Schumacher given grid penalty for Senna collision

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Bruno Senna, Williams, Barcelona, 2012Michael Schumacher will be docked five places on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix following his collision with Bruno Senna during today’s race.

Schumacher ran into the back of the Williams at turn one on lap 13 while trying to overtake Senna.

Schumacher blamed Senna for the crash, calling him an “idiot” on his team radio afterwards. He added later: “I want the stewards to clarify what happened. He moved to the right, but he shouldn’t move back in the braking place to the left that sharply.

“I’m just behind him and I don’t know how sharply he is going to move. So it was all very dangerous.”

Schumacher recalled another collision between their pair in Brazil last year, saying: “I don’t know what he was trying to prove but in Brazil last year he was driving into my car and today he was doing funny things.

“A lap before he had an accident together with Grosjean so I don’t know what he was going through his mind.”

Senna blamed Schumacher for the crash which ended both their races: “For sure he had much better tyres than I did at that point, I had quite old tyres. But he decided to try to drive on the inside but he didn’t move there early enough and I had to brake earlier than him so he just hit me.”

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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237 comments on Schumacher given grid penalty for Senna collision

  1. sumedh said on 13th May 2012, 18:25

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MO7F3rfv9Y

    Not the first time Schumi has crashed into a Senna :)

  2. Montas said on 13th May 2012, 18:25

    It is retirement time for Schumacher.

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 13th May 2012, 19:09

      that was 7 years ago and should of stayed that way…. comment not related to todays incident though.

  3. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 13th May 2012, 18:27

    Looked like an open and shut case to me, it reminded me of something Bruno’s uncle once did to Martin Brundle…
    Senna onboard crash (Youtube) (with Jonathan Ross?!)

    Not much of a penalty, but it’ll punish him at Monaco.

  4. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 13th May 2012, 18:38

    Remember Schumacher’s Radio message ‘Who is the idiot?’. As for Bruno moving across the braking zone, the rule only comes into play if there is another car alongside. Considering Schumacher decided to perch his Merc on the back of Senna and still blaming the other driver – Idiot

    • Red D said on 14th May 2012, 12:40

      you have to think about the context of his comment. MUCH worse things are said by all of the drivers over team radio. They just happened to broadcast his comment in this case

  5. David-A (@david-a) said on 13th May 2012, 18:57

    Appropriate decision, Schumi misjudged that move.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th May 2012, 19:07

      Actually the stewards say it was Schumacher’s mistake.

    • James_mc (@james_mc) said on 13th May 2012, 19:21

      Pictures 5 – 6. Senna is the same distance to the pit exit line, but Schumacher moves onto the same line. Schumacher had ample room to go round either side earlier on the straight.

      • kaks said on 13th May 2012, 19:32

        Pic 5 – michael wants outside – look closely at senna he pointing the car left then when michael wants the inside line he turns right -pic 6
        At pic 5 its already 4th move.
        He has ample room, but where would he go with senna pointing the car in 4 different directions within that.

    • cosicave (@cosicave) said on 15th May 2012, 12:33

      Four changes of direction eh? You should apply to Silverstone as a steward with such outstanding knowledge of what constitutes a change of direction in F1.

  6. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 13th May 2012, 19:07

    I believe Schumi made a bad judgement …. but, I also believe Senna was a hopelessly fighting already a lost battle with those old tires and backing up everyone else. Is it a common trend with brazilian drivers?

  7. Had to grin when the tv reporter felt the need to ask MS afterwards if the ‘idiot’ word was in reference to Bruno…

  8. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 13th May 2012, 19:34

    My view of this accident was that the most of the blame lies with Schumacher. But Bruno wasn’t completely blameless.

    Anyhow, I think it’s a real shame that another penalty is given out. There’s too much of blame culture going around the stewards room nowadays, and this is more of a general point about F1. When people are racing at such high speeds, accidents happen. When everyone looks for retribution all the time, it eventually ends up ruining the sport.

    In my view penalties for unsporting behaviour, or “avoidable collisions” should only be given in clear cut cases where one driver is wholly to blame. After all, every collision is avoidable.

    • Rob8k said on 13th May 2012, 19:53

      Totally agree with you, voiced opinions that penalties are ruining the sport countless of times but the FIA seem adamant that this is the way forward. I would like to see the stewards state that this is a racing incident and tell the two drivers to learn from this.

