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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!)

  6. 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 ?

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!!!

  11. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 14th May 2012, 10:01

    It’s clearly Schumacher’s fault. There was plenty of room for him to take the outside line, which Senna had left him, but instead he tried to pull to the inside, despite the closing speed and different braking distances.

    In fact, I’m wondering why his penalty is so lenient in comparison to Hamilton’s. I’m far from a Hamilton fan, in fact, I really disliked him, but his penalty shouldn’t have been as harsh, and Schumacher should be demoted ten places.

    I’ve defended Schumi’s comeback time and time again, but this combined with the whining about the Pirelli tyres has done it for me. Leave now, Michael, you’ve ruined yet more of your reputation.

  12. Clyves (@starlight) said on 14th May 2012, 11:27

    It took like nearly 5 minutes for some people to explain their point of view. okay but under racing conditions? you can’t afford to take 5 minutes to watch a youtube video when you’re racing. It’s a misjudgement pass under braking + slipstream. Penalty or not, we’re all looking forward to Monaco.

  13. dkpioe said on 14th May 2012, 12:01

    Senna only turned a slight bit to the left, just to take be able to attack the apex better, as he would have assumed schumacher is way to far back for a pass attempt, which he was. all drivers do that. Schumacher used to be the dirtiest driver and changed lanes in overtaking zones all the time, he won championships that way, so he should not be complaining.
    People who watched the video and thought senna was at fault for moving, look at when he moves back, schumacher had no chance at that pointand the incoming speed of schumacher even after that, its obvious schumacher just braked way too late.

  14. Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 14th May 2012, 12:04

    That was a driving incident. Nothing special really.

  15. Red D said on 14th May 2012, 12:09

    It was just a racing incident in my opinion. You have to take several things in context. For one thing, when you’re traveling down a straight at 200 mph you have almost no time to react. If I remember correctly schumacher instantly tried to change direction going to the right as soon as he saw senna start moving. I guess he assumed that he would keep moving over, so it was schumacher’s mistake but just a misjudgement, an incident. Penalty seems a little harsh but that’s just my opinion. As far as the idiot comment, I’m know for a fact FAR worse things are said over team radio than that, they’re usually just not broadcasted

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