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Was Schumacher out of order today?
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Was Schumacher out of order today?
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Aug 2010   |  3:34 pm GMT  |  448 comments

Rubens Barrichello described the move his old team mate Michael Schumacher pulled on him today as “the most dangerous” in his entire career. The stewards weren’t too impressed and have penalised the seven times world champion with a ten place grid penalty at the next race in Spa.


Coming on the eve of his 300th Grand Prix start, Barrichello felt that Schumacher was carrying some baggage from their past together at Ferrari.

Having run in 6th place, Barrichello had pitted late in the race, after staying out when most of the field pitted on lap 16 when the safety car was deployed.

He rejoined 11th behind Schumacher and on newer tyres set about attacking his old team mate. He had several goes at it and complained on the radio that Schumacher kept closing the door on him. When he went for it, Schumacher pushed him towards the wall, Barrichello missed it by inches.

Schumacher brushed it off, saying that he went right trying to make Barrichello go around the outside, but “he chose not to and it got a bit tight.”

“He had fresher tyres,” said Schumacher. “I knew that he was coming so I moved to the inside. There was space enough, we didn’t touch. To be tight and tough, I’m known not to give presents.”

The incident has revived memories of some of his moves in his previous career and could come to symbolise Schumacher’s comeback, which has been far less glorious and competitive than he or anyone else could have predicated.

So how do you feel about it?
(Photo: Darren Heath)

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1

…if I may add to the above…..i would say…also read James’s first book on Schumacher in the aftermath of Jerez ( apologies as I cannot recall the title) simply put its a must read for any Formula 1 fan…irrespective of what one thinks of Schumacher

3

One more thing I’d like to add to this debate: I find it very sad that Michael Schumacher’s achievements in the sport are often referred to as mere ‘statistics’, and that somehow his seven world titles and numerous race wins were somehow less deserved than other drivers’ titles/wins were.

Yes, we all remember Adelaide ’94, Jerez ’97, Monaco ’06, but when making such judgements we should also recall Spa ’91, Spa ’92, Spa ’95, Barcelona ’96, Monaco ’97, Budapest ’98, Sepang ’99 Qualifying, Interlagos ’06. I’ve deliberately avoided races where he had a much superior car, but regardless the list is long.

I don’t mean for this to be a plug, but if you genuinely believe him to be a ‘cheat’, ‘arrogant’, ‘selfish’, ‘unemotional’, or even ‘a bastard’ as someone inappropriately comments above, then you should read James’ book ‘The Edge of Greatness’. It may not change your opinion, but it may just give you some respect for someone who has dedicated his life to achieved so much.

4

*achieving so much

5

Yeah, he was out of order. Not Nice. But being not nice, when driving an F1 car, is who he is, has made him billions. Being hauled over the coals this time is probably justified; but Senna was also tough, just not so obviously. Rubins, hot off the fastest lap at Top Gear was buoyed enough to keep it nailed to the floor. Thanks to both for making the end of the GP interesting…

6

I was most disappointed with Norbert Haug’s support of MS. Nobody wants a repeat incident which excludes Mercedes from motor racing for another 30 years.

7

I posted this link in the “sorry” followup. It needs to be seen here too. From Mark Sutton Images, a picture that puts paid to several thousand words.

http://twitpic.com/2aq2l4

Mark’s website -> http://www.sutton-images.com

8

It was a harsh move by Schumacher and should have been punished by the stewards, but there has been no mention of the fact that Rubens was outside of the racetrack (over the white line) now i know that Michael pushed him there, but it was similar to the Alonso incident from silverstone, Kubica pushed alonso wide and he ran off the circuit and Michael did the same yeasterday to Rubens. The 10 place grid drop is fair and people need to get over it! If it was Alonso/Hamilton/Webber or Button we wouldnt all be making this big fuss, we would be saying how competitive F1 is now.

9
Eamonn Mc Cauley

One more thing. DC said just after the move that ” this is the problem with MS he never knew when to give up a place”. All you had to do to get DC to give up a place was go on the radio and tell him to pull over. This came from a man that will be remembered for coming second to MS one season when his team mate had all but retired. Please someone tell me im wrong.

10
SchumiIsGod_Still

James,

After seeing the live race and replays over and over, following three points leave me completely blind –

1. Reactions of ex-drivers and respected sections of media –

People like DC and EJ and even Rubens himself are really just making hay when sun shines.

Calling this ‘disgraceful’ is i think the beyond limit itself. How about calling Hamilton disgraceful for lying to stewards? Nobody did that..

I can find so many examples of someone being disgraceful, but not this (even after admitting it was over the limit defending)

2. How is this different from any other moves –

The move was hard and maybe even over the line; but haven’t we seen crazy moves from Hamilton (weaving down the straight), Vettel (recent start line antics, pit lane antics when ‘racing’ and pushing people towards mechanics), Webber clouting Kovy, Vettel clouting Webber?

