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.”

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237 comments on Schumacher given grid penalty for Senna collision

  1. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 13th May 2012, 18:06

    Correct decision. While not particularly serious (although cars have gone flying in similar positions before) nor deliberate, it was careless from Schumacher who didn’t allow for the fact that Senna was driving a slower car. Senna could have stayed a little straighter, but it’s not like he cut across Schumacher. 90% Schumacher’s fault — I think that’s enough for a penalty.

  2. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 13th May 2012, 18:08

    Obviously, for sure, Shumi made a bit of mistake, I just cant see what it achieve’s to penalize him.

  3. Aditya (@) said on 13th May 2012, 18:08

    Senna DID brake a lot earlier than he should have…and moved to the left in the braking zone as well. Granted,MSC made a mistake too,his reactions werent perfect,but this was clearly a racing incident. What surprises me are the comments here,i know MSC isnt popular,but all the same,some of the reactions here are simply insane. That Senna braked earlier was clearly obvious,yet there are some people who are calling the penalty “obvious”!!!! Its a strange world we live in!!!

    • David (@neiana) said on 13th May 2012, 20:25

      Right. Because a car with very old tires takes the same amount of space to safely slow down as a car with new tires. You’re blaming Senna’s tires on the point in which he chooses to brake. Sound stupid? It is.

    • Kimi4WC said on 14th May 2012, 2:19

      This reminded me of Shummi vs Hakkinen in F3(I think).

      Shummi blocking faster Hakkinen all the way and then Schumacher lifted the pedal on straight so Hakkinen who was following him very close would hit him and retire. He did same thing to Frentzen in earlier Formulas too :)

      • Aditya (@) said on 14th May 2012, 8:55

        That was Macau.
        And the incident ALSO reminds me of the Webber-Kovalainen incident in Valencia 2010. No penalty was issued.

  4. Dave (@davea86) said on 13th May 2012, 18:13

    It looked to me like Senna moved to the right while Schumacher was closing in pretty quickly and had decided to go left and try to pass around the outside. Then Senna jinked slightly to the left making Schumacher think he was going to move over that way so he tried to switch back to pass on the inside but by then he was right on top of him. Senna may have only moved a little bit back to the left but it’s still moving about in the braking zone. That being said it’s the responsibility of the car behind to not run into the car they’re trying to pass so I understand the penalty but I think Senna contributed to the accident.

  5. Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 13th May 2012, 18:25

    Hmm so Schumacher crashes into the back of someone, taking out two peoples races and endangering both of them and drops 5 places. Hamilton stops on track after a session has finished, endangering no-one and not spoiling any other positions, and drops 23 places.

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

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

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

    It is retirement time for Schumacher.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Appropriate decision, Schumi misjudged that move.

  11. 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?

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

  13. 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

          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.

  14. 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.

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