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Schumacher/Barrichello: A Clearer View
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Schumacher/Barrichello: A Clearer View
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Aug 2010   |  7:17 am GMT  |  487 comments

I’m grateful to Russell Batchelor, the photographer who took this amazing photo, for sending me a high resolution version so you can see more clearly exactly what was going on between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello on the Hungaroring pit straight, late in Sunday’s race.

There’s a full size version at the bottom of this post which really does it justice.

Photo: www.xpb.cc

We’ve had hundreds of comments about this incident, with some calling for Schumacher to be banned and others arguing that Barrichello should stop bleating.

I’ve picked out one recent comment from Andrew C, which I thought was very interesting and well written to go with the picture for a calm re-consideration of the situation now that a few days have passed. What I like about it is that he isn’t bogged down by a partisan pro Schuey or anti Schuey mentality, he’s approaching it from the point of view of someone who loves F1 because it is the best drivers in the world doing things the rest of us cannot imagine doing.

I’m not saying he’s right or wrong about his conclusions on Michael’s ethics, but I found the approach really refreshing and it reminds us all of why we are so passionate about F1, whether we are insiders of outsiders.

Here it is:

Andrew C writes: “I must have rewinded the tape 15 times to watch the absolutely excellent pass Rubens put on Schumacher. Funny thing was, Martin Brundle stating seconds earlier that Rubens didn’t have the ‘cajones’ to do the work. The best way to look at the move is in real time… and not still photos.

“It is two of the most experienced, and winning drivers ever, giving each other centimetres of space. The move takes place in a time/ space — call it ‘reality’ — that the average bloke simply could not understand, adjust to or follow through on.

“Sure, subsequently, Rubens could call it the most dangerous moment of his driving career but it was also one of his finest. He had his eye firmly planted on the end of the edge of the pit wall and knew precisely how much driving was needed to pass Schumacher.

“Unbelievable. And to think that in that same instant, Schumacher also knew just how much was too little a width to offer. Within centimetres and at 180mph.

“These guys know each other better than you and I could ever do. There may be some competitive angst towards each other but it is balanced against a knowledge of their ‘craft’ that makes them one of the hundred or so people ever to win a F1 GP.

“It is the kind of thing that sets apart an F1 pilot from the rest of us.

“I’m pleased about the penalty. It wasn’t ‘reckless’ driving in the sense that both drivers put their cars into spots which only left the likelihood of one coming out in front. Rubens persevered.

“So I answer the survey as ‘tough but fair’.”

Almost 10,000 of you have responded to the JA on F1 poll in the last two days and Andrew C is one of the 21% who said the move was “hard but fair.”

Unfortunately for Michael, 73% went for “outrageous”.

FIA steward and former racer Derek Warwick says that he would have called for Schumacher to be black flagged if the race wasn’t about to finish and said he was ‘disappointed’ by Schumacher’s attitude when interviewed by the stewards after the race.

He added that a 10 place grid drop penalty might not sound much, but at a place like Spa, it will effectively ruin his race. So although he’s there and the fans can see him, he won’t take anything from the weekend so it has a similar effect to taking him out for a race.

That’s fine, but as we know at Spa with rain and safety cars, anything can happen…

We are moving on from this story now, but before we do, we have a JA on F1 competition.

Predict where Schumacher will start the Belgian Grand Prix on the grid and where he will finish it. Remember that he will go back ten places from where he qualifies. So if he qualifies 10th, he will start 20th.


The first entry that gets it right, or the nearest, will win a copy of my 2008 biography of Schumacher, “The Edge of Greatness”.

Usual rules apply, you can only enter once and if we have more than one correct answer we will go back through the comments log to find the first one submitted chronologically.

Good Luck!

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487 Comments
  1. pluisje says:

    Schumacher will start 21st.

    1. pluisje says:

      Oh, and he will finish 12th :)

    2. Abdul says:

      i think he will start at 20th place and finish 9th!!

    3. allan walsh says:

      schumi will start 18th and finish 10th

  2. gremlin says:

    will start 18th, finish 9th

  3. d.h. says:

    I’m going for 10th.

    1. d.h. says:

      didnt read the question properly!

      finish 10th as first post said but start the race from 19th.

    2. Phil Curry says:

      he can’t start 10th :p

      1. Jonathan Kelk says:

        technically not true – but it is unlikely! If he qualified first, and somebody who qualified 6-10th got a 5 place penalty, it depends on which way round the penalties are applied :)

      2. kenny5 says:

        Thanks james for the great photo. it brings a new angle to the incident… barrichello had all 4 wheels off the racetrack, and therefore the overtake should not have stood. – Remember at spa a few years ago, lewis hamiltons was penalised for overtaking raikkonen, having had 4 wheels off the track … at a previous corner!!!

        Also, i recall Schumacher overtaking raikkonen at Brazil a few years ago…. raikkonen had Schumacher just as tight against the pitwall….the difference?? ..you didnt hear Schumacher whinging about it after the race.

      3. N. Weingart says:

        @kenny5,

        Two points, Rubens is off the track because Mikael forced him there and second if Michael passed Kimi in the same fashion by your own judgement the pass should not have stood!

      4. Jack Flash says:

        Nice point!! Does anybody know in what order are penalties applied?

      5. kenny5 says:

        this penalty for Schumacher again highlights the inconsistancies in the applications of the rules this year.

        Please contrast this penalty with the blind eye turned to Webbers “over the top” overtakinging manouver on an innocent backmarker….. and in another case where he ran his main championship off the track – putting him out of the race…… zero penatlies in either case… and both incidents he actully took his victim out – whereas Schumacher did leave his rival enough room!!

        Fair application of the rules please.

  4. Andy Fov says:

    Start 19th, finish 11th

    1. Praveen says:

      start 14th finish 12th

  5. balint says:

    Grid: 16th
    Race: 7th

    I very much applaud the post from Andrew C. These pilots indeed have so much car control, that this whole wallgate issue does look much more horror than it really was!

    1. dimitris says:

      I still think it was luck, not skill by two experienced drivers. The photographs were taken at different moments of the incident and tell a different stroy. If we put them side by side, the one published in the Mail and the above, we notice the following: In the Mail photograph Barichello’s front left wheels are at the end of what appears the coloured part of the wall, and just outside the white line. The inside of his left wheel is touching the outside of the white line. The rear wheels of the two drivers are centemeters apart.
      The second photograph was taken a few moments later. The front wheels of Barichello’s car are at the end of the wall, his left front wheel is inside the white line, and he is still almost touching the wall. This means he folowed a staight almost touching the wall.
      Schumacher’s front wheel is a few inches outside the white line, closer to it than in the previous photo, but a few inches away from Barichello’s wheel. The point of reference in this case is the wall, from which Barichello was, if he was not scraping it, one centemeter away. Schumacher seems to have closed in futher than in the first photo, pressing Barichello against the wall. The second picture, therefore, does not tell the horror story. The first picture depicts the horror. Schumacher forced Barichello to the wall by making his move when Barichello was already by his side. Schumacher is not blamed for defending his position, but for closing his line too late, when the other driver had already made his move and there was no grass to escape to. It was a dangerous move and he should have been black-flagged. As for SPA, he may not show up.

  6. sixtenths says:

    The real question is surely, how much squeezing is acceptable ?

    I seem to remember Alonso running his own teammate Hamilton on to the grass at least once, Kubica is also in the guilty as hell gang.

    What MS did to RB was nothing special, the proximity of the wall looked dramatic, but it is no different to many other incidents that have taken place in F1, most of which have gone totally unpunished. Above all what is needed is clarity and consistency in the rules and their enforcement.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Schumacher will start 22nd.

      He will finish 13th.

    2. Jimmy says:

      I have to disagree. Not only because of the proximity of the wall (they tend to be quite hard and surely not nice to crash against at 180 mph), but because of Michael forcing Rubens to invade the pit lane exit. Luckily nobody was pitting out at that moment.

      On Schumy and Spa, I’d say he’ll start 18th, finish 11th

      1. Tom says:

        Both drivers knew that noone was coming out of the pit.

        There are boards that light up when cars are coming out of the pits (the flashing LED colour boards).

    3. Frenchie says:

      And I remember Hamilton running Webber on the grass at Monza 08…

      All guiolty as hell. :-)

    4. Henry says:

      What personally made me angry was not the move, which yes was very dangerous but not horrifically so; but his attitude in the post race interview, when he accused barrichello of whining. What would have been the better thing to do was to take the opportunity to smooth things over and compliment barrichello on a very audacious move, that was a little risky. I feel that if he had done that, or simply been a little less bullish about it, many fans might have considered it in a less angry light.

      probably a bit late for the comp, but I predict quali: 19 and race result 12

  7. Phil E says:

    Hmm. I’m passionate about F1 too. I can fully appreciate that these are two top-of-the-line drivers making judgement calls at a speed and in a space most of us simply cannot conceive.

    However we all know that, good as they are, these guys do occasionally make mistakes and the consequences of a mistake right there next to the pit wall do not bear thinking about.

    Many people are saying, “well, no accident occurred so the move was fine.” Nope, not fine. Who can guarantee there won’t be an accident next time someone tries it?

    That’s why I voted “outrageous”.

    1. Frenchie says:

      One of the BBC pundits also raised the question as to if someone was to get out of the pits at the same time, one of the cars could get airbourne. Definitely an outrageous move as far as I am concern.

      Great comment from Andrew C though.

    2. Mr. Wrong says:

      The move was harsh, bordering on reckless, but as stated in the original post, these drivers can handle those situations. Us, mere mortals, look at it from our own perspective and since we would definitely end up been scraped off the pit wall, we simply let our already clouded minds run away with the horrible thought of a nasty crash. Followed by the necessary what ifs, which provide added dramatism to what would otherwise be a non too rare racing situation. This is clearly reflected in the poll results; those of us who did not select “outrageous” are neatly labeled as either Schummy fans or complete idiots who know nothing about F1.
      On a side note, nobody can guarantee anything at all no amount of what ifs can change what happened, there was no accident, nobody got hurt, Barrichelo finally got rid of his whimpy image and Schumacher provided the ammunition for a weeks worth of sports journalism. Not a bad outcome I’d say.
      Poll:
      Schumacher to start dead last and finish 7th.

  8. Chris says:

    I think schumi will qualify 19th

  9. Darryl sleath says:

    I think 19th. Cheers

  10. Simon Emms says:

    Schumacher will start last and not finish. I’m guessing he’ll crash out on lap 5 after a tussle with Kobayashi at Pouhon – at least I hope so, because that’s where I’ll be with my camera.

    1. d.h. says:

      if this is what happens, award yourself a chocolate mouse!

    2. Andy says:

      If that’s right, you have to let us see the shot, before you make millions off it!

  11. bennyboy says:

    I guess 20th!thabks!

    1. bennyboy says:

      and finish 16th

  12. Tim says:

    Qualify 19th, finish 9th!

  13. Ahmad N says:

    Michael Schumacher Belgian GP predictions;

    Start: 22th
    Finish: 13th

  14. Ajay says:

    Andrew sums it perfectly for me. The first thing that struck me while I watched that move was just how gutsy Barrichello was to pull it off. I wasn’t outraged. It was definitely a risky move, but Schumacher’s not the only one to defend his position to the point where it becomes unreasonable.

    Also, is it just me or does the Mercedes front wing look slightly lower than the Williams?

    I predict Schumacher will start 17th.

    1. Ajay says:

      and finish 6th. Optimistic, yes. But this is Schumi at Spa!

  15. Noelinho says:

    Schumacher will start 19th.

      1. Andy Brown says:

        Start 21st & finish 11

  16. John Pinx says:

    Excellent post – many thanks for the enlightened comment, with which I agree. I said in my original comment that Rubens was going for a closing gap, and he really knows that Micheal will certainly not give way readily. Micheal, on the other hand, likes to test Rubens “cajones”, and when he found Rubens was not giving up, Micheal left enough room — just. This the sort of move I watch F1 for, the absolute pinnacle of motorsport played out by the most experienced and daring drivers ever. I sincerely hope they never crash, but I also sincerely hope they will run like this – to the last inch. No-one else in the world can drive like this, it is an honour to watch.

    1. Stew says:

      Exactly. ^^^^

      Schumi will Qualify 6th Start 16th and finish 6th.