      My opinion is that I believe Schumacher has to carry most of the blame for the incident but deserve a penalty…no. Retiring from the race is a penalty in itself plus I prefer the scenario where what comes around goes around. Look what happened in Malaysia when Schumacher got tapped in the back by Grosjean, I know totally different circumstances but still is an “avoidable collision” but it’s just unlucky and a RACING INCIDENT!

      • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 14th May 2012, 14:14

        Agreed. The need to mete out punishments for almost every incident/collision will eventually ruin the sport. And the amount of what i will controversially call “new” fans to the sport, who clamour for these penalties is not helping either. I suspect it must come from a lack of understanding about what racing involves.
        Anyone who has done the tiniest amout of Karting when speeds are only up to 60mph wil understand the idiocy of screaming hysterically for punishments when incidents happen.
        Imagine the calls for these kind of punishments when real wheel to wheel racing ws actually done in the days of Senna, Prost, Mansell and a certain Schumacher.
        When drivers race, rather than follow themselves, incidents WILL happen. It is NOT possible for a human being to judge distances and movements at speed of up to 200mph correctly ALL of the time. These guys are NOT metronomic robots. I think people forget that sometimes!
        This was simply a racing incident, and to expect stewards to use their grey matter on this issue and many others is obviously asking for too much. To punsih Micheal is simply madness!

        • cosicave (@cosicave) said on 15th May 2012, 5:41

          @kbdavies
          Interesting KBD.
          Perhaps you are aware of why it was deemed necessary to introduce penalties for some particular types of antics?

          You may not agree, but when one driver decides he will respect standard open-wheel racing protocols by doing his best to avoid collisions, whilst another calculates to ‘win’ a title by erasing his challenger on track if necessary, their clearly needs to be a rule about what is allowed and what is not.

          Of course, the problem then becomes how the rule will be applied and when any punitive measures may be considered necessary – which of course can never be a black or white case with different ‘referees’.

          P.S. I am pleased to read that you may have done some karting, even if your speeds have been restricted.

  9. Girts (@girts) said on 13th May 2012, 19:45

    I believe that Schumacher needs to retire after the end of this season and that this is just another proof that he has ‘lost it’. Blaming the rules for one’s personal inability to get the results already says enough but this case is even more telling. I’m generally against any penalties handed for ‘causing avoidable collisions’ but this was clearly Schumacher’s fault. He seemed anxious already a couple of laps before the collision and afterwards described the situation as if Senna had been weaving like Hamilton ahead of Petrov at Sepang in 2010, while actually Bruno hardly changed the direction.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 13th May 2012, 20:14

      @girts I don’t agree that Schumacher should retire, he was very unlucky in the first four races. I do believe if he can have a trouble free weekend, he can get a solid result.

  10. Alfred (@afya) said on 13th May 2012, 20:45

    I think Schumi is already impatient the lap before the incident. I remember him doing some big movement behind Senna. But Senna really shouldn’t move back and forth base on current rules.

  11. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 13th May 2012, 20:56

    I wish someone would have labelled Schumacher an ‘idiot’ on the radio when he had been doing these things for 21 years to others.

  12. Mayank (@mjf1fan) said on 13th May 2012, 21:10

    for all the anti schumachers out here…watching video on youtube…it is clearly evident that senna did changed his line twice…once by going right and then again goin left and braking early..and acc to current rules..driver can defend their positions moving in one direction…nd not like what senna did ( moving twice) . Schumi didnt deserve any penalty . It is just his sheer bad luck and also jealousy on part of other people that he is been pennalised. No one can win 7 WDC . I hope mercedes do ask for a ruling against the penalty. Here’s the link for the video where senna did move back and forth defending his positon.

  13. Helmutnewton said on 13th May 2012, 21:39

    Technically, MS is at fault even if the penalty wasn’t really required. However, to view things in context: you have 2 cars fighting for position. They pit simultaneously for fresh tyres. They are both desperate to regain initial positions and to fight each other. There is a slow car in the way, on very old tyres by the driver’s own admission. For some obscure reason, it is determined not to let anyone pass at any expense. The first car goes by, the price being a broken front wing. The second car isn’t as lucky. There are obviously no winners but the logic of all this is beyond my comprehension.