None of them got any punishments, and yet they were done at high speeds, with open wheels next to each other

3. This is how you defend – You go to the inside.

This is the most relevant – Why did Rubens, (the most experienced driver) not take the outside line? All drivers in front will ALWAYS block the inside line. But Rubens chose to go further inside of the the inside racing line, and ended up next to the wall.

If this was at a corner at the end of the straight, obviously the car ahead would block the inside line to defend. In that case, would Barichello go further inside on the grass and complain he was pushed out?

I think there is a general Anti-schumacher behavior out there, and they are enjoying a second stint when they thought they would not get any since he retired.

11

Sadly most of the top drivers have an anti-lobby out there, with Alonso, Schuey and Hamilton the most extreme, followed by Vettel nowadays too who see only black and white. We try to limit that from spoling the debate here on JA on F1

12

I know where your coming from with that sentiment James, but I genuinely believe that MS is the only driver in the history of the sport who it is possible to despise without being irrational.

Some fans, over the years, despised Senna and Prost and Piquet and now Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton.

All undeniably had/have their good points and their bad.

Schumacher though, apart from a decent turn of speed could be fairly and reasonably argued as a serial cheat, thug and selfish, arrogant, bastard with no redeeming personal qualities whatsoever.

We know the 94 Benetton was illegal.

We know he rammed Hill and Villeneuve.

We know that at the end of his first career he was still cheating badly; witness Monaco 2006.

We know that he shafted Barrichello, Irvine and Verstappen and now he doesn’t have an unfair advantaged he is getting whupped.

I believe his crimes outweigh all of his statistical achievements by a large margin.

He is not a ‘sportsman’ by any stretch of the imagination, a driver, yes, a winner, yes.

A sportsman, no.

Senna was ruthless but he was also a gentle, kind, philanthropist and humanitarian and his crimes stemmed from his religious beliefs.

Schumacher’s crimes stem from his innate arrogance, a psychotic disregard for the well being of his fellow competitors, inability to perceive his own failures or wrong doings and a sickeningly obsessive case of self-adulation.

13

Oh and lest your forget, Schumi was the single biggest individual donor of money when the Tsunami stuck Asia.

So lets be mature please.

This is racing, and this incident is nothing worse than any other; so lets get on with it, shall we..

Be a Man.

14

How did you get past the moderator?

Please post some mature content.

This is the closest to the real deal for all genuine F1 fans to talk about F1 stuff, with an insider.

15

Even Murray Walker has jumped on the band wagon now saying Schumacher has gone down in his estimation, well Murray has gone down in mine. Talk about blowing a situation out of proportion, now Murray Walker has decided to castigate Schumacher for Adelaide 94′ along with Jerez 97′ he didn’t complain too much at the time, even said that Adelaide 94′ was “a racing incident”.

To my knowledge Schumacher has never caused a serious accident, and he is unlikely to start now, as if he would want to put another driver into a wall at high speed, even it is Rubens Barrichello who seems to delight in slagging off Schumacher to the press about their Ferrari days. It took him 6 years and 6 seasons to realise what the situation was at Ferrari did it?

16

Listen to all the grandma’s out in force. Schumi needs to be “taken aside” and “talked to.” Blah blah blah. Schumacher makes news …. he IS news. You all just sit around and chatter after the fact. It was a rough move no doubt. It deserved the penalty. Rubens finally manned up and stuck it to his old nemesis in grand fashion. Instead of being happy about it, he whines and cries about the “worst ever” move against him. Truly pathetic. This is racing and it’s supposed to be dangerous. In ten years people will still talk about Schumi. Rubens will fade away and be completely forgotten.

17

Schumacher nearly put him into a wall at 200mph.

What is pathetic is your comment to be honest. Any driver (whoever he is, and however senior or junior) who nearly drove another driver into a wall at that speed would get similarly pilloried for that move.

You making out it is Rubens whining is just so far wide of the mark its unbelievable.

And your comment about racing is supposed to be dangerous is a joke. I dont want to see another Imola type weekend just to give you your thrills.

18

Andy, if you actually read my comments and consider them before you make your retort it might serve to make the debate more edifying for everyone. I stated that it was a rough move and deserved a penalty. Dragging out Imola as some sort of valid comparison is silly. Apples and Oranges in the extreme. The issue here is the latent Schumi resentment that is getting spewed out in the name of “safety.” That is there real “joke” here mate.

19

Dont get me wrong. I’m not anti schumacher. I have massive respect for what he achieved, and I like the guy and the way he was uncompromising.

The point I was making was the last thing anyone wants to see is drivers getting hurt.

What Michael did on Sunday was dangerous.

I share your frustrations on some of the black and white type comments (as in biased comments for or against one driver), but if you read my other comments on the site I would hope you wouldnt consider my posting to be in that ilk.

All comments are open to interpretation, and the way I read yours was clearly not in the manner you intended…

20

Michael has apologised…

“The manoeuvre against him was too hard.”

“I didn’t want to endanger him with my manoeuvre. If he had this feeling I am sorry, this was not my intention.”

