FIA are aware.”

Schumacher was reminded by Ross Brawn to ensure he left room for Hamilton at Ascari, where Hamilton eventually passed the Mercedes.

After the race, asked if Schumacher’s driving had been fair, Hamilton said “Yeah, that’s racing.”

Hamilton added: “It was a good race. I got some points and I finished, so I can’t really complain.”

He also explained how he ended up behind Schumacher following the safety car period: “At the restart Michael was on the outside of me and I was looking at him in my mirrors.

“And then before I knew it the guys had gone so I missed the opportunity to slipstream Sebastian [Vettel].

“I got caught napping but once we finally got pas t I was able to chase down and I had fun chasing Fernando [Alonso].”

He said his car’s straight-line speed made it hard to pass the Mercedes: “We just lost a little bit on the straights and that’s why I couldn’t pass Michael.”

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197 comments on Schumacher: “I did exactly what I was supposed to do”

  1. Overall fair but right on the limit IMO. The tighter line than his normal racing line was the most iffy, that put Hamilton on the grass but Hamilton should of expected it, he would of done the same if in front I’m sure.

    Alonso put Vettel on the grass as well but Alonso was a bit fair than Schumacher.

    All good stuff.

  2. He has done well since Spa. I hope he would get much better car next year.

  3. Michael’s defense was great, but let us NOT FORGET his brilliant re-overtake of Hamilton on the outside of the Curva Grande (first long right) after Hamilton overtook him for the first time!!!

    After the race, asked if Schumacher’s driving had been fair, Hamilton said “Yeah, that’s racing.”

    +1 for both drivers. Racers race, that’s what they do.

  4. Hamilton is moaning out smthng? lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDfkz0J74Qg

    • *bout

    • The one-direction-change rule concerns blocking the driver that follows you from going past you.

      In that video Hamilton was not blocking the Renault as the Renault wasn’t even yet in a position to attempt an overtake. Hamilton was trying to lose him from his slipstream, because that’s what the Renault driver was doing: trying to get into his slipstream.

      Only when he succeded getting into Hamilton’s slipstream was he able to attempt an overtake, where the said rule started to apply. And as you can see, Hamilton didn’t change the direction then.

    • That video is always funny to watch!

  5. Dave_F1 said on 11th September 2011, 16:55

    Didn’t really see anything wrong with what Schumacher was doing to be honest.

    He made 1 move to defend & another to move back onto the racing line. You could argue thats 2 moves but thats been accepted many times over the years without penalty or anything.

    As to him putting lewis onto the grass at curve-grande, I recall people defending lewis when he did a similar thing at that corner to alonso in 2007 (in fp3 when they had exited the pits) & glock in 2008 (in the wet which was more dangerous) & dont see anyone moaning about alonso having vettel on the grass there either.
    so why is one of them bad but the others considered fair?

  6. That was a great battle until Schumacher was practically ordered out of the way and let Lewis pass! Embarrasing .. how can Hamilton whine so much.

  7. It just shows, Michael can learn new tricks, from the weave master “LH”, the only reason LH complained was that it was being done to him. I wonder if the tables were turned what would have been the call from McLaren.

  8. I’ve always been under the impression that you can move out once and back once.

    I’d never thought I’d bring myself to say this, but I’m really liking the Mercedes Schumacher more than the Schumacher of the Ferrari/Benetton era.

    I really used to loathe his attitude on track but since the incident in Hungary 2010 I think he’s improved. It’s been painfully slow to watch but he’s showing everyone that he still has got it.

  9. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 11th September 2011, 17:44

    I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but I think Hamilton should take a look at some of Button’s overtakes. Button took Alonso straight out of the first chicane by draining his KERS, and that’s what Hamilton should have tried in the run up to Ascari. I think he had enough pace to close up on Schumacher without using his KERS too much, and then with the combined DRS and KERS he could have gotten past him sooner (because on the run up to Ascari they didn’t reach 330kp/h, at which point Lewis’s rev limiter would kick in).

    • MS let Button by when he chose and then, eventually, let Hamilton by.

      Many thinks this shows more ability by Button. It was just Schumacher demonstrating that he is still up to a great passers ability on a track.

      Helps Baby Shumi,
      Helps Alonso,

      helps removing LH from McLaren at the end of 2012.

      • I don’t think he “let” them by did he?

        I think by the time they passed him his tyres where gone, hence why he pitted straight after.

  10. With one exception (maybe two), Michael defended fair enough today. McLaren Mercedes is a car way much better than Mercedes so I guess it is only Hamilton fault he didn’t succeed. Within a McLaren, Michael would have had no problem to overpass Hamilton.

  11. I think for me, if you are forcing them to have DRS it is seriously disapointing that they then choose to gear the car as if it were not present. This has happened a few times this season.

    What I’m saying is that if we accept DRS as valid way to overtake they are going to need to be forced to run the right ratios or what happened today will happen again and again.

    I loved watching it, really nice battle but he should of been able to pass after a few laps had they not geared it wrong. I’m suprised it makes that much difference, I know the engines are peaky but do they really need to be that precise in 7th? Allow some headroom!

  12. Know what? Schumacher did exactly what he was supposed to do.
    I loved seeing his defensive driving, and although I thought he was crazy he left the right amount of space, precise at the millimetre. Hamilton was as fast as him on the straights but never out-braked him, because Schumy was great at braking late and not runnig wide or locking the wheels. I felt he could’ve made the podium, at the beginning even win the race, but as the tyres deteriorated I put my feet back on Earth and thought 5th place was the best he could do.

  13. I see it as totally fair. The reason Lewis was “put on the grass” was because he went for a gap that wasn’t really there. There was no way he was getting past there unless Schumacher had understeered and run wide… which he didn’t. Thus the door was closed.

    As for the weaving, there was only 1 time where I think he came close to weaving, it was slightly borderline, but as others have said, moving once then moving back to the racing line is within the rules, that’s what he did.

    Hamilton’s problem was that he attmepted to pass too often, and too soon. He was pulling out of the slipstream too early and having to pull back in again. He was trying to get past at every corner whether there was a chance or not. When you do things like that, you just slow yourself down.

    Gear ratios (if indeed they were different) or no gear ratios, Button did not make those mistakes. He made one decisive move and made it stick. Saying Schumacher “let button past” is rather insulting to Jenson for what was a smart overtake.

    Someone in my twitter timeline even went as far as to say (or heavily imply) Schumacher was racist for letting button past but not Hamilton! I mean come on, really? Get a grip!

  14. steve0001 said on 11th September 2011, 18:54

    What we seen today was racing, just seems Lewis fans cry as much as Lewis himself.

    Would be good to see what Schumacher could do with a good car, maybe show these kids how to drive…

  15. mikeycool said on 11th September 2011, 19:27

    I think its fair to admit that Lewis isnt in the greatest of forms as of late, whilst Jenson has been brilliant for Mclaren and outperforming lewis in that respect.

    I do however, believe that its unfair for people to start telling lewis to take a leaf out of Jensons book in overtaking. Hamilton is still one of the best overtakers out there, hes simply in a bad run of form.

    I find it funny that its never the otherway around when Lewis is doing great and Jenson has had a bad race. No one even mentioned Jenson in the same breadth as lewis after the race in China.

    I’m not trying to be Lewis biased. I’m just saying the amount of criticism he has received lately is undeserved. People saying that Jenson is now the teams no. 1 can only make that sort of claim if Lewis is consistently outperformed over a long period of time and not after a few races in 1 season.

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