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.”

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th September 2011, 19:38

    Fantastic long battle between the two of them, probably the highlight of the race. I tried to watch as much as I could on the huge TV opposite where we were and I didn’t see anything to suggest that Schumacher was misbehaving, of course I could have blinked and missed it though.

    Sounds a little like typical Hamilton to be fair. Somethings not going his way so he complains but retracted it as soon as possible. It’s kind of endearing!

  2. racelitze (@racelitze) said on 11th September 2011, 19:50

    I think it was one of the most exciting battles this season
    20 laps or so – great!

  3. kowalsky said on 11th September 2011, 19:52

    michael is getting on the pace, and is very close in championship points to his teammate. Last year was bad, but he is improving all the time.
    If he beats rosberg at the end of the year, and gets a better car for 2012, who is going to bet against him for podiums, even wins? Not me.
    The world championship? I don’t think so.

  4. You can be assured that had Lewis had driven like this, he would have been straight to the stewards.

    • judo chop said on 11th September 2011, 20:56

      Agree 100%. It was a great battle but how so many posters can say Schumacher’s blatant double move across Hamilton was fair beyond me. Especially compared to when Hamilton was penalised against Alonso in Malaysia.

    • Harry Palmer said on 12th September 2011, 16:47

      Paranoid nonsense… the stewards are not known for their leniency with Michael (certainly not this time round) and what he did was within the rules (one move then taking the racing line for the corner). Irrespective of whether it was Michael or any other driver, a penalty would not have been appropriate – or indeed any more or less likely…

  5. “Schumacher was making move defensive moves than he was allowed to”
    Should be “more”.

    Very god duel – excellent advertising for F1. Impressive driving from both. Probably Button had chosen a more fitting gear-ratio.
    I don’t think Schu was defending illegally, and I’m glad that the DRS was not so effective in this race.
    RBR has now destroyed the opposition, by showing that they can also come out on top on tracks like Spa and Monza but nevertheless F1 is still very exciting.
    Good for the Tifosi, that Teflonso made it to the podium, I’m happy for them.

  6. Lets face it, Lewis just didn’t have the balls to pass Mike on the outside,like Vetta did on F.A….now thats what we should be chatting about…anyone post a video of that pass?

  7. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th September 2011, 20:56

    Coming from a Hamilton fan – once you get past the frustration of seeing him compromised in such a bad way (and the gear ratios certainly didn’t help), there was nothing Michael did against the rules. I have to wonder about the Curva Grande incident but in the end Hamilton was going for a gap that was going to disappear.

  8. steve0001 said on 11th September 2011, 21:08

    Everybody wants to be like Mike.

    Was good to watch the difference between a good driver and a world class best of all time driver, if only the car could match Michael’s class.

  9. Glyn Roughsedge said on 11th September 2011, 22:18

    MSC cheats, always has done, gets let off, goes back years.

  10. Warren2185 said on 11th September 2011, 22:41

    I road raced in the SCCA, in the United States, for 16 years. My first instructor said basically, “you can take a protective line to make up for a mistake once-in-a-while, You can take a protective line on the last lap, but if you do it nearly every time during the race to keep a faster car behind…then you aren’t much of a racer”. I can tell you in those 16 years, that’s how nearly all the drivers I met, thought of those people who lap-after-lap, came out of a corner and took the line forcing the guy behind you to take the outside line into the next corner. Drivers had little respect for those that did that very often. Legal yes. But it doesn’t mean I have to respect Shumacher. I think that’s why the commentators had a problem with it too. Because they were drivers at one time. It’s an honor, respect and sportsmanship thing.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th September 2011, 22:53

      I know where you’re coming from, but I find it a rather quaint view.

      This is professional motor racing, and drivers who don’t defend their positions are not going to be employed driving cars that cost nine-figure sums to develop. That goes for Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and the rest equally.

      • Warren2185…you have said well what I think of this matter…and Keith, I’m glad you see where he is coming from even if you find it a quaint view.

        I think that even though this is professional motor racing and drivers must defend their positions in order to keep their jobs, I think that if there was more of what we saw with MS vs LH F1 would soon look like rental go-karts rather than professional. It’s why there is a one-move rule to begin with. Also, with DRS, drivers have been shown to have no defence for the upcoming driver, even look like they are standing still such is the speed differential at times, and they likely will remain employed. Thankfully they don’t just change lines and leap in front of the upcoming driver in a DRS zone in order to keep employed.