  17. Jamie Hilton says:

    Starts 23rd
    Finishes DNF (24th)

  18. Robert Leon Felix says:

    Although I still think the move was outrageous, it was great for F1 and even better for one of my all time favourite drivers – Rubens! How much did that pass raise his stock? ;-]

    As for MSC, I was never a fan until Alonso beat him. It was then I saw his true passion to never lose and this ‘squeeze’ has confirmed this.

    WRT the comp, Qualy 8th, start 18th, finish 10th (just behind Rubens :-))

  19. Christian Backlund says:

    As always, a good article James, and interesting comments by Andrew C.

    I reckon Schumacher will finish 14th.

  20. joel says:

    good job no one was exiting the pits at the time eh?

  21. Marc Foz says:

    i hope he’ll start from 19th and finish the race 12th.

  22. Ajit Moses says:

    He will start the race from 22nd position

    1. Ajit Moses says:

      And he will finish 10th

  23. John Pinx says:

    oh – and for what it’s worth – MS to start from 21 and dnf

  24. Sam G says:

    Schumacher will be 19th on the grid, and finish 10th.

    Absolutely fantastic photo though. However, with the distances involved at the speed they were going – I’m not going to make the call on luck vs judgement.

    That said, I’m surprised nobody’s made a comment about Rubens overtaking while off the race track!

  25. Miha says:

    Since Spa is one of Michael’s favorite tracks, let’s say he will qualify 20th and with a bit of luck he will finish in the points – 10th.

  26. Galapago555 says:

    First of all, I admire the unbiased approach of Andrew C’s comment. It is very difficult to talk about MS in such a dispassionate way – I mean, Michael, you love/admire him, or yo hate him. The most winning ever, the most punished ever, the most “almost everything” ever on F1 history!!

    I voted “outrageous” in the survey. After reading the comment, I have reconsidered my vote, and I still believe that the move was unnecesarily dangerous, and thus MS should have been blackflagged.

    It all happened, as we have been discussing all these days, in tenths of second – even in hundreths -, running the cars at 300 km/h or so, and within centimetres betwenn the cars and the wall… I think it was just a big luck that it did not result in something like Webber crashing with Kovalainen in Valencia.

  27. PaulL says:

    Start 18th, finish 11th

  28. Andy says:

    I’m thinking that with his 10 place drop he’s going to end up about 22nd on the grid and finish around about 14th (if at all!)

    PS every time I see a pic of Barrichello’s overtake I have to wonder how he didn’t smash his car on the wall as it looks like he’s running the wheels straight against it.

  29. ralph says:

    Starts from pit (24th)
    Finishes 13th

  30. Rafael L says:

    Will start 23rd
    Will end 12th

  31. Brian Duddy says:

    Start 22nd, finish 11th.

    Why is that “60″ sign there? Isn’t it supposed to be 100km/h during the race, or has that been changed again?

  32. Michael Grievson says:

    Qualify 11th, so starting 21st. Finish 8th.

  33. didier says:

    Grid 17 th ; DNF

  34. Matt Battison says:

    Start – 23rd

    Finish – 9th

  35. AlexD says:

    Schumacher is going to start last (after receiving 10 place grid penalty) and will finish 14th.

  36. Zaman says:

    Starts 17th
    Finishes 3rd

  37. Tom says:

    I think he’ll start 20th, finish 9th.

  38. William Wallace says:

    I predict he will start 17th.

  39. Alonso4ever says:

    Grid Start : 21st
    Race Finish : 13th

  40. Pulsegirl says:

    Start: 21st

    Finish: 14th

  41. Frenchie says:

    Starts 21st and DNF, let’s say 23rd even if not classifed for the sake of it.

    He might add a little tap on the helmet of Sakon Yamamoto that will put the move taking him out of the race on the first lap. :-)

    PS: James, what happened to the cover of your book? Personal taste, I know, but I prefer the first one with Schumi in red.

    1. James Allen says:

      So do I. This is the paperback, Hard backs are sold out now.

  42. Hezla says:

    Starts 20
    Finish 7

  43. Thalasa says:

    Grid: 17th
    Finish: 15th

  44. Darren S says:

    I’d like to register my guess that Schumacher will start from position 18, and will finish in position 12. Cheers James.

  45. Josh says:

    Great post, my feelings exactly.

    Starts 21st, finishes 9th.

  46. Karen Heath says:

    Grid 18th
    Finish 10th

  47. Ian says:

    Schumacher will qualify 21st & finish 9th

  48. Jim says:

    This is a great picture in hi-res – it actually shows that there’s more room than originally seems from the smaller picture. In the latter, it looks as though Rubens is actually grinding rubber against the pit wall. In the big picture, we can see that he’s actually past the pit wall, and a foot or so away from it.

    It’s still incredibly close, and I wonder if those people who think this move was ‘tough but fair’ have considered what would have happened if another car had been exiting the pits.

    I reckon Schumacher will qualify 22nd. Perhaps a tough higher if it’s raining. It’ll be interesting to see how he behaves during the race.

    1. Phil Curry says:

      You do of course realise that this picture was taken seconds (or less) after the smaller one? Therefore it was further along the racetrack, when Michael decided to give Rubens a bit of room at the end of the wall…

      1. Jim says:

        Well, that’s not what it says at the top of the article – it says the bottom picture is an enlarged version of the top. And that’s exactly what it looks like…

      2. Phil C says:

        When you said smaller picture, I assumed you meant the smaller one which was used in an earlier posting on this site, and the one which was also used by the worlds media. I think it was put up on the 2nd or 3rd August on here, as part of a newspaper story. These two images are of course the same. However, this one image was taken after the more widely used one – whcih shows the two cars with wheels almost interlocked.

  49. Joakim says:

    Starts 22
    Finish 15

  50. Parthi says:

    Starts 18th
    Finishes 9th

  51. CRP says:

    Start 22
    Finish 15

  52. JamesC says:

    Qualifies: 10th Starts 18th (Grid drop + grid drops for others, e.g engine/gearbox)

    Finishes 9th

  53. Jose Uy Jr says:

    start 21st

    finish 13th

  54. Sean says:

    He might end up starting behind one of the new teams!

    I think focus should be on rosberg instead tbh!

  55. Tom C says:

    Great post and crazy good picture!

    Start 22st
    Finish 16th

  56. Neil Robinson says:

    Starts 22nd
    Finishes 12th

  57. Steve B says:

    Great article and comments guys.

    Its true these guys have more talent than we can even understand, but i still wouldnt want to have been in Rubens fireproof underwear !!

    At the risk of opening another ‘can of worms’, take another look at the photograph and imagine if another driver was exiting the pits at the time !!!!

    He would have been flat out and none of them would have stood a chance.

    MS will start 19th and will not finish the race.

    Steve

  58. Luke Potter says:

    I think he’ll start from the pitlane (having qualified 23rd after penalty) and finish twelfth.

  59. Chris Crawford says:

    He will start 21st and finish 16th

  60. Kev says:

    I guess that he will start 21st and finish 14th

    But he shouldn’t be starting really should have gad a race ban

  61. Starts 17th
    Finishes 9th

  62. JohnBt says:

    What a great shot! Rubens must have been 5mm from the wall.

    Schumi will start from 22nd and finish 16th.

  63. Bruce Hoult says:

    Start 21
    Finish 11

  64. Briggykins says:

    Grid 22nd
    Finish 13th

    1. Briggykins says:

      Sorry, not 13th. 14th.

  65. Jonathan Kelk says:

    Qualify 21st, finish 13th

    1. Jonathan Kelk says:

      Just to clarify, I meant start the race 21st – not qualify!!

  66. nick says:

    michael will have a terrible weekend in his favourite Spa.He will start from 24th position and will not finish the race.

    1. nick says:

      i saw there is already an answer starting 24th and not finishing so i change and now say that schumi will start 22nd and not finish the race.

  67. James Stock says:

    Start: 24th
    Finish: DNF, officially classified 22nd

  68. JSR says:

    Hi James,

    Love the site, its part of my daily ritual to visit, and I’m always dissapointed when there isn’t a new article when I visit :-).

    What I find amazing, is that there are people standing right by the pitwall. As illustrated by the pic above. Do they not know what is going on right by their sides?

  69. Phil Snell says:

    Great to see more competitions!

    I predict he will start 22nd and finish 12th

    Phil

  70. Liam says:

    Start 19th, finish 12th

  71. Stokoe says:

    The thing that strikes me most about this ‘new’angle is that Rubens overtook with all four wheels off the circuit….

    I’m not partisan towards either Rubens or Michael but I do think that this racing incident isnt as outrageous or as one sided as certain sections of the media woulf like to make out!

    As for Belgium well i’ll go for qualifying in 17th and finish 9th.

  72. Rungs says:

    Start: 19th
    Finish: 10th

  73. TM says:

    I say he’ll start 21st, finish 13th

  74. Brandon says:

    Start 23 finish 11

  75. Walter says:

    Dead last Except if a car has to be moved to the back of the grid for special circumstances.

    If not with normal quialy he will be the LAST car standing

  76. Thomas says:

    Start 21st
    Finish 8th
    A rainy day!

  77. Danjit says:

    Start 21st
    Finish 9th

  78. tobi-wan says:

    Wild stab in the dark:

    qualify 21st and will not finish the race (DNF)

  79. Martin says:

    Schumacher will start 18th and will finish 8th

  80. Josh M says:

    Isn’t Rubens completely off track there – like Alonso passing Kubica when Alonso got a penalty for not letting Kubica come back past him.

  81. The Kitchen Cynic says:

    You forget that the white line is the edge of the race track. Schumacher ran Barrichello off the race track.

    I’ll go with 17th and 8th

  82. Kev Ambrose says:

    Schumi will start 22nd and finish 12th

  83. Mike Astles says:

    I think he will start from 20th and finish 15th! :-)

  84. He will start as number 18 – and finnish as number 7 after a perfect Spa-weekend whith rain, mud, sun and Belgian waffle…
    I`ll be there for my 16. time.

  85. LeighJW says:

    Start 24th and finish 15th

  86. thomas_b says:

    You all seem to forget that there was the pit lane exit where this all happened. What if someone just happened to come out of the pits? Rubens would have flown all the way to Austria…

    My prediction:
    Starts: 21
    Finishes: 12

  87. KerbRider says:

    Start 19
    Finish 12th

  88. Paul Webster says:

    MSC – Start 21 – Finish 12

  89. AbueloPaul says:

    That is probably the most poingnat comment ever made about this incident. A completely differant take on the atmosphere, no, the essence, of motor sport.
    Andrew is absolutely correct in his evaluation.
    The post race interviews maybe had a hindsight view from the drivers involved, but at the time adrenalin and “ambition” probably deleted the superfast thought processes involved, second my millisecond.
    WE, myself included, were quick to judge and chastise Schumacher for his veering over into Barrichello. But taking Andrews slant into consideration, I have changed my mind.

    It would be interesting to see the print of the heart rate and bp of the drivers at that moment, and the seconds after.

    Thankyou, all, for the review.

  90. dan says:

    start 21st
    finish 9th

  91. Edd says:

    Great photo. I love the ridiculous amount of heat-haze all over it.

    My guess for the competition:
    Start: 20th
    Finish: 12th

    Thanks!

  92. kev b says:

    Start 19th and finish 8th

  93. AdrianP says:

    While Rubens comes out creditably from the incident and the fact that he emerged ahead and unscathed is testament to his commitment and bravery (although in reality, trying to back out of the move would have probably been more dangerous), I disagree utterly with the thrust of Andrew C’s post to the extent that it is intended to highlight Schumacher’s ‘skill’ and exonerate him with the conclusion ‘hard but fair’.

    There are any number of opportunities for an F1 driver to put another driver’s life in the balance unnecessarily and unfairly – it is hardly a testament to Schumacher’s ‘skill’ that he is the only one who does it (the only one who has been disqualified for a season for deliberately dangerous driving, remember). It’s hardly a difficult thing to do to force another driver off the track. There are any number of opportunities for doing the same in any number of other categories. Calling this a testament to Schumacher’s ‘skill’ is not dissimilar to saying that it would be skilful for a race driver to deliberately drive the wrong way down the Mulsanne straight during Le Mans and emerge unscathed – it’s correct in a sense, but hardly what any driver in their right mind would call ‘skilful’.

    1. Allan says:

      I agree with most of what you said, with the exception of Schumi being the only one who does it. For instance Mark Webber did a handy job of squeezing Massa right off the track onto the pit exit at Fuji in 2008… Remarkably similar event (and one of Massa’s greatest passes).