  14. TdM (@tdm) said on 13th May 2012, 23:47

    I would say racing incident. The way I see it, Senna left the door open on the outside, Schumi went for it.

    From Senna’s point of view:
    Senna moved back to the racing line not expecting Schumi to be coming so fast, when he noticed Schumi coming he stopped moving across thinking that he could no longer take that line and started pointing the car back to the inside to allow space and take his line into the corner.

    From Schumi’s point of view:
    Approaching fast he had plenty of space on the outside which is what it looked like Senna was showing him (making him go the long way round). This was a logical thought. He’s quite close and committed to the move as Senna brakes increasing the closing speed – It’s VERY difficult to react to an F1 car braking whilst you still have your foot on the throttle as the speed scrubs off very quickly. Anyway, Schumi sees Senna moving back towards the outside line and thinking he’s closing the door, tries to switch back, however because Senna then aborted the move the gap that WOULD have opened if Senna had kept going to the left never appeared, this was compounded by the fact that Senna then turned right again seemingly trying to avoid Schumi on the outside.

    Basically it was a breakdown of understanding between the two drivers – Senna was indecisive in defence and Schumi didn’t understand Senna’s moves in the attack. I wouldn’t want to apportion blame on this, technically it was Schumi’s ‘fault’ has you could consider him to have ‘lunged’ and he was behind but hey, that’s racing especially with the tyres and DRS this year. Racing incident, no penalty should have been given. I really hate the whole ‘the person behind is automatically at fault’ thing. It ruins racing because people are scared of attacking, it’s also often wrong.

    (and I don’t even like Schumacher!)

  15. bla said on 13th May 2012, 23:47

    Isn’t Schumacher the one who won the title in 1994 colliding with Damon Hill and failed to deliberately take out Villeneuve in 1997 ?

  16. W-K (@w-k) said on 14th May 2012, 5:15

    Assuming that Schumacher knows German road laws, he knows that if you ram another car in the rear you are 99% guilty. So he shouldn’t object to only getting a 5 place grid penalty. In Germany he would be lucky to keep his license.

  17. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 14th May 2012, 8:31

    @keith collantine if possible could you do a stats page for Schumacher’s return?

  18. Martin (@mangoman) said on 14th May 2012, 8:39

    To me it seems Bruno pulls back abruptly onto the racing line, in what is or just on the braking zone.

    He also seems to weave SLIGHTLY on the straight whether thats legal or not is debatable but to me it should be discouraged. Just because you brake check someone ever so slightly doesnt mean it should be allowed.

    Schumacher was obviously in a lot of minds with Bruno’s driving judging from his comments after the crash. Rosberg also proved at the last race proved it is quite acceptable for a car in front to change direction abruptly to block another car and run them off the track (if you are schumacher trying to kill barrichello you do get penalised, although that was just luck noone was injured but the potential for injury shouldnt be the sole deciding factor for allowable driving maneuvers).

    The way that Senna has moved across infront of Schumacher so late to me it seems there is no way for Schumacher to know how far he is going to come across and he is already near the side of the track coming into a hard braking zone. He pulls out,gets caught behind bruno braking earlier than he is and has no where to go.

    I assume he cant cant swerve and brake hard which could be why it looks like he drives straight into the back of Bruno. I also remember Webber a little while back when he ran into the back of someone (was it hamilton?) saying how he was caught out by how much downforce he lost when so close behind someone.

    Sure it could be said that Schumacher could have backed off earlier but if a car is weaving and moving around surely there is fault on not just one driver . One car is trying to induce a collision to force another driver to slow down. I dont like that drivers are allowed to move so abruptly to block cars and then ALSO still retain the right to pull back onto the racing line with out regard for other drivers.

    Schumacher took the risk to get past as fast as possible it didnt pay off. Although it annoys me that we want to see overtaking and people racing wheel to wheel. If someone makes a mistake they can get heavily penalised by the stewards.

    With grid spots being potentially so critical these days, it would at least be nice to see a system of warnings, although i suspect schumacher would use them up before the end of the season. But drivers of his quality (although he has lost some of his edge) are by nature quite aggressive.

  19. Aditya (@) said on 14th May 2012, 9:01

    So, Hamilton is penalised and Keith agrees that the penalty is harsh. Schumi is penalised, and Keith agrees it is in the right.
    I know this is not a debating group, but why is he consistently taking sides? This is almost as bad as the press!!!!

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