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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

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1

Schumacher will start 21st.

2

schumi will start 18th and finish 10th

3

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

4

Oh, and he will finish 12th 🙂

5

will start 18th, finish 9th

6

I'm going for 10th.

7

he can't start 10th :p

8

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 🙂

9

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.

10

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

11

@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!

12

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.

13

didnt read the question properly!

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

14

Start 19th, finish 11th

15

start 14th finish 12th

16

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!

17

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.

18

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.

19

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

20

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

All guiolty as hell. 🙂

21

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

22

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).

23

Schumacher will start 22nd.

He will finish 13th.

24

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".

25

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.

26

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.

27

I think schumi will qualify 19th

28

I think 19th. Cheers

29

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.

30

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

31

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

32

I guess 20th!thabks!

33

and finish 16th

34

Qualify 19th, finish 9th!

35

Michael Schumacher Belgian GP predictions;

Start: 22th

Finish: 13th

36

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.

37

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

38

Schumacher will start 19th.

40

Start 21st & finish 11

41

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.

42

Exactly. ^^^^

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

43

Starts 23rd
Finishes DNF (24th)

44
Robert Leon Felix

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 :-))

45
Christian Backlund

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

I reckon Schumacher will finish 14th.

46

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

47

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

48

He will start the race from 22nd position

49

And he will finish 10th

50

oh - and for what it's worth - MS to start from 21 and dnf

51

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!

52

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.

53

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.

54

Start 18th, finish 11th

55

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.

56

Starts from pit (24th)

Finishes 13th

57

Will start 23rd

Will end 12th

58

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?

59
Michael Grievson

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

60

Grid 17 th ; DNF

61

Start - 23rd

Finish - 9th

62

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

63

Starts 17th

Finishes 3rd

64

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

65
William Wallace

I predict he will start 17th.

66

Grid Start : 21st

Race Finish : 13th

67

Start: 21st

Finish: 14th

68

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.

69

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

70

Starts 20

Finish 7

71

Grid: 17th

Finish: 15th

72

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

73

Great post, my feelings exactly.

Starts 21st, finishes 9th.

74

Grid 18th

Finish 10th

75

Schumacher will qualify 21st & finish 9th

76

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.

77

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...

78

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...

79

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.

80

Starts 22

Finish 15

81

Starts 18th

Finishes 9th

82

Start 22

Finish 15

83

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

Finishes 9th

84

start 21st

finish 13th

85

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

I think focus should be on rosberg instead tbh!

86

Great post and crazy good picture!

Start 22st

Finish 16th

87

Starts 22nd

Finishes 12th

88

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

89

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

90

He will start 21st and finish 16th

91

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

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

92

Starts 17th

Finishes 9th

93

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

Schumi will start from 22nd and finish 16th.

94

Start 21

Finish 11

95

Grid 22nd

Finish 13th

96

Sorry, not 13th. 14th.

97

Qualify 21st, finish 13th

98

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

99

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

100

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.

101

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

102

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?

103

Great to see more competitions!

I predict he will start 22nd and finish 12th

Phil

104

Start 19th, finish 12th

105

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.

106

Start: 19th

Finish: 10th

107

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

108

Start 23 finish 11

109

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

110

Start 21st

Finish 8th

A rainy day!

111

Start 21st

Finish 9th

112

Wild stab in the dark:

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

113

Schumacher will start 18th and will finish 8th

114

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

115
The Kitchen Cynic

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

116

Schumi will start 22nd and finish 12th

117

I think he will start from 20th and finish 15th! 🙂

118

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.

119

Start 24th and finish 15th

120

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

121

Start 19

Finish 12th

122

MSC - Start 21 - Finish 12

123

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.

124

start 21st

finish 9th

125

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

My guess for the competition:

Start: 20th

Finish: 12th

Thanks!

126

Start 19th and finish 8th

127

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'.

128

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.

129

Start 21st

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

130

Start: 21st

Finish: 12th

131

Very thoughtful article, as ever.

My prediction

Start:23 Finish:DNF

132

Start 18th, finish 9th

133

Start 20th

Finish 10th

134

Michael will start 17th and finish 13th.

135

I'm glad some one wasnt trundling out of the pitlane at that point...!

136

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.

137

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.

138

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

139

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?

140

Ha! good one

141

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

142

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"?

143

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.

144

Starts 19th

Finishes 11th

145

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

146

Oops, missed the finishing too.

Start - 22nd

Finish - 14th

147

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.

148
Stephen Pattenden

Grid: 22nd

Finish: 10th

149

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

150

Start 16th

Finish 11th

151

Start - 21st

Finish - 13th

152

Start 21st

Finish 13th

Thanks, and good post.

153

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

154

Start 19th, finish 14th

155

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

156

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?

157

Start 18th

Finish 9th

158

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.

159
Jason Weatherall

Qualify 13th
Start 24th

Finish 12th

I already have the book so just entering for fun.

160

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

161

I meant to say qualify 14th for the race

162

Start: 19th, Finish: 13th

163

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...

164
Stuart the old geezer

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?

165

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.

166

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.

167

Starts 12th

Finishes 9th

168

I mean starts 22nd

finishes 13th

169

Hm... start 21st, finish 14th.

170

Start 18th, Finish 10th for me.

171
Just A Bloke (Martin)

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

172

Start 18th

Finish 13th

173

Start- 22

Finish- 13

174
Peter Stroia-Williams

Starts 24th

Finishes 16th

175

Qualifies 9th

Starts 19th

Finishes 14th

176

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.