      By no means does that mitigate the level of (in my mind) unecessary danger in Schumi’s stunt, but considering him the only one to pull these moves is not correct in my view.

  94. Andrew says:

    Start 21st
    Finish 15th behind Alguersuari who he seems to like to follow.

  95. Ravi says:

    Start: 21st
    Finish: 12th

  96. Neal Rayner says:

    Very thoughtful article, as ever.

    My prediction

    Start:23 Finish:DNF

  97. Babur says:

    Start 18th, finish 9th

  98. jigarp says:

    Start 20th
    Finish 10th

  99. William says:

    Michael will start 17th and finish 13th.

  100. Elio says:

    I’m glad some one wasnt trundling out of the pitlane at that point…!

  101. leigh wakeford says:

    A well thought out explanation of the incident in my opinion but there is can always be counter argument.

    “Unbelievable. And to think that in that same instant, Schumacher also knew just how much was too little a width to offer. Within centimetres and at 180mph.”

    A good point, we all like to see close racing and I have often sat and screamed at the TV while someone is being drafted front wing to rear diffuser but there is a time and a place. Centimetres at 180mph is the equivalent of thousandths of a second, the time it take to become a serious or fatal mistake within the vicinity of a concrete pit wall.

    I dont think anyone can take issue with overtaking, it one of the reasons that we all love this sport so much. Its just the timing, the place and the nature of that overtaking which should be a consideration.

    Lewis Hamilton was given a warning for weaving in front of Petrov at the Malaysian GP so surely this penalty is only befitting given the circumstances?

    “Sure, subsequently, Rubens could call it the most dangerous moment of his driving career but it was also one of his finest. He had his eye firmly planted on the end of the edge of the pit wall and knew precisely how much driving was needed to pass Schumacher.

    This maybe so, only Rubens can answer that question but did he have his eye firmly planted on the grass area that he was being pushed into? The actual overtake did not occur at the pit wall it was after the grassed area. Even more reason in my opinion for Michael’s actions to be unnecessary? When Raikkonen overtook Fisi who was in a much slower car in the 2005 Japanese GP did he feel the need to push the Mclaren towards the pit wall? No, he made a safe but fair move to defend his position and Kimi went past. If I remember correctly the situation was similar with Fisi making a mistake out of the final chicane.

    “Rubens persevered.” Yes thats true and he got what he rightly deserved but by the same token so did Michael, he persevered at what could of been the to the detriment of both drivers. Sometimes you have to know when your beaten!

    “The move takes place in a time/ space — call it ‘reality’ — that the average bloke simply could not understand, adjust to or follow through on.

    and “It is the kind of thing that sets apart an F1 pilot from the rest of us.”

    Yes this is true but again these guys have been racing since they where knee high to grasshoppers. With all that experience they know exactly what a dubious move is. Yes these are the best drivers in the world, most of which have earned their seats but they are still humans, and humans make mistakes, some of which can have dire consequences.

    I have never been a Schumi fan but I do respect his ability to race but as with all geniuses comes a fault, Sundays race was a clear example of this.

    1. shortsighted says:

      I can see why a journalist wants to butter up a 7 times past champion and re-posted for our attention Andrew C’s comment which argues that Schumacher’s squeezing move pushing Rubens so close to a concrete wall is not dangerous while the recipient Barrichello and the stewards assisted by another past driver after studying the video clearly thought it was, even thinking of black flagging Schumacher if there were time to do so.

      Endorsing such unsporting dangerous moves in motor racing should have no place in a widely read forum as this one especially if it is from the so far well respected journalist. I hope it will not become a regular trend from him.

      1. James Allen says:

        Well your sign on tag tells us everything, talk about shortsighted!

      2. Paul L says:

        Ha! good one

      3. leigh wakeford says:

        Just to add;

        start 19th
        finish 9th

        James can you concur with shortsighted though that the decision by the stewards was correct and putting aside the history between the two drivers so was Rubens in his analysis of the move? As I have already stated with examples (Kimi 2005 Japanese Gp) the move was not necessary given the fact that at the time Rubens was two seconds a lap quicker.

        Also is not “harsh but fair” an oxymoron? The two just dont go together in this instance. Michael was harsh, not fair, his penalty is testament to that (which could have been a lot worse). Agreed Schumi only moved once as the rules allow but how far over did he need to move across the track?

        The white line at the end of the pit lane is a continuation of the very same and there for safety reasons, cross that line coming out of the pits and you risk penalty, pushing another driver into that very same area should also merit a punishment as seen in this example would you not agree?

  102. Mike K says:

    Start 22nd, DNF
    Thanks for a great article. I agree with Andrew C to a point. The fact that there was no accident was certainly down to the incredible awareness and driving ability of the F1 pilots, however if you look at the video, MSC was looking at Rubens as he continued to squeeze him into the wall – he knew he was going to lose the position and yet continued to try and defend against a car which was passing him and was in fact alongside.

    I’m not suggesting we should tell the drivers they can’t defend, but the stewards did the right thing in punishing him. Not sure I would call it outrageous; and the fuss is a bit over the top, but MSC’s move was one of desperation which could have had serious consequences. Personally, I think that the 10-place grid drop was about right as a punishment.
    Mike

  103. David Sherwood says:

    Nice Analysis, but one thing missing – does Schumacher have X-ray vision? Did he know there was not a car exiting the pits at the same time he pulled that stunt?

    I also wonder how much of his punishment was a warning to other drivers – e.g. Vettel, Alonso, Kubica to “Keep it clean” or was Schumi just hit because of previous “form”?

    1. Phil Curry says:

      Did Schumacher realise where Rubens was in relation to the wall? It’s foten said that drivers in these cars cannot see their wings, so I really doubt he was able to look over and see how close barrichello’s wheels were to the wall.

      This photo shows the point toward the end of the manoeuvre. What I want to see is a photo of the point before the previous one posted on this site, when their wheels were interlocked.

  104. Ben James says:

    Starts 19th
    Finishes 11th

  105. opsin says:

    My prediction for Schumacher’s start in Spa – I’m going to say 22nd. Now watch the Mercedes look really fast in lower downforce…

    1. opsin says:

      Oops, missed the finishing too.
      Start – 22nd
      Finish – 14th

  106. Keith says:

    That is an excellent write up that Andrew did, but I really don’t see how anyone can call it “tough but fair”. I mean, even Michael has admitted he did wrong.

    Although, I do now see things a bit differently, I think Rubens had committed to passing Michael no matter how it ended, maybe wanted to end some unfinished business? Rubens could have backed off the throttle, but in his mind he was going past at that point, and I think that he had to for his own sake and also for the fans back home in Brasil, who have recently given Massa a hard time.

    Anyway, starts 18th.

  107. Stephen Pattenden says:

    Grid: 22nd
    Finish: 10th

  108. Colin Morrison says:

    Excellent post by Andrew. I too voted Hard but fair. I think Michael will start 22nd on the grid!

  109. Paul says:

    Start 16th
    Finish 11th

  110. Henri says:

    Start – 21st
    Finish – 13th

  111. Nazdakka says:

    Start 21st

    Finish 13th

    Thanks, and good post.

  112. john brink says:

    Personally I feel that Schumi was a bit hard on Rubens, but having said that he saw that Schumi was moving over and yet he kept his foot in it. If as he says it was the most dangerous move in his F1 carreer then why didnt he brake!!!Schumi was already nudging the white line when Rubens still carried on passing.Luckily they both made it, but man it was close.
    Thanks for a brilliant insight into F1 my great passion. Cheers John

  113. Colin Smith says:

    Start 19th, finish 14th

  114. Maurice A says:

    Hello James,

    I think Andrew C’s comments are well thought and i great comment. I voted hard but fair the only reason because I knew Schumacher was a hard racer. But Andrew C comment put things in perspective and his comment i believe is 100% true.

    What of a cracker of a season we are having though. 5 Drivers for the championship, stunning battles and not predictable. But as always it can be improved.

    Maurice

    1. Phil Curry says:

      How does Andrew C know where Ruben’s eyes were planted? How did he know Ruben’s wasn’t driving with his eye shut, saying his prayers?

  115. Jamie Kirkland says:

    Start 18th
    Finish 9th

  116. Taylor says:

    Grid: 16th
    Finish: 9th

    I gotta say I am totally agree with POV of Andrew C, so I had voted for ‘harsh but fair’ previously as well. Everyone has their own opinion and this will never end. If you support Rubens, go ahead; same goes to Schumi supporter.

  117. Jason Weatherall says:

    Qualify 13th
    Start 24th

    Finish 12th

    I already have the book so just entering for fun.

    1. Which is just as well, coz if he qualifies 13th he will start 23rd, not 24th!

      1. Jason w says:

        I meant to say qualify 14th for the race

  118. Rich Mellish says:

    Start: 19th, Finish: 13th

  119. Start: 22nd
    Finish: DNF.

    I like Andrew C’s assessment – I don’t agree completely, but it shows a nice balanced view of the incident. I however freely admit that I believe that it was an outrageous move – you can see from the picture above that even alongside, Schumacher is still looking in his mirrors. And, the racing track is defined by the white lines – Schumacher has technically run Barrichello completely off of the track. At 180mph. By a concrete wall.

    Just imagine if someone had been coming out of pit lane…

    1. Stuart the old geezer says:

      James, a technical query to add to Martin’s last line. Does the green light at the end of the pit wall signify that it is safe for a car to exit the pit lane?

  120. ian Court says:

    I still stick to what I believed at the time that it was a great move by Barrichello as he didn’t
    Have to keep his foot in as Michael had angled his car towards the wall well before the move started, his two mistakes were
    not covering it off earlier and then not giving Rubens a little more room when he had reached the overlap.

    I believe Schumacher will start 16th and then DNF !

    Finally another great post James, every one that I read only confirms what
    What I remember for two hours on a sunday afternoon what on earth were
    Were the BBC thinking.

  121. Martin P says:

    If you look behind the cars, one of the mechanics is still holding out a pit board for one of them.

    Now the questions is, in the middle of this maneouvre, did they still have the capacity to read it?!!

    22nd on the grid, 16th by the end of lap one and 10th at the end because of a tyre strategy gamble off the line.

  122. Marcin says:

    Starts 12th
    Finishes 9th

    1. Marcin says:

      I mean starts 22nd
      finishes 13th

  123. Jennifer Smith says:

    Hm… start 21st, finish 14th.

  124. Jarrod Spiga says:

    Start 18th, Finish 10th for me.

  125. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

    How about the infamous Mansell/Senna moment in the “Portugese” GP I think, the only difference was the distance to the wall !

  126. Michael says:

    Start 18th
    Finish 13th

  127. Mohawkk says:

    Start- 22
    Finish- 13

  128. Peter Stroia-Williams says:

    Starts 24th
    Finishes 16th

  129. Hyun Soo Jwa says:

    Qualifies 9th
    Starts 19th
    Finishes 14th

  130. chris green says:

    I’m not happy about the MS penalty. The penalty should have counted for something at the Hungarian GP itself. Moving the penalty to Spa could end up being meaningless. What if there was a big shunt at the start at Spa which DNFed the first 10 runners. Anyone further back escapes the carnage and ends up in a good position. So a penalty at Hungary ends up as an advantage at Spa. I know it’s a long shot but crazier thingd have happened. It’s why I think penalties need to be dealt with, if possible, on the spot.

  131. Toby says:

    He’s going to drive up a storm and start from…15th.

    1. Toby says:

      PS Well, 16-20 were taken!

  132. Paul Wilson says:

    Schumacher to start 17th and finish 10th.

  133. Richard T says:

    Start 19th
    Finish 12th

    Thanks for the excellent blog !

  134. Ben says:

    Start – 18th

    Finish – 11th

    Thanks

  135. Starts 20th, finishes 6th.

    And I totally disagree with the sentiment that this was “harsh but fair”. I have been a serious F1 fan for 20 years and I have always abhorred such behaviour, no matter who the driver was.

    The man always pushes past the limit because he knows that he will get away with a light punishment. The FIA could have had a major win and showed that they have changed by black flagging and banning him for dangerous driving, instead they copped out again. Schumi will finish where he is supposed to in Spa, as it’s his favourite track and he knows other drivers won’t bother fighting him and risk ruining their races.

