Thursday, August 5, 2010

Schumacher was close to being disqualified

Michael Schumacher could have been disqualified during the Hungarian Grand Prix if there had been more time, steward Derek Warwick has said.

Schumacher was handed a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday after almost pushing Rubens Barrichello into the pit wall.
Ex-F1 driver Warwick told 5 live: "Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers.
"But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively."

Mercedes driver Schumacher apologised to Williams driver Barrichello after initially defending the move which saw him almost edge his former Ferrari team-mate into the wall at 180mph during the closing stages of Sunday's race.
Warwick, whose 22-year-old brother died while driving a racing car, was on the stewards panel in Budapest as part of the FIA's move to introduce former drivers as race adjudicators this season.

The 55-year-old, who competed in 162 Grands Prix for the likes of Toleman, Renault, Arrows and Brabham, said Schumacher's handling of the race was "disappointing".
He said: "We interviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty.
"If we had enough laps [we could have disqualified him] but you have to have video evidence and make sure all four stewards are in agreement."

But while he would have liked to have taken action during the race, Warwick believes that the penalty imposed retrospectively virtually rules Schumacher out of the running at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
"You have to view the evidence you have and you could disqualify him from the next Grand Prix, or two Grands Prix," he said.

"But we felt a 10-place penalty is a big penalty to carry for Spa. It kind of puts him out of the race at Spa, and hopefully he will learn from that and remember that the new stewards will not tolerate that driving."

After reviewing the incident, 41-year-old Schumacher said: "I have got to say that the stewards are right with their judgment: the manoeuvre against [Barrichello] was too severe.
"I obviously wanted to make it difficult for him to overtake me and I also showed him clearly that I did not want to let him past, but obviously I did not want to endanger him with my manoeuvre."

The penalty marks the latest disappointing episode in seven-times World Champion Schumacher's return to the sport after three years in retirement.

The German had high hopes of challenging for an eighth crown with Mercedes, but he has been off the pace and has failed to match team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Warwick, whose own glory days in the sport were in the 1980s and early 1990s, thinks that as a result the Mercedes man is already looking towards next season.
He added: "He has been disappointed with the Mercedes and its performance. He is a winner and all he cares about is winning races and winning the World Championship.
"I think his mindset is already looking to 2011 and winning his eighth."

Critics have said that Schumacher's move on Barrichello on Sunday has tainted his legacy as a champion in the sport.
But Warwick said: "Let's not forget he has won 91 races and seven world titles.

"He is a great champion, a legend, and is up there with the greatest and we need to give him time.
"He has been three years out of the car and come back alongside Nico Rosberg who has done a great job."

No comments: