FIA Race Stewards in Singapore have handed Michael Schumacher a 10 place grid penalty for causing a collision with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne in the Singapore Grand Prix.
In front of the stewards, Schumacher is reported to have accepted the blame for misjudging the braking distance to Vergne in front and smashing into the back of him on lap 39. Schumacher had just pitted and was fighting Vergne for 10th place. The race had jet restarted after the first safety car period. Vergne’s tyres were 14 laps old, Schumacher’s had done only five laps behind the safety car.
It is the second time this season that he has hit another car under braking, causing it to retire. A similar incident happened in Barcelona with Bruno Senna.
The stewards took this into account when handing down the penalty.
“The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate the braking performance of the car with lower grip following a safety car period,” said the stewards’ report.
“The penalty takes into account that this is the second similar offence by the driver this season.”
The stewards took no further action over the incident before the restart after the first safety car period, where Jenson Button had complained that he almost hit Sebastian Vettel as he stopped and started while the pair were warming their tyres ready for the restart.