    One only has to look at crashes like Chris van der Drift’s crash in the SuperLeague Formula race at Brands at the weekend to see why this was more than “harsh but fair”. I am very disappointed that people cannot see that forcing an overtaking driver off the track to block him is anything other than desperate, stupid and dangerous and should be severely punished. Even the most ardent Schumi-supporter must consider that?

  136. Usi says:

    will start 18th and will finish in 10th

  137. jeremy says:

    18th and 12th.

  138. Martin Collyer says:

    Starts 24th

    1. Martin Collyer says:

      Finish 14th, sorry for the addition, I didn’t read the instructions properly

  139. Dan says:

    Start 19th, finish 12th

  140. Steven says:

    I think Schumi will start 18th and finish 7th

  141. Bob says:

    He’ll start 17th and finish 12th.

  142. Robert McKay says:

    Image makes for a great desktop background. Kudos to Russell Batchelor.

  143. Langue D'Oc says:

    Grid: 19th
    Race: 14th

  144. Kirk says:

    Belgian GP predictions for MS:
    Start: 23rd
    Finish: DNF (16th)

    Not sure I want a book about “him” though – is there an alternative prize by any chance James, like your 2009 book? :-)

  145. salty popcorn says:

    starts 18th, DNF

  146. James W says:

    Start 20th, Finish 13th

  147. Pete Ward says:

    Starts 21st
    Finishes 14th

  148. cory says:

    will start 19th and finish 11th

  149. Kaanthan says:

    Will start 17th & finish 7th.

  150. Girts says:

    Starts 24th, finishes 13th

  151. kam says:

    James- your work recently has been excellent, even by your standards! It it getting praise on other websites, (pistonheads etc). Well done.

    Regarding the incident, critically Schumi is within the white lines, so I guess he thought he was within the track and made his move to defend down the inside.

    As much conflict drivers such as Alonso and Schumi can cause with their “one” goal approach to racing- and somes the resulting villanary image, you have to respect their desire to win and mind set. Something the average fan, like myself, or indeed the average “good” driver, like most in F1, will never be able to grasp or at least never be “willing” to grasp.

    Rubens mentioned after the race, that he did not want his kids to see his dad racing like Schumi- and Rubens is great man for that thought process, and is man similary to how I conduct my day to day life.

    Alonso and Schumi, I am sure, do not. They are there to win, and get championships-thats what makes the special ones. Alonsos approch to the spy-gate, crash-gate, team order-gate is simply water off a ducks back; its not something I would ever do in my club racing, or want my kids to do, but I am not a 2 times WDC, with more to come, and will never be- gentlemen they are not (on the circuit), champions they are. .

  152. iceman says:

    Start: P22
    Finish: P14

  153. Sam says:

    Start:23rd
    Finish:10th

  154. Aaron says:

    I’m going to go with starting 20th and finishing 12th.

  155. Steve says:

    Starts 17th
    Finishes 12th

    Good points made about their skill. In that case why was Derek Warwick keen to use the black flag? Is he a lily livered so and so? Or are the likes of Jackie Stewart, who saw many of their friends burnt, mangled or dead, and so fought for greater safety, misguided? Sterling Moss would agree but I can’t, sorry.

  156. Rona Harbour says:

    You have to risk it for a biscuit.

    Had the pass worked we would be applauding his skill, no? Well, we have to respect the attempt.

  157. RW says:

    Start 22nd & finish 10th.

  158. lynnduffy says:

    I think that photo raises an interesting point… Rubinho is up against the wall ‘for sure’, but there’s about a foot of space between him and Michael.

    So one could argue that to some extent, Rubens was driving closer to the pit wall than he had to.

    I’m not defending Schumi – it was a terrible manoueuvre and I think he deserved at least a one race ban – but just observing that Rubens made the situation look marginally worse than it was at this particular moment.

    Prediction: 21st/DNF

    1. Phil Curry says:

      If you look at an earlier posting on this site, you’ll see another, smaller picture, taken further back on the track, when the two car’s wheels are almost interlocked, and Schumacher is still pointing into Barrichello’s path. There may be a picture even further back that that, which shows that they were interlocked.

      This image was taken toward the end of the manoeuvre, after the most dangerous part (although here it was still dangerous).

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      I disagree; Schumacher’s car can steer left and right, whereas the wall is not going to move. The safest place is as close to the wall as possible, just in case Schumacher moves closer quicker than Rubens can react.

    3. Zobra Wambleska says:

      I suspect that Rubins thought the wall a friendlier encounter than the rotating mass of Schumacher’s wheels.

  159. TDiddy says:

    Rubens has been ‘squeezed’ by Schumi his whole career. It’s schoolyard bully tactics, and Rubens has stood up for himself by holding station, foot firmly planted. Good on you Rubens, you’re the bigger man- Even though you are shorter…

  160. TDiddy says:

    Oh yeah,
    Start 21st, finish 12th

  161. Naomi says:

    start 19, finish 10th

  162. Steve W says:

    Starts 18th, finishes 14th.

    I have to say I agree that Andrew C’s comment was very fair minded and unbiased. Having said that, I still can’t agree that the move was merely “tough but fair” rather than dangerous. Rubens said it was horrible right after it happened (without the benefit of replays). Brundle also said it was “very naughty…too close for comfort”. I tend to take what Brundle says pretty seriously as he’s been there and knows what its like to have serious crashes.

  163. philip w says:

    start: 22nd. finish: dnf

  164. James Craxton says:

    Start: 21st

    Finishes: 10th

  165. Andrew Myers says:

    The Schu to start 23rd and finish 14th.

  166. Richard M says:

    Start 22nd, finish 13th.

    For me I think the real issue was that had the pit wall not ended would MS of stopped squeezing RB into the wall? and my feeling would of been that he would not of, a bit like what he did to Massa in Montreal but the result would of been catastrophic especially if another car had been exiting the pits.

  167. mohamed says:

    starts 15th. Finishes 5th

  168. Jerome mulryan says:

    Schuy will start 21st and finish 16th in the race!!!

  169. AP says:

    Start 19th, finish 12th

  170. andrew says:

    12th i meant damn this htc phone!

  171. Rhys Davies says:

    He’ll Start 21st and finish 14th.

    By the way, can I just say I’m not a Schumi fan, but this book is a great read. Well done James!

  172. SKWD says:

    The opinions as to whether the move was fair or dangerous per se I shall leave to others. Instead, let us consider the white line between the 2 cars.

    That line is the edge of the track. According to the rules, Rubens shouldn’t be driving it, and Michael certainly shouldn’t be forcing him onto it. Michael shouldn’t have overtaken Jenson at the start using the area outside of the white line, either, for that matter…

    The danger IMHO is NOT the wall itself, it is the fact that, had there been a car coming out of the pit exit, a catastrophic accident could have ensued.

    I don’t disagree that the car control and spatial awareness was exceptional on the part of both drivers; I do contend that the rules have to be enforced – fairly, without favour – otherwise it becomes a circus, not a sport.

  173. Andrew Woodruff says:

    Start 17th
    Finish 7th

    The photo is a great one, although I’m not sure it captures the two cars at their closest point. From the Barrichello onboard shot it looked like millimetres either side at one stage, and I don’t care how extra-terrestrial the driving skills of BR and MS are, with that margin at that speed, luck played a very large part in there not being a huge accident.

    I want to ask James, and apologies for being so morbid, is there a precedent for manslaughter charges being brought against a racing driver in the event of a fatal accident? I hope this doesn’t come across as partisan, but had the pitwall been a metre longer, and had the crash led to Barrichello losing his life (a large and horrible assumption), I don’t think the world would be talking about much else at the moment.

  174. Leon says:

    22nd and finish 14th.

  175. Elly says:

    Well, I think Shumacher will qualify 8th, start 18th and finish 15th.
    Thank you James for the competition and the very interesting issue.
    Best regards

  176. Ray says:

    start 23rd, finish 14th

  177. Renko says:

    Start 16th
    Finish 8th

  178. swayze says:

    start 21

    finish 13

  179. SeanG says:

    Ah… to see drivers passing each other. Rubens should have called is old friends at Brawn/Mercedes and told them he was much faster than Schumacher, telling them “it is ridiculous.”

    Maybe they would have answered. Maybe he didn’t have their frequency/number. Maybe he did not want to deprive the fans of racing. Scratch that last one. This is formula one. Not sport.

  180. Fausto Cunha says:

    He will start 19Th and finish 13th.

  181. Tim says:

    Start 17th finish 11th.

    The only problem with article being balanced is he left out the one variable at that area of the track …….conditions….(good drivers or great, they did not know what was there)..give all the tiny centimeters you want and leave one rock… clump of grass…. dislodged piece of concrete or difference in height of two surfaces…. and you have one hell of a wreck….

  182. Sangeen Khan says:

    Start 15th

    Finish 8th

    1. Sangeen Khan says:

      Btw,judging by the shadows this picture was taken when the cars were about half a length past the pitlane which makes barrichello seem closer to the wall than he actually is.

  183. richie675 says:

    I agree, a really great post.

    James – one thought:

    Wasn’t there exactly a similar incident that went unpunished last year at one of the early flyaway races? I answered ‘hard but fair’ too and simply can’t see this as an outrageous move. There’s obviously the space of an F1 car between MS and the wall with clearly a foot or so either side of RB. Technically RB had to go over the white lines to pass too so isn’t this an Alonso/Kibica style penalty-in-waiting?

    I’m not pro-Michael but this is Formula One and I don’t expect overtaking to be easy-on-the-straights style like Nascar or other series, it’s about the skill involved in driving at the absolute edge.

    Grid pos – 21st
    Finish – 13th

  184. Hugh says:

    Starts 17th
    Finishes 3rd
    Thanks James for the added interest you provide in F1

  185. KidrA says:

    Start 19th, finish – DNF

  186. Mickey says:

    Start 18th
    Finish 10th

  187. Trevor J says:

    Well, after a few days contemplation and review, I have to say that this will go down as one of the most amazing and audacious moves in F1 History and well up with Schumacher’s other moves in ’94 and ’97, except this one failed to result in contact.

    a lot is said about Rubens being a bit of a whiner, and I’m one of those who thinks RB wears his emotions on his sleeve a bit too often, but there is no denying he is a top tier F1 driver. Here I think he had something to complain about. Michael’s move was ever so slightly across the line. That Rubens both survived and completed the move is testimony to his skills, but he really shouldn’t have been put in that position.

    Questions, some justified, others less so, have been asked of MS this year regarding his skills levels, and this incident illustrates a possible problem for him. He still has the ‘killer’ instinct, he still has the Senna-esque methodology to put the frighteners on the opposition, but the new kids see him as a target, or as Webber put it ‘a Trophy#, to be gathered.

    F1 has changed in the years he’s been away. A new generation of drivers; younger, keener, hungrier, is out there and they’re not afraid of Schumacher. Rubens, for all his experience (age) is keeping up with them, and outside of the once cloistered position he occupied at Ferrari, Schumacher is no longer the icon he once was.

    For Schumacher to succeed next year, or at all, he needs to re-think his strategy, because only driving faster than the other guys and cleaner than the other guys will get him any rewards. currently he looks like the old tough guy on the block being challenged, and beaten, by the new young guns. It’s not a pretty sight, and shenanigans like Hungary will only further tarnish the image.

    If he’s not showing at least ahead of his teammate from race 1 next year he’s doomed!

  188. Trevor J says:

    Start 19th

    Finish 12th

  189. DSR says:

    Start 23rd, and finish 18th

  190. Charlie B says:

    Start – 24th
    Finish – DNF

  191. Graham says:

    I reckon he’ll start 18th, finishing 14th.

  192. drplix says:

    Start 18th
    Finish – DNF

  193. phil says:

    Start 21st finish 9th

  194. Adam says:

    If he’s going to impress anywhere, it’ll be Spa. So I’m going for an optimistic…

    Start: 18
    Finish: 10

  195. madjon88 says:

    Start 23rd and Finish 11th

  196. Freespeech says:

    Firstly I am no Schumacher fan, I believe him to be a cheat and nowhere near as great as the records show.

    Looking at the photo it leads me to ask this question, maybe James can answer: it is clear that Rubens ‘s car is over the line so is he in fact on the track, has he not gained a position by going off the track?
    I am amazed that there is no rule as to what is allowed when driving towards the pit lane exit, can anyone imagine what would happen if a car exited the pits with two drivers driving like this?
    I hate to say it but I am now starting to think that maybe Rubens was the one at fault after all the driver in front is entitled to defend his position are they not?
    Not sure any-more t6hough my view of Schumacher being a cheat remains

    1. Carlos Marques says:

      I just posted a similar comment. I just backtracked and found your comment.