177

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

178

PS Well, 16-20 were taken!

179

Schumacher to start 17th and finish 10th.

180

Start 19th

Finish 12th

Thanks for the excellent blog !

181

Start - 18th

Finish - 11th

Thanks

182

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?

183

will start 18th and will finish in 10th

184

18th and 12th.

185

Starts 24th

186

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

187

Start 19th, finish 12th

188

I think Schumi will start 18th and finish 7th

189

He'll start 17th and finish 12th.

190

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

191

Grid: 19th

Race: 14th

192

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? 🙂

193

starts 18th, DNF

194

Start 20th, Finish 13th

195

Starts 21st

Finishes 14th

196

will start 19th and finish 11th

197

Will start 17th & finish 7th.

198

Starts 24th, finishes 13th

199

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. .

200

Start: P22

Finish: P14

201

Start:23rd

Finish:10th

202

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

203

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.

204

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.

205

Start 22nd & finish 10th.

206

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

207
Zobra Wambleska

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

208
malcolm.strachan

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.

209

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).

210

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...

211

Oh yeah,

Start 21st, finish 12th

212

start 19, finish 10th

213

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.

214

start: 22nd. finish: dnf

215

Start: 21st

Finishes: 10th

216

The Schu to start 23rd and finish 14th.

217

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.

218

starts 15th. Finishes 5th

219

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

220

Start 19th, finish 12th

221

12th i meant damn this htc phone!

222

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!

223

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.

224
Andrew Woodruff

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.

225

22nd and finish 14th.

226

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

227

start 23rd, finish 14th

228

Start 16th

Finish 8th

229

start 21

finish 13

230

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.

231

He will start 19Th and finish 13th.

232

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....

233

Start 15th

Finish 8th

234

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.

235

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

236

Starts 17th

Finishes 3rd

Thanks James for the added interest you provide in F1

237

Start 19th, finish - DNF

238

Start 18th

Finish 10th

239

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!

240

Start 19th

Finish 12th

241

Start 23rd, and finish 18th

242

Start - 24th

Finish - DNF

243

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

244

Start 18th

Finish - DNF

245

Start 21st finish 9th

246

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

Start: 18

Finish: 10

247

Start 23rd and Finish 11th

248

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

249

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...

250

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.

251

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.

252

"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.

253

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.

254

well, start 24th and a DNF!

255

Start - 22nd

Finish - DNF

256

Qualify 17th

FInish DNF

257

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 ...

258

Start - 24th

Finish - 12th

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

259

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

260

[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.

261

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?

262

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.

263

Start: 17th

Finish: 2nd

Come on Michael!

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

264

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 🙂

265

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)”

266

Start 22nd finish 13th

267

pitboxstart/DNF

268

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.

269

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.

270

Start 24th on the grid, finish 14th

271

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

272

Ah yes. You see, anything can happen!

273

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

Schumi is a bit too good for Spa.

274

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

275

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.

276

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.

277

Start 18th, finish 12th.

278

GP start 21st

Finish 6th

279

Start 23rd, finish 13th.

280

Qualify: 22nd

Finish: 11th

281

Start 18th

Finished 10th.

282

start 20th

finish DNF

283

Schumacher will start 22nd, finish 13th

284

Grid: 19th

Race: 3rd 😮

285

Start: 23rd

Finish: 15th

286
Oliver Langford

Schumacher will start 18th and finish 11th

287

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.

288

Start 19th and end 13th.

289

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.

290

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

291

Start 23rd, finish 11th

292

Start 19th, Finish 11th.

293

He will start 17th and finish 8th.

294

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

295

Start: 18th

Finish: 5th

296

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

297

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.

298

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

299

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.

300

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

301

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!)

302

Qual 14th

Start 24th

Finish 13th

303

I guess 17th start, 7th finish.

304

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

305

Start from Pit-lane.

Finish 7th

(Spa lucky number for Schumi?)

306

start 22 finish 22

307

start 23 finish 11

308

start from the pit lane

Finish DNF

309

Qualy 19th - finish 11th

310

Start: 19th

Finish: 15th

311
Jonathan De Andrade

Start: 19th

Finish: 14th

312

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?

313

Start: 23rd

Finish: 12th

314

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.

315

Start 19th, Finish 10th.

316

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

317

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

318

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

Heidfeld will drive the number 3 car at Spa.

319
malcolm.strachan

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

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

320

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

321

Starting 19th, DNF

322

Dusting off my crystal ball..

Schumacher starts 19th & finishes 10th.

323

Will start 21st and finish 11th

324

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?

325

Start 23rd

Finnish 13th

326

start 23rd

finish 9th

327

Schumacher will start 22nd and DNF for the race.

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

328

Start position 16th

Finish at 5th

329
Guilherme Sampaio

Start: 18th

Finish: 7th

330

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?

331

Start: 18

Finish: 14

332

Start - 17th

Finish - 3rd

333
stephanie isherwood

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

334

Start: P 19

Finish: P 8

335

He will start 24th and finnish in 12th.

336

Schumacher will start 21th and finish 7th

337

Start: 17th

Finish: 11th

338

Schumacher will start 18 and DNF (but classified 21)

339

Strart 21st Finnish 7th

340

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

341

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.

342

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.

343

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

344

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

345

Schumacher at Spa:

Start: 17

Finish:9

346

Start 19

Finish 3rd

347

grid 16 finish 15

348
Garth Mackenzie

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

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

349

Schumi will start 17th and finish 3rd.

350

Start 21st, finish 13th.

351

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.