        I think that DC and MB had reason to suggest MS’s behaviour might be looked at by the stewards, and that it infringes on the border of sportsmanship if nothing else. They had already suggested it before the really debateable move happened. I don’t think, as some have suggested, that DC and MB say what they say out of some bitterness. And I note nobody has commented on the positive things DC and MB said about MS. The fact that this issue came up is due to some borderline behaviour, and it is behaviour I have never respected, and we have seen so often from MS that I think that is why there is so much debate about it. And why DC and MB comment as they do.

        MS got away with something yesterday, or perhaps he didn’t…the fact that the historically inconsistant FIA decided to do nothing this time does not convince me that what MS did was fair. It was borderline or else there wouldn’t be all this discussion. And to some, borderline is exactly what they are looking for. I’m just grateful that borderline is not so common from so many drivers that it looks like go-karts out there…most drivers don’t go to this length to be so wide because it is not in their makeup and because they don’t want someone in front of them doing the same thing to them.

        There has been many a time when a commentator has explained that this kind of defense only lets the field in front get further away such is the time that it is costing the defending party, and perhaps the tires too…some days it is better for one’s own lap times to let a driver go and fight him back at another corner in the name of keeping the rest of the field close.
        Perhaps that is one of the reasons we don’t see a ton of examples per race of this kind of defending.

        I also wonder how some of the defenders of MS would think if it was LH doing it to him. Or if NR did it? Would they be calling that fair? Just racing? Some would probably say it’s a taste of his own medicine. Some would probably say MS wasn’t fairly treated.

        Somehow I think that just because MS didn’t get a talking to by the stewards, (or perhaps they at least talked to Brawn and told him to remind MS of his behaviour over the radio) this does not mean we are going to see an afternoon full of this behaviour in the next race.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th September 2011, 17:03

      @ Warren – but the nature of having a faster (not equal) car behind you means you have to push and defend harder to keep the other car behind. It’s easier for the faster car to pass because they are faster, regardless of which line the slower car takes.

  11. Schumacher did a fine job of defending with maybe just a couple of instances where his moves might have been deemed illegal, but I have to wonder whether it was worth spending so many laps looking in the mirrors; if Schumacher had let Hamilton past straight away, I suspect they would have both been much further up the road than they finished; Schumacher might have even beat Alonso too.

  12. steve0001 said on 11th September 2011, 22:56

    It’s an honor, respect and sportsmanship thing.

    Yes its also a race and in racing you race to win maybe in your 17th year you will learn this…

    Schumacher did a top job and no rules were broke.

  13. steve0001 said on 11th September 2011, 23:51

    Cheat if you say so..

    It wasn’t even looked into and Lewis himself said it was all above board, but yes you know better. haha :)

  14. Electrolite said on 11th September 2011, 23:54

    I haven’t enjoyed a battle so much in a long time. And it wasn’t even a battle for the lead. To keep no other than Lewis Hamilton behind you like that for lap after lap is brilliant.

  15. elchinero said on 12th September 2011, 0:13

    Lewis is a sniveling toady and needs to have his dxck knocked in the dirt. 16 year-old-teenie-tarlets can handle more disappointment that LH. By a man in a man’ sports. Groomed from conceptions like “The Boys From Brazil.” I’d rather be deaf than listen to his comments, on ANY subject, e.g.., WX, price of gas … Jeezus

    Baja CA, Mexico

    • Don’t sugarcoat it Tony, let us know how you’re really feeling.

    • bosyber said on 12th September 2011, 10:36

      “That’s racing” … yeah, how can we listen to that :-p

      I think it was very interesting to see, and good to know that it is possible to defend in a world with DRS, if you set up your car for it as MSC decided to do. Smart move. McLaren/HAM didn’t take this scenario into account, and were powerless.

      I think HAM was too cautious which stopped him racing properly and just try something else instead of always the same, telling MSC exactly what he was up to, and MSC of course reacted appropriately by keeping him behind. He must have laughed after their first pitstops.

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