      I agree 100%. Rubens is also at fault here- he was in a tough spot, he knew the pit lane exit was coming, and (as he said) he kept his foot down.

      He passed Michael in the small V-shaped intersection where the pit-lane joins the circuit, which is offbounds.

      And, if somoene was exiting the pits, it would have been Rubens who would have hit, not Michael who was well to the lft of the white line…

      They both knew what they were doing, and both should have been black-flagged…

  197. Simon says:

    I have but one comment to make. What would have happened if a car had been exiting the pits at the same time as Schumacher was edging Barrichello towards that pit lane wall. The answer, three cars colliding at 180 mph and probable fatalities. Schumacher had no vision to see see if a car was exiting the pits and it was only his good fortune that there was not a car there. I understand that they are all racers, but this was the most dangerous move I have ever seen in my 40 years of following F1. He should have been black flagged and he should have been banned for a few races as well. THis is a dangerous sport, and there is no need to make it more dangerous than it already is.

  198. Richard says:

    What worries me about the ‘move’ is that in my opinion, at the moment the photograph was taken, Schumacher still appers to have right lock on the wheels, thus forcing Rubens even further to the right. Had Schumacher not changed his alignment immediatly afterwards, there is no doubt that contact would have been made. For me, though, the worst part was Schumacher’s arrogant attitude afterwards.

  199. Cort says:

    “Hard but fair” is utterly ridiculous, and I’ll explain why.

    1) Michael may have given just enough room to Rubens by the wall, where beyond the white line was a strip of tarmac wide enough for the Williams, but when they passed over the pitlane exit at 180mph that extra tarmac was gone, Michael held his line knowing that it had gone, and Rubens, already going past Michael at that point, was heading for grass and a water gulley which he had to cross to get back to the track and force Michael back towards the racing line.

    2) Now, let us just imagine for a moment what would have happened if another car was leaving the pitlane at exactly the point Rubens and Michael crossed the exit. At least one driver would have woken up in the ICU days later, if he ever woke at all…..

    It was a wilfully dangerous, black flag or race ban-deserving action by Schumacher. Being an unbiased observer doesn’t change that simple fact one bit.

    1. Cort says:

      PS To expand on 1), Michael didn’t try to put Rubens in the wall. He tried to force him towards the pitlane exit hoping he’d pull out of the move before he hit the grass/gulley area rather than risk a huge crash. If he was being hard but fair, he would have created a Williams-width gap (plus a few inches) after the exit too.

  200. teja says:

    well, start 24th and a DNF!

  201. Michael P says:

    Start – 22nd
    Finish – DNF

  202. Sam says:

    Qualify 17th
    FInish DNF

  203. Rui Vale says:

    Hopefully, he’ll start 27th and finish 29th. I think he’s going to start the race from the old “bus stop chicane” … and will finish behind the safety cars …

    … and I bet I’m going to win this contest! ;-)

    Just for some fun …

  204. Cliff says:

    Start – 24th
    Finish – 12th

    Good post! I agree, tough but fair. But maybe just a little too tough!

  205. DanielH says:

    He’ll start from the pitlane and finish 1st (wet-weather master class).

    1. Paul Grinnall says:

      [mod]
      I don’t care where he starts or finishes I am only interested in when he retires again. ASAFP would be too late…

      Right now at age 41-1/2, he is probably the slowest man out there 90% of the time. He really is out of his depth and will start right near the back and definitely will not get any points.

  206. Neil Kenward says:

    I think he’ll start 18th and fail to finish, driven off the road on lap 27 (by a well paid Williams driver, probably).

    Whilst on this lighter note, does Hungary mean that Schumi really is the Stig?

  207. Start 19th

    Finish 9th

    Should have also received a three race ban suspended for the remainder of this season.

    He might behave himself for the rest of the season with a ban hanging over his head.

    Hopefully the FIA will quietly warn him that he will be watched very carefully in future.

  208. Danny says:

    Start: 17th
    Finish: 2nd

    Come on Michael!

    All the criticism and all the polemics will make him even more determined.

  209. Tomys says:

    To be honest, I am glad Michael gave Rubens enough room between himself and the wall, but I believe he was supposed to give him room, or in other words: not to push him, behind the white line. Because technically, he simply pushed him out of the track :)

  210. Completely disagree with “Tough but Fair” Analysis. It was an outrageous act, the moment Schumi went wide on the final corner and Rubens had the inner line, Schumi’s argument of having left space wide open on his left was nothing but blatant lie. For driver with his experience, he should have immediately known
    a) He lost the racing line on that final corner exit
    b) His competitor had the racing line
    c) His competitor had faster car.

    And that he still chose to keep driving towards the pitwall shows either
    a) He is arrogant, unsportsmanlike driver
    Or
    b) He is blind (as one of his ex-competitor from Colombia had said)

    In his hay years, Schumacher used to do similar things (e.g. Sepang’02) and thanks to spineless FIA/Stewards, it was his competitor that got penalized and the culprit (Schumi) was left scot-free. I guess Schumi was under impression; he can get away with scot-free even this time. The whole 10 spot grid Penalty is too lenient, He should have been made to sit out for a race.

    I am sure Schumi and Brawn will make every effort to take the penalty and still finish in pointsin SPA, thus proving FIA is just plain stupid. Remember he was the one who took the stop and go penalty on the “Last lap” after crossing the start finish line thus making mockery of another FIA penalty.

    So I choose not to participate in the “Guessing Game” and like Jerome K Jerome had the phrase ‘Not to mention the dog’, its time to change the title of the book as “Edge of Greatness (not to mention the pitwall)”

  211. Karthick says:

    Start 22nd finish 13th

  212. Rop says:

    pitboxstart/DNF

  213. Sam L says:

    Qualify 17th, finish 12th.

    It is amazing that at 180mph, Schumacher can judge a gap that leaves centimetres either side of Barrichello’s car, however the reason I felt it was such a bad move was Schumacher watched Rubens in his mirrors and waited until he was along side before shoving him right, instead of shutting the door before Barrichello committed to going down the inside.

    1. getaclew says:

      Nice to see someone not caught up in the hysterical Schumi hating at least. The key thing here is that Rubens made one of the most audacious passes that we’ve seen in F1 in ages. Might be his best pass ever. Instead of letting his pass stand like a race driver, he sought to garner sympathy as some sort of victim. Seems he is more intent on proving Schumi as the bad guy than he is in making himself into a great driver. Maybe that’s why he was #2 at Ferrari.

  214. Start 24th on the grid, finish 14th

  215. Peter says:

    Good post again.

    Inspired by the fabulous 1995 Belgium GP, and his thrilling battle with Damon Hill:

    Qual: 13th
    Start: 23th (+10)
    Finish: 6th

    Weather: thunder storm

    1. James Allen says:

      Ah yes. You see, anything can happen!

  216. Stu says:

    Hmmm. I will go with start from 14th and finish 7th.

    Schumi is a bit too good for Spa.

  217. Rodrigo says:

    James,

    would you know what is the current opinion of Barrichello in the paddock and, more importantly, in Brazil, after the incredible display of cojones, to not be intimidated by such a squeeze into the wall, and race craft for making the pass stick with mm to spare?

    do you think that now he has gained back a lot of respect in his home country? In Brazil, he was not looked upon as being a great F1 racer because of how he meekly accepted the clear #2 position at ferrari. I am just curious to know weather at the twilight of his racing career his largest personal victory, was not a WDC, but achieving what they do not give a trophy for… respect.

    thanks,
    Rodrigo

  218. Liam S says:

    Start 22nd and finish 12th

    Lotus, Virgin and HRT wouldn’t pose a problem to him. Toro Rosso might do, as we saw we ALG in Australia. Force India will be hard to beat so I don’t think he’d get much higher than 12th.

  219. Robert says:

    I think he will start 22nd on the grid and will not finish. i reckon he will be the second or third car out so i will say he will finish 23rd.

  220. Till says:

    Start 18th, finish 12th.

  221. GP start 21st
    Finish 6th

  222. Rajko says:

    Start 23rd, finish 13th.

  223. smellystudent says:

    Qualify: 22nd
    Finish: 11th

  224. Simon Ng says:

    Start 18th
    Finished 10th.

  225. Ben G says:

    start 20th
    finish DNF

  226. Milton says:

    Schumacher will start 22nd, finish 13th

  227. Darren B says:

    Grid: 19th
    Race: 3rd :o

  228. Rhys says:

    Start: 23rd
    Finish: 15th

  229. Oliver Langford says:

    Schumacher will start 18th and finish 11th

  230. Graeme Brown says:

    Andrew C is correct in one respect – both Schumacher & Barrichello are outstanding drivers and that’s what prevented an accident, but it was an unnecessary and unsporting risk that should never have happened.

    The grid penalty is meaningless as Michael was never going to win the race, and he will more than likely finish midfield. A one race ban would have been much more effective.

  231. Érico says:

    Start 19th and end 13th.

  232. John F says:

    I predict that Michael will start from 23rd position and will retire early from the race being classified as 25th …

    He knows his race is compromised , so he’ll save the tires in Q2. If the Merc would be a better car, Ross may decide to pit him again on the 2nd lap, switch the tires and complete almost the entire race on a single set of tires.

  233. Mile says:

    He will not finish the race, and start from 24, last position/or from pit lane.

  234. Lewis Jones says:

    Start 23rd, finish 11th

  235. Mark says:

    Start 19th, Finish 11th.

  236. Metin says:

    He will start 17th and finish 8th.

  237. Adnan Khalid says:

    Schumacher will start from 18th and will finish 15th.

  238. Brace says:

    Start: 18th
    Finish: 5th

  239. Vikram J says:

    I think he will start 15th and finish 7th.

  240. Alex Towers says:

    Schumacher will start 23rd and finish 14th.

    Good work on the site James. I must check it for new updates 3 or 4 times a day. Best F1 site around. Hope to hear you again sometime in the future.

  241. Howard Kayman says:

    I think the car will suit Spa and he’s had some interesting races there, I’ll go for Qualify 17th and finish 10th…

  242. confused says:

    leaving the incident itself aside, I can not understand how can one ___simultaneously___

    1. call for a _penalty_
    and
    2. think it was a _fair_ move.

    Andrew C. claimed both, yet he surely must think either the penalty _OR_ the move was unfair. Otherwise it reads as if playing for both audiences.

  243. David says:

    Think he’ll start 21st and finish 5th. That’s based on some good old rain falling from the skies

  244. RA109 says:

    Schumacher is going to be out to prove himself at Spa after this penalty, so I predict starting 19th but finishing 7th, with a lot of luck on his part. Hope I’m wrong!

    (Great site, JA!)

  245. Chris says:

    Qual 14th
    Start 24th
    Finish 13th

  246. Mark Vincent says:

    I guess 17th start, 7th finish.

  247. Luke A says:

    I think MS will qualify 9th, start 19nd and finish 12th.

  248. Lalit says:

    Start from Pit-lane.
    Finish 7th
    (Spa lucky number for Schumi?)

  249. dstaisey says:

    start 22 finish 22

  250. sam w says:

    start 23 finish 11

  251. M__E says:

    start from the pit lane
    Finish DNF

  252. Richard Mee says:

    Qualy 19th – finish 11th

  253. AlexBookoo says:

    Start: 19th
    Finish: 15th

  254. Jonathan De Andrade says:

    Start: 19th
    Finish: 14th

  255. Andy C says:

    Start 17th, finish 11th.

    James,

    I appreciate it how some posters think in the cold light of day that Michael squeezing Rubens was ok, and it looked worse than it was.

    I hope by now you know my posts are not biased towards one driver or the next, but I still believe the move was really dangerous.

    There is an argument that Rubens should have backed off, or gone the other way when you see the replay, but I still think what MS did was unacceptable. Had a car been coming out of the pitlane as Rubens went across the line there would have been a massive crash. It is only luck that that didnt happen.

    I have always admired Michael for his single minded will to win, and he has only done what Ayrton did at times by making the other driver decide whether they are going to have a crash or not. The difference for me with this incident which sets it apart is that there was a great big wall there (unlike the move on Hill in Oz or the attempted move on Villeneuve, or Ayrton on Prost at Suzuka). Another inch or two and they would have had a huge coming together.

    Dangerous driving (whether it is Michael here, Lewis and Seb in the pitlane etc etc) needs to be kept in check. Yes, lets have drivers being aggressive in defending and overtaking, but not reckless.

    I’m sticking with my original vote, that it was dangerous…

    P.S I would be really interested to see you have an article on the life of a pitlane mechanic (over a weekend). Thats a side we rarely see (other than being told about the all nighters).

    Are you actually getting a holiday in the enforced break?

  256. Al H says:

    Start: 23rd
    Finish: 12th

  257. Ginger says:

    I didn’t have time to read all the above on my phone so I had better go for the contrary strategy!

    Start 19th with the grid drop and finish 12th. Okay I realise that isn’t wacky enough but I will have to hope it isn’t covered above.

    Good article btw, good comment to pick.

    Ginger.

  258. Neil Burge says:

    Start 19th, Finish 10th.

  259. HUGO says:

    After looking at this picture, I´ve totaly changed my mind about the manuver.
    At the begining most of us tought that it was a very nasty move form schumi.
    But now I have to say that it was just hard and fair.
    What about you james? Did your opinion about the move change after looking at this picture??
    FOR SPA:
    QUALY: 17TH
    RACE: 8TH

  260. garza says:

    I agree with Andrew C, and I am sure Rubinho loved every second of it, but looking closely at the line that marks the track limit, shouldn’t Rubinho be penalized for passing Schu off limits, like cutting a chicane or over the grass?
    Just joking, but I guess legal extremists and Schu fans will enjoy

  261. Jan says:

    My guesses are already posted several times each, so I will be more creative.

    Heidfeld will drive the number 3 car at Spa.

  262. malcolm.strachan says:

    Official answer: start 17th, finish 3rd (in the rain).

    Additional comment for fun: If it’s dry, he’ll probably finish 13th…

  263. Steve Craven says:

    Michael will start from the pitlane, instead of 22nd on the grid. He’ll finish 10th.

  264. DK says:

    Starting 19th, DNF

  265. MR says:

    Dusting off my crystal ball..
    Schumacher starts 19th & finishes 10th.

  266. joesat78 says:

    Will start 21st and finish 11th

  267. gaz909 says:

    I think he will be charged up with the world watching.

    Qualy: 16th (6th + 10)
    End: 7th

    I think that we he is under pressure he brings it.

    Can’t wait. Who doesn’t love a bit of Spa?

  268. Ralph says:

    Start 23rd
    Finnish 13th

  269. ColinZeal says:

    start 23rd
    finish 9th

  270. Tifosi says:

    Schumacher will start 22nd and DNF for the race.

    He will technically finish 21st on the live timing feed.

  271. Umar Ali Hayat says:

    Start position 16th
    Finish at 5th

  272. Guilherme Sampaio says:

    Start: 18th
    Finish: 7th

  273. Rich C says:

    I agree it was magnificent driving by RB but let me ask this: is the white line the edge of the “track?”
    If so then he passed Schumi by going off the track, did he not?

  274. jose arellano says:

    Start: 18
    Finish: 14

  275. For Sure says:

    Start – 17th
    Finish – 3rd

  276. stephanie isherwood says:

    Start 16th and finish 5th.

    Like the comment you posted from Andrew C. Probably the only non-biased comment I’ve read about the whole incident, and that includes the press.

    from a Schumacher fan

  277. Dexter Tuttle says:

    Start: P 19
    Finish: P 8

  278. Eric says:

    He will start 24th and finnish in 12th.

  279. Schumacher will start 21th and finish 7th

  280. Pete says:

    Start: 17th
    Finish: 11th

  281. BurgerF1 says:

    Schumacher will start 18 and DNF (but classified 21)

  282. Neil says:

    Strart 21st Finnish 7th

  283. Carlos Marques says:

    Just want to comment on one tiny detail many have missed- take a look at the photo again- Rubens is passing Michael OUTSIDE the circuit.

    His wheel is slightly over the white line, so maybe he’s not completely offside in this frame, but he’s about to pass Michael by driving on the V-shaped intersection where the pit road joins to the circuit- which is offside as far as I know…

    I know it sounds crazy, but technically speaking Rubens should have given the place back to Michael or he should have been investigated by the race stewards as well…

    Rubens was pushed into that tight spot by Michael, but so was FA a weekend ago when he had to go over the chicane to avoid contact with RK and got a penalty in the process…

    Oh, Michael qualifies 6th (which will drop him down to 16th) and will end up 9th overall…

    Cheers

    1. Jamie says:

      Good point!! I missed that!

      Oh what fun and drama if they had investigated Rubens on that. It would have perhaps balanced this ridiculously one-side anti-Schumacher press.

      Actually, I’m now very disappointed that they didn’t investigate him for that. As Carlos says, it’s a pretty clear infringement of the rules by Rubens – even if others argue it’s marginal, it’s still worthy of a stewards investigation.

      1. shortsighted says:

        I can see there is an important difference between the two incidents.

        When deliberately pushed over the white line in passing Schumacher on the straight, Rubens did not gain any advantage. It is unlike cutting a corner by straight-lining it which would be shorter and quicker and gives the driver a distinct advantage. I am glad that the FIA is sensible and is enforcing the spirit of the rules and not just what is written down.

        If pushing an opponent deliberately over the white line on a straight is allowed and the opponent is penalised as a result, then there can be no overtaking on the straight but instead many serious accidents and loss of many of our best racing drivers. We are there to watch clean racing and not the deliberate smashing of cars or have a killing field.

  284. BurgerF1 says:

    A couple things I love about the photo above and beyond the obvious: the two marshals who are looking up the pitlane oblivious to the pass beneath them (that’s concentration for you!) and the speed limit sign. Lol

  285. Marco says:

    He will start 8th and finish in 5th position.

  286. amit says:

    Schumacher at Spa:

    Start: 17
    Finish:9

  287. Tim says:

    Start 19
    Finish 3rd

  288. Baart says:

    grid 16 finish 15

  289. Garth Mackenzie says:

    MSC @ Spa.
    Qual: 17th
    Race: 17th

    I wonder James, are you counting dnf’s without position numbers??

  290. Joe Tanto says:

    Schumi will start 17th and finish 3rd.

  291. Philip T says:

    Start 21st, finish 13th.

  292. Jude says:

    He will start 13th.

    Looking at the pix what most people miss is the fact that had a driver been exiting the pits, then all three pilots could have perished.

  293. Keith Walberg says:

    I’d like to point out one thing about that photo that is a fact and not any bodies opinion which may be based on emotion and be expressed over zealously.

    Rubens is over the white line while passing another car.

    Where is his penalty for this?

  294. Carl 21 says:

    start 11th
    finish 9th

  295. Samer Tabbal says:

    He will Start 23
    And Retire from the race DNF

  296. Roland says:

    Start 17th, finish 11th

  297. Eric says:

    James, I’ve studied this photo for a while now, and it almost seems that an optical illusion is ocurring. If you look intently, it starts to look as if the cars are actually just past the wall. The fact that the shadow from Barrichello’s wing/tire is visible across the walls’ width seems to reinforce this. If the front tire is just past, this would explain why he doesn’t appear to come as close in the videos as he does the photos. It would also suggest that Barrichello isn’t a mere centimeter from the wall, as has been made out. What do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      Well it’s a question of perspective. Compare the distance of Barrichello’s wheel from the wall, with the width of the white line and you’ll see it’s pretty close

  298. Phil says:

    Start 24th
    Finish 11th

  299. Jenny says:

    I think he’ll start 24th and DNF.

  300. James B says:

    Spa = me getting wet at Pouhon!!

    Starts 19th

    Finishes 5th

    1. James Allen says:

      Great corner, I’ll see you there on Saturday FP3

      1. tank says:

        Where are the other good spots? I have gold 3 tickets, but I want to catch the best angles for photos in other areas over the weekend (going to all sessions).

        Also, I’m driving all the way from Brussels each day as we couldn’t find a hotel closer (going to be spending much time on the roads, but didn’t want to get caught out by the public transport over there), what time do you recommend we get to the track?

      2. James B says:

        There are many good spots but the best in my view are Pouhon and the corner before which you are able to get on the hill and get pretty close. There are good viewing spots all round and is definitely worth spending the Friday/Saturday walking around.

        Not sure what time you will need to leave but would aim for early morning to avoid the queues – I stay in Germany on the Belgian border.

  301. Sebee says:

    Here we go with a super long shot.
    17th on the grid.
    1st to the flag!

    Yes, I said it. What a hero I will be if I call the win! If this happens get Schumi to sign my book before shipment. Time to buy a lotto ticket too.

  302. Rodrigo says:

    Start 19th.
    Finish 8th.

  303. H says:

    Schumi will qualify 15th

  304. Rodrigo says:

    Please, have a draw to decide in case of identical answers!

    1. James Allen says:

      No, it’s always the first one who posted. That’s the way we do it here and is only fair

  305. vannman says:

    start 19th

    finish 17th

  306. Steve W says:

    I still feel this was an outrageous bit of driving from Schumi. Very often controversial incidents in F1 don’t seem as bad after the dust has settled a few days later, like the Ferrari team orders in Germany, but this incident from Hungary isn’t one of them. Yes it’s correct that both drivers knew what they were doing and judged it within millimetres of perfection, but that doesn’t make it right. You don’t want to encourage these kind of tactics, as if less capable drivers were to copy this, they might not judge it as perfectly as Rubens and Schumi did, and end up colliding at high speed. Also, if someone had been exiting the pitlane at that moment, something Rubens and Schumu could not have been certain of, there would have been a huge accident.

    There has been a spate of horrific airborne accidents in open wheel formulas recently, one in the Indy 500, two during the European Grand Prix weekend, and one at Brands Hatch last weekend. It’s only a matter of time until there is one that ends with a driver, marshalls, or spectators being killed, and it’s time for some of the appalling driving standards to be clamped down on. Indycar have got the right idea with penalties for excessive blocking, and although it’s proven to be a controversial rule, it does make drivers think about how they defend a position.

  307. Arioch says:

    It’s “cojones”, not “cajones”.

  308. tom says:

    qual 22nd and finish 18th

  309. JR says:

    Start 22nd, Finish 11th.

    There’s no skill in this. If I win it will just be luck.

    And no one will convince me that what MSC did in Hungary was anything other than downright dangerous. He pushed BAR over the white line at 200mph against a concrete wall and into the pit exit lane. The stewards knew the facts and punished him accordingly. Even the German press criticised his actions. It really worries me that people are still trying to excuse what he did.

    One of these days one of the young drivers will do something similar and perhaps end up killing a fellow competitor. And d’you know? — it will be MSC’s fault. And probably the fault of the stewards for not stamping on this behaviour when they could. I do hope I’m wrong.

    1. Cluelass says:

      Nice blame MS for something someone will do in the future. Now we’re really heading towards rationality.

  310. Dan Whitby says:

    Start: 24
    Finsh : 13

  311. Barcs says:

    Start 20th – finish 14th

  312. BrettGraham says:

    Start 22nd Finish 8th.

  313. Yat says:

    I think he will qualify 15th, drop to 25th but start in pitlane (avoid first corner mess)

    Finish:12

  314. Tom Power says:

    Schumi will start 18th but will not finish the race putting him effectively 20th

  315. ed says:

    Start 17th finish 8th

  316. Stuart says:

    I’m choosing not to enter the draw, simply because I already own the very insightful title, and I’m guessing a few more chapters will now need to be written.

    MS is an incredible driver, but we have seen so many things about him that makes it hard to retain him on the pedestal we’d love to erect.

    He’s the anti-hero in a world (and racetrack) too full of mediocrity.

  317. Peter says:

    Totally agree with Andrew C. Very measured and not over blown like the rest of the ‘pundits’. Also James – I’ve got that book and it is a fine read. Every bit as good as Driven to Extremes!

  318. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

    So here I go: start 19th, and finishes in 14th

  319. cathal ireland says:

    i agree, this is what f1 is aboutl.
    Schumis back is to the wall for spa now so im gonna predict
    Starting position 13 th
    Finishing position 4th

    But im biased because i idolise the man

    GO SCHUMI
    WDC no 8 2011.
    THE KING IS BACK

  320. Ron says:

    hmmmm!!!!
    Start 18
    Finish 5

  321. vj says:

    Start 20
    Finish 6

  322. Andrew says:

    Schu moved once as the rules allow, and had he done so early I would be fine with it. (Drivers regularly move 2-3 times and get penalised.)

    Here’s my problem:

    1) He knew Barr was MUCH faster. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen more closing speed when not lapping a car.) He watched his mirror, and only moved when he knew Barrichello was alongside – had he moved early Barr would have swooped past on the open side. And he did so where there was wall rather than grass. It’s just not done.
    2) OK, I’ll concede that Schu knew Barr would stop yielding when the wall started and therefore stopped pushing just short. BUT there was wheel overlap at one point – he Barr decided to yield he would have lost his front wheel and Schu lost his rear.
    3) Wouldn’t it have been enough to push ONE wheel off the track? Schu kept going till all were.
    4) He’s got a terrible record of doing this.

  323. Alias J says:

    Schumacher could finish 2nd.

    Final set of Mercedes updates, Schumacher with a point-to-prove, The history of Spa, and a gesture to all the positively-phenomenal things he was able to achieve over his career .. It’s certainly possible.

    It happened before, it sure could happen again.

  324. Alias J says:

    Ah, and thank you James, even though I feel you have to bite your teeth and oftentimes hide your anger at this old-aged F1 driver, but I do certainly appreciate your fair, professional, unprejudiced reporting on such situations.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think that’s the only way. I’ve been criticised on other sites for not laying into Schumacher for this, in other words they accuse me of being biased towards him because I’ve not been heavily biased against him!! Go figure

      1. JR says:

        Criticism of what MSC did is not necessarily bias. Excusing his action is.

        I think Schumacher is probably the greatest driver that F1 has ever seen. But I don’t like what he did to BAR and what he’s done to others — and I don’t want to see anyone emulating him.

  325. Owen Li says:

    Start 24th
    finish 15th

  326. Allan B says:

    He will start 22nd

    He will finish 22nd

  327. Pierce89 says:

    Shumi will start 20th and finish 13th

  328. Rich C says:

    Start 19th
    DNF in 13th

  329. Legend2 says:

    Start: 20th (10th with 10 grid drop)
    Finish: 10th (1 point)

  330. Tony G says:

    He will start 25th and finish 18th although he wouldn’t be starting the next three races at all if I were a steward

    What struck me is how can an underpowered Cosworth overtake a Mercedes in a straightline even allowing for slip streaming

  331. moschum says:

    brundle has been full of nonsense all year, jumping at any given chance on michael, quickly followed up in the forum with ‘i dont want to beat up on michael, but………..’

    the fact is michael would have been well aware that there was a car’s width space between the pit wall and the white line. he didn’t Continue to move across once reaching that white line, did he? so how was he endangering anyone?

    it was a ballsy move by rubens, and it was great to see 2 drivers fighting ‘to the death’ for 10th place. i think F1 has serious problems when its fans, crying for more overtaking, finally get a spectacular move, and then cry about how ‘dangerous’ it was. Ridiculous.

    surely if you thought it was dangerous, then you should mark Rubens as being dangerous for keeping his foot in it?

    Schumachers limits are higher than most – its what lets him win 91 gp’s. Barichello had history, the red mist came down, and he was going to get past no matter what. This potent combination is what resulted in the move.

    The only valid point brundle had was this ‘what if there had been someone coming out the pitlane’. This is very true, and if thats the case, well they should both be reprimanded, not just michael, because rubens kept his foot in and was well prepared to use all of the pitlane.

    Only 1 week ago, on Top gear, brundle said ‘senna would give you the option to cause the accident’. A week later he guns down michael for the move. If we’d seen something similar, in grainy 80′s video footage, of senna doing the same thing, everyone would probably be watching it on youtube and applauding his competitive spirit. All hail Senna, the guy that drove as aggressively as michael, and yet is loved by all!

  332. whilyn says:

    I hope this was not picked out yet.

    Start: 16th
    Finish: 5th

  333. Jingjing says:

    Start:23
    Finish:7

    Nothing special, I just like 13 and 7.

  334. FidoDido says:

    Schumacher will qualify 6th and with ten grid penalty will start
    14th (someone will get a penalty or grid formation rules take some cars to go back of SCHUMI)

    In the race, however, he will pass a four cars and a Redbull and another will not finish. That will make him finish
    8th in the points.

    Tough weekend (Grid start 14 finish 8)

    BTW, Filipe Massa will win the race with Jenson Button finishing second.

    WDC toss up between these two.

    That of course is to be subject to Allah wishes, who I beg to please please make it all happen that way.

  335. seisteve says:

    Start 14th Finish 11th

  336. Paul Kirk says:

    Amended—-It is my opinion that Borokalo was rather stupid to persue a pass on Shui’s right since Shu made it clear from the exit of the corner to where the incident occured, that he wanted Bara to pass on his left if he was going to at all. Bara should have backed out long before he got out on the grass, he could have killed himself! Schumaker knew where he was going, but Barachelo was obviously a slow thinker, I bet he’s thought to himself since, that he made the wrong decision, but he won’t admitt it since everybody is conveniantly comming down on Shui. (Which I feel is grossly unfair!)
    PK.

  337. Pat says:

    Start 20
    Finish 11

    do we get the book signed James!?

    1. James Allen says:

      Of course. It’s a warts and all account of Schumacher’s racing career

  338. Pierre says:

    Start: 19th
    Finish: 13th

  339. Mark V says:

    Start: 23rd
    Finish: His Career

    1. Rajko says:

      Hilarious ! HAHA

      Nice.

  340. UnKool says:

    Start 22nd
    Finish 6th

  341. Jitesh Watwani says:

    He is gonna start 22nd and he is going to finish 14th.

    And about the move on Barrichello – A Handful of people in this world will ever win a world championship. Even lesser people win more than one. And only one guy has gone on to win 7 world championships. You have to expect him to be ruthless and uncaring. That does not go to say that what he did was right. But u dont achieve stats like he has without being insane. It comes with the territory.

    Lewis Hamilton’s multi swerve blocking session in front of Vitaly Petrov in Malaysia, was just as appalling, but you had Bernie asking everyone to get off his back and let him be. This is also just after Lewis’s Lie-gate saga from Melbourne. Senna has taken Prost clean off the track in Japan and Prost has also driven into Senna. All multiple world champions have insanity as their one common bond.

    Jenson Button does not have that insanity and i doubt he will ever win another world championship, because honestly last year he just got plain Lucky. He is too nice a guy and last year he only beat one guy – Barrichello, considering their car was almost 2 seconds faster than any other car at the beginning of the season, of course thanks to the controversial double diffusers, he did not win it with his heart or talent. Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso all have this talent and drive to win and stay ahead at all costs. And I am sure Hamilton will give me more ammo to use against him in the years to come, on his way to another 2 or 3 championships atleast.

  342. David G says:

    MS will start 23rd
    and will finish 14th

    1. David G says:

      I change it to starts 23rd and finishes 15th :)

      1. David G says:

        it was taken before as well…starts 22nd and finishes 15th

  343. Ted the Mechanic says:

    Start 22nd, Finish 13th.
    I’d like to see some photos of cars squeezing into first corners on lap 1. Wheels rubbing on both sides, cars in front, cars behind, imminent disaster any second but order prevails most of the time…
    A concrete wall is pretty scary admittedly but so are nose cones, wings, end plates, axles, tie rods, wheels and tethers whipping about when the worst case scenario becomes reality.
    I think I’d rather hit the wall…
    I wonder what Robert Kubica thinks? Or Ricardo Zonta recalling Spa 2000…
    Probably shouldn’t mention Ayrton Senna at this point. And it wouldn’t be fair to mention who was closest to him on the track at that time…
    Motor racing is dangerous, the rewards are high, but the risk is ever-present, mighty and macabre.

    1. Ted the Mechanic says:

      Michael has certainly taken his “fight on the beaches, never surrender” intimidatory racing mentality to a new low. However despite all the negative press and fan feedback Michael may actually benefit on the track from this incident. His competitors will no doubt think twice before making a move to pass him in future…

  344. ajag says:

    It’s interesting how people make up their minds and discuss based on assumptions. Sometimes it’s hard to get the facts, in this case it is pretty easy, at least when it comes to the discussion how far Rubens is away from the wall. How wide is an F1 car? Take that number and substract it from the distance between the whit line and the wall, which could be acurately measured…

    Anyway, Schumacher never crossed the white line but Barichello did. Interesting that it is ok on track and not comming out of the pits.

    My guess regarding the result, Schumacher starts 20th and finishes 3rd.

  345. Brad says:

    I am going for starting 21st, and finishing 1st..

    Yeah I don’t really believe it either but every other option is taken…

  346. F1Maniac says:

    I predict he will start 18th and finish 11th

  347. Jay says:

    Interesting view by Andrew C and partially correct – but his idea that they both knew exactly what they were doing is simply wrong. It only turned out like that because the wall ended.

  348. Klaus says:

    Hi, Allen James , I have your book , had it for about two years or more now , wonderful , how you wrote about Michael Schumacher . I didn’t like what Michael did to Rubens , we all know what Michael is capable of but , that was uncalled for .I believe , what Michael is trying to do now in Mercedes Racing , Is , to bring it to the triumph that he brought Ferrari to . I wish him the best of success for it , I hope he can make it happen .Can you , James ? do a book on Ayerton Senna , If you have not done so ? Ayerton was/is still my Idol , so sad .
    Cheers , James .

    Klaus …

  349. JezW says:

    Start 17th
    Finish 3rd

  350. stu-the man says:

    starts 18th
    ends 4th

  351. pawel says:

    quali 8 (start 18)
    race finish 9

  352. SoLiDG says:

    He will start 18th and finish 8th

  353. Anand says:

    Start 18th, finish 5th

  354. Ali Unal says:

    I have to accept that I tend to rationalize what Michael did or have done, but this… I’m sorry I can’t agree with Andrew even though his justification seems to be well-founded. Schumacher was not fair. He was out of line.

    My prediction:
    Start: 19th
    Finish: 8th

  355. Skanda says:

    Quali 12 (+10 = 22)
    Race Finish Position : DNF (Classified as 20)

  356. Scott Robinson says:

    qualy = 11th

    Start = 21st

    finish = DNF

  357. Kimiko says:

    He will start 18th and finish 10th.

  358. Jeff says:

    start 19th. DNF by lap 29

  359. js says:

    Click on the video on the BBCF1 page. Whilst the video is loading you will see that the two cars’ wheels are actually interlocked. Therefore a minor miracle that one or both didn’t end up having (as Brundle describes it) an aircraft accident. Not ‘firm but fair’ but simply lunatic, and however godlike Schumacher’s driving may be, the lack of contact at that point is luck not judgement. The incident should be viewed in context with Michael’s history of misdemeanors and he should receive a race or two’s ban. What a simply awful example to set drivers in lower formulae.

  360. Mike Misgerett says:

    Michael will start 21st on the grid and finish 15th.

    Some very interesting comments made here. For me there’s a difference between squeezing another car off the track to grass or gravel and smearing the other car on a wall.
    I don’t for a minute believe that Michael intended any har, especially as he could so easily have been harmed himself. No, I think this was Michael’s historical mind set of been aggressive in the hope/expectation that the other driver would back off. He expected Rubens to back off and I think he was surpeized see that Rubens was going through. His rapid move away from Rubens imediately after he was passed reflect this.

  361. William McCone says:

    Start 22 and finish 11.

  362. Y, AlMansour says:

    I Guess he will start 20th and finish 11th

  363. John Pugh says:

    I agree about Andrew C’s piece. Any journo would be happy to have written it.

    I do disagree with ‘tough but fair’ though. The high definition photograph is revealing.

    It’s the position of Michael’s head, the way he is watching his mirror. He knew what he was doing. He went beyond a sportsmanlike battle for a corner or fight for track position. It was pure intimidation.

    It was the opposite of what makes the sport great. Remember Rene Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve at Dijon where quarter, was neither asked nor given, yet we saw two fundamentally fast and fair drivers doing the incredible without a hint of indimidation, unfairness or cynicism. If Michael had been part of that battle we would not have seen a battle like it.

    O.K., so no world championships for Rene or Gilles, but I would far rather watch their sort of driving. I think we are actually more likley to see that sort of driving from Rubens than from Michael. I just wish he’d lose the ‘success at all costs’ blinkers. I feel he is to motor racing what Douglas Jardine was to English cricket in the bodyline series.

    My crystal ‘cojone’ tells me that Michael will qualify 9th, be 19th on the grid and finish 7th. Not liking his unfair, bullying behaviour does not blind me to his undoubted speed, courage and determination.

  364. John_J says:

    Quali 19th
    race 7th

  365. Dan E says:

    I think Schumacher will qualify 15th, start 24th and finish 16th.

  366. tank says:

    18th start, 5th finish (ha. ha.)

    A well balanced article. I do feel that us fans get to talking around a lot of negative things over races this season. If its not ultra dull, its something about 2 different wings, or flexing wings, teammates crashing into each other, “GP2″ back markers who are slow enough to become launching ramps or affect win outcomes, team orders, at least 4 dubious safety car technicalities that affected drivers’ races badly, endless discussion on crowding against the pit wall…

    What happened to where it was balls out (that is a reference to a governor on a steam engine, by the way) racing without infringing on technicality 3.1.16 paragraph R? The sport’s gotten too smart for itself. Lets stop whinging and enjoy the show!

    1. James Allen says:

      There’s nothing new there, it’s so easy to be negative – look at Autosport’s letters page over the years.

      Much more difficult to see both sides.

  367. Graham says:

    i think he will start 22nd on the grid and finish 11th

  368. Manish says:

    There’s lot been made out of the passing move by Barrichello. We as viewer’s make our assumptions by looking at the replay’s, photo’s and others comments upon the same.
    On a sportsman point of view it works only this way. It must have took a moment for Barrichello to decide to overtake and he lunged upon the opportunity when he saw it. For Schumi it must have been the same, he wanted to defend his position and he went for it. At 180 mph I don’t think anybody will measure and see where the wall ends.
    So as per me I don’t find anything wrong with what happened there. If there was grass nobody would have complained.
    As far as the prediction, Schumi will start 18th and finish 7th.
    And James, I do have a paper back edition of the book, ‘Ms – The Edge of Greatness’.
    It’s a thrilling book, which I must have read over and over again. I wished the book never ended ;). Before reading that book I liked Schumi,after reading it I am a huge fan his. Cheat or not, one cannot undermine what he has done for the sport. Thanks for writing such an amazing book.

    It’s a worthy prize which I really love to win, even if its going to be a second copy.

    I do have a question for you James, are there any more books that you have in the pipeline. As an avid reader of books one cannot find enough books about F1, it’s teams and it’s drivers.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well, there will be the 2010 season book from this site, as last year, pulling together the best of the blog entries, although this year I’m going to put in more new text looking back at the season. I have another project, but it’s very early stages.

  369. adrian setterfield says:

    I think Schumacher will start 21st and DNF

  370. richard says:

    Schumacher has been a rising danger to the life of others on the track this year. So in that sense he has shown a great return to form.
    He should have been disqualified from the race in Hungary and if the stewards for some bizarre reason could not reach that conclusion in time they should have simply disqualified him from the next race entirely.
    Can you imagine if a young driver in a slow Mercedes had been the one squeezing him in a 2 secs a lap faster car, off the track as he did that day. How do you imagine he would have reacted. He is a lying dangerous pig with more brass in that supposedly dicky neck of his than in the lions at Trafalgar Square.
    I hope the sponsors demand he is pulled and feel disappointed by Mr Brawns ill-placed support of him.

  371. M Saad says:

    Michal Starts 17th finish 6th.

  372. James Draper says:

    Qualify 22nd after his penalty
    Finish 15th

    I think this combination is free.

  373. D Woods says:

    It was just ‘Stigmacher’ getting revenge on Rubens for beating his time on Top Gear.

  374. john slavin says:

    schumi will start 21st finish 13th!

  375. gupta says:

    it is racing barichello is over acting.he is desperate and he knows he is very fast,he also knows msc better than anyone else,he knows msc will relent/leave just that much of a gap.he will there not attempt the same with the likes of alonso/hamilton and even for that matter webber. as for the out cry it is natural for many to be jealous of a champion.

    START 22

    DNF

  376. Chris says:

    Start: 19th.
    Finish: 9th.

  377. Martin says:

    Start: From pit lane
    Finish : 15th

  378. Marcin says:

    Start: 18
    Finish: 14

  379. Baktru says:

    Start 21st, won’t finish.

  380. Andrew McCombe says:

    Do you see that large white line in between Michael and Rubens? Isn’t that supposed to be the boundary of the racing track? If that is the case then is Rubens’ pass illegal as he was going off the track to pass? I accept that Michael’s move was highly dangerous, but he HAD moved over to the white line to force Rubens to go on the other side and there wasn’t space between him and the boundary of the track to get through.

    I can’t find in the rulebook where it mentions the white line around the circuit being the boundary of the track but I’m sure this is the case.

    James, do you have a take on this?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, passes should take place between the white lines, that was the problem with Alonso passing Kubica at Silverstone

  381. Jackie Fowler says:

    Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are the two F1 drivers driving this season who have the most experience between them. Rubens wanted to overtake Michael; Michael did not want him to. To most people the overtake where Michael squeezed Rubens looked dangerous. But what you have to take into consideration is the experience, natural talent and reactions of these two men. What might take the ordinary individual a second or two to process is performed in probably a tenth of a second by these two.

    Rubens knew probably without even thinking that there was (just enough) room from him to squeeze through the (just big enough) gap between the pit wall and Michaels car, and Michael knew that although he didn’t want Rubens to over take him, he had left him just enough room to get through.

    For me it was F1 racing at its best. Seeing two seasoned racers fighting for tenth place towards the end of a Formula One race was brilliant. Performed by two rookie races, this manoeuvre would have been scary and extremely dangerous. But I believe, and possibly some people will disagree with me, that because of the immense talent and exceptional judgment of both drivers the overtake was an example of two men at the height of their talents. Formula One is about speed, excitement and action. I get sick of reading about F1 being boring and predictable.

    Unfortunately because of Rubens understandably cynical memories of being with Ferrari and having to give way to Michael so many times, his bad memories took over and he saw it as Michael trying to ‘kill him!’ (A slightly paranoid – but possibly understandable – reaction.)

    I think it’s a shame really that a move that could have been hailed as an amazing and exceptional overtake by Rubens has been overshadowed by criticism of Michael. If Rubens hadn’t been so keen on calling foul, which is what history tells us that unfortunately he usually does, he could have been acclaimed as having the best overtaking manoeuvre of the season. As it is, all everyone is talking about once again is Michael.

  382. theRoswellite says:

    Starts 19th and finishes 12.

    It isn’t reasonable to expect anyone to separate Michael’s present driving from his “body of work”, as it were. His latest move on Rubens was outrageous by any standard.

    MS will retire one day and when he does he will leave behind him the most glorious and inglorious record of any modern F1 driver.

  383. Syed says:

    Shumacher will start 17th, but DNF :)

  384. Zhenya says:

    Qualify – 18th, finish – 9th.

  385. AndrewJ says:

    Start 22nd finish 7th

  386. Jonathan E says:

    He will Qualify 17th and finish 8th

  387. Chris H says:

    Starting 21st, finishing 9th

  388. Baz says:

    Start – 22nd.
    Finish – 10th.

  389. pete says:

    There is a photo showing rubens behind schumacher, and his front wheels are not past schumachers car back wing, and you can see schumacher has pulled over to the inside of the track, so why didnt rubens use them things called the brakes, and back out, because he must have known it would be tight inside, yet what did he do, charged into a gap, that was tight, i think what we saw there, was not schumachers fault, but rubens ego, because in his mind , it was such a big deal to overtake schumacher, no matter what, and as schumacher said in an interview, rubens was on fresh tyres, so he had more speed than schumachers car, so why didnt he go on the outside , which i left wide open.
    i think its called the red mist, and ego of rubens.

    1. Jamie says:

      Agree! :)

      Also, agree with Rubens having an ego. It’s the same Rubens who told the BBC last year after Germany (I think?) that the team was plotting against him. He’s a great talent, but his ego is quite annoying at time. I suppose people could say the same about Schumacher’s ego, but at least Schumacher is an arrogant type ego, which is understandable, Rubens ego is so much more manipulative and underhand, one-side and selfish. He’s good at manipulating the side of the public who aren’t too clued up on F1, or who already hate Schumacher or whoever he’s having a go at.

      Still, good move in Hungary Rubens… Now stop whining!

  390. pete says:

    schumacher will qualify 10th but wont be bothered, because he knows he will most probably be at the back of the grid due to penalty, so he will do some more testing and gathering info for the team, this season doesnt matter to schumi, next season is where schumacher shows real form, new car made for him, no understeer, which he has never liked since he began racing, everyone will be on same pirelli tyres, in other words , no more tyre advantage, and hopefully that rocket red bull car will be slowed down, after they have all their toys penalised.
    wondering if red bull will be found out this week, for that flexi front wing, if fia do nothing, their credibility for running f1 is in doubt.
    their wing scrapes the ground, thats how low it goes, causing massive downforce, and allowing red bull drivers to take corners at full speed, and stick to the track ,unlike all the other cars, who have to back off a bit, and red bull tyres get looked after better also, as webber showed.
    do your job FIA.

  391. pete says:

    schumacher will finish 8th.

  392. pete says:

    schumacher will gather info for the team, and will be on totally different strategy than rosberg, as last race, so no more comparing their times, because its not relevant.

  393. kevin n says:

    andrew c would like to think that there are people capable of this level of judgement but that would be foolish. one of the greatest drivers of all time made a mistake in judgement, pushed it too far and ended up dead. his name was aryton senna. it is very dangerous when a driver thinks he is invincible.

  394. Wu says:

    will start 16th, finish 1st.

    I agree with the post mentioned, that was 2 expert drivers driving at the limit. It was fantastic to watch and made the race great instead of just ok.

  395. Taz says:

    He will start 22th and finish 6th just because he loves Spa :)

    1. Taz says:

      BTW James, a great book. I bought it couple of weeks ago and I love the way you wrote it. Hopefully, you will write some more soon :)

  396. Alberto Dietz says:

    Well, if he has to start 11th, so be it. No problemo.

  397. Troels Hoegh says:

    I think Schumi will qualify 8th, start 18th and finish 5th

  398. Des Foley says:

    start 24th, finish 11th

  399. Schuey4ever says:

    Start 16th
    Finish 4th.

  400. Rik McCrossan says:

    I don’t agree with Andrew’s post at all. One thing that struck me while watching the replays was Schumacher’s head angle. As soon as Rubens started the move to the right, MSC’s head was leaning to the right.
    This tells me he was watching Rubens intently and NOT the race track!
    Even in the picture on James’ post, his head is to his right – he’s watching Rubens (who he obviously knows is there) but NOT the track in front of him!!!!
    If he was watching the wall, his head would be pointing more forward.

    That’s why he made the mistake and it’s also why he hasn’t really apologised – because that would be to admit he wasn’t aware of his position on the track. Not a good quality in a racing driver….

    Hang up your helmet Michael, before you kill yourself, another driver or a spectator.

  401. james walton says:

    Schuey will start in the pit lane and end on a recovery truck.

  402. mayon says:

    Quite simply : thanks God that Bari is alive. bar none.

  403. Peter says:

    qualify 7th-start 17th-finish 5th… :)

  404. David says:

    start 19th and finish 11th

  405. Alberto Dietz says:

    Seven consecutive wins by Michael in 2010 wouldn’t bother me at all.

  406. Simon Atherton says:

    Schumi will Start 18th and finish 6th.

  407. Jamie says:

    What a refeshing view! I don’t really see what the fuss is about on this move. They are two professional drivers, they drove giving themselves a perfect minimum allowance. It’s shows their skill more than anything else. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been watching since the early nineties, when these kinds of moves were more common place – I think Gerhard Berger got that one right: http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/25884.html

    A pro-Schumacher fan can say Barrichello chose to pass on the side of the wall when Schumacher was drifting to the right, and to be honest, I agree. Schumacher left the perfect amount of room for Barrichello to fit through, and then it was up to him to see if he had the balls to fight it out or back off. Good for Barrichello that he proved he has the balls.

    If Barrichello argues that the wall is unsafe, he shouldn’t have been passing on that side. Any real racing driver accepts there’s a risk in motor-sport and decides where to draw his own line. If he wants his competitors not to take any risks, perhaps he should be driving the simulator instead…

  408. Enigma says:

    Start 18th, finish 11th.

  409. Anders says:

    He will start 23 and finish 13.

  410. Anders says:

    I found it very strange that Shumasher wasn´t penalized for pushing Rubens out in direct danger for anyone who would exit the pitlane. Any driver exit the pit would never be able to see what´s coming after that wall.

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