“Immediately after the race yesterday I was still in the heat of it all, but after I looked again at the situation with Rubens I have to say that the stewards were correct with their judgement.”

Well done sir… bravo!

21

An apology is a beginning, and is an honorable first

step.

But what really counts when all is said and done is :

will such behavior continue ? This remains to be seen.

22

Having followed F1 for 20+ years now, I’m not often amazed by anything that happens nowadays, but I’ve just been rendered speechless having seen that Schumacher has apologised to RB and admitted that the stewards got their decision right…

23

people shouldn’t write of shumacher so quick, he always takes a year with a new team before coming back and crucifying everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want him to because he is arrogant and dangerous but i wouldn’t be at all surprised if next year he came good.

24

Schumacher should have been blackflagged for this and maybe a race ban for Spa. With a grid penalty he got off lightly.

Anyway, he ‘kind of’ apologized for the move on his german website, saying that ‘it was not my intention to put Ruben’s life into jeopardy’. Acknowledging that way that he actually did.

25

Looked like old Schumi to me – occasionally dangerous but now sadly without the raw speed.

Time to take up gardening Michael ……..

26

Honestly … Not what has happened to F1 anymore but what has happened with the fans? He left a gap hence why Rubens got through on him?? I dnt understand the penalty or the outrageous comments? They didn’t touch he defended with the limitations whether that be 5cm gap to the wall or 1cm or 1m? He defended exactly within the rules no ? One movement across the track which started from the exit of the last corner expecting Rubens to go to the outside. As Rubens pulls from the slipstream he jinks slightly the wheel to the right to close the door leaving exactly 1 Williams width ? No problem … If Rubens thinks it is dangerous to overtake between a car and wall with a carwidths space he should have lifted and attacked next lap … He obviously wanted to prove his point though didn’t he, which outwayed the risk in Rubens mind I guess. It’s just stupid really even discussing this. I think everyone has all of a sudden become so sensitive now with hard racing … And by the way it was the same amount of space left by mark on his own teammate at turkey? Why mark didn’t get a penalty? Because it’s schist everyone gets upset all of a sudden … We should make a new rule now … No defending of overtaking moves… Because if you leave a car and a half space and someone overtakes you get criticized for not defend strongly enough (like jarno) and then you defends hard and you get ridiculed. I don’t know where this sport is going honestly.. People have lost what it is supposed to be.

27

At the end of the day the stewards “had to do” something. Otherwise everyone else would take notice and start doing the same thing. And hitting a wall a 200mph isn’t nice, is it?

28

Don’t know what’s more shocking, the move itself, or the people attempting to blame Barrichello!

Also, listening to Norbert Haug being forced to try and defend Schumacher, almost made me cringe.

29

A very bad move by Schumacher but I also think Rubens was reckless to try and overtake here.

30
Eamonn Mc Cauley

No. Bar could have lifed but has a list of crashes where he only got his frot wheel beside the other drivers back wheel. New tyers and he still nearly kiled himself. That move was all about the breaking zone. It would have been easy to out break the other driver at the end of the straight.

31

Schumacher is a cheat, he always was and he always will be.

I will never forgive him for what he did at Monaco and yesterday it was pure luck that a really serious accident didn’t happen.

Mercedes should be ashamed of themselves for saying it as it really is.

32

If it had been one of the rookies driving RB to the wall people would say he’s too dangerous and not ready for F1.

33

I agree as well – Furthermore Petrov and Hulkenberg get a dose of healthy pressure by their respective teams when their performances don’t match their teammates.

Yet we see Brawn and Haug covering Schumi in cotton wool when he is outclassed by Rosberg.

For a driver reputed to know how to ‘drive around any problem’… he’s being shown up.

34

Hi newton,

You’re entirely right there ! But it’s in the interest of the FIA and Ecclestone that Schumacher stays in the sport pure publicity wise, look even at us dedicating an entire 300 and more reactions and replies to him and his duel with Rubinho, if it was a young gun like Alguesuari who pulled a move like that, he would have been put aside for a race and we won’t be having this converstaion, not this long at least. Schumacher still brings up emotions in people, some negative some good depends what you’re view is on things. It’s also in the interest of the other drivers that he’s around as he’s the benchmark for many young drivers out there. Beating him, makes you almost a hero and brings you in a stronger position once you start negotiating with another team and climb up upon a mountain towards championship glory. It’s in the benefit of the media as they sale mor enews and newspapers thanks to that one instictive reaction and the gutty move of Rubens helpng to increase spectacle. Strangely enough this is what we all will remember after a few years not that Webber won the race way in front without one single battle on track.

The human race is very strange on that matter.

Spa in three weeks will be very interesting to see as the championship unfolds, tession rises in all th camps and racing really becomes tricky and harder. And we fans we will sitt in our sofa or chair watching at it with passion and tense nerves. The big winner out of this is FOM. That’s the other side of racing which is big money business. They need those kind of manoeuvers, cruely said, they need drivers to put their lives at stake, that’s what sells.

Have a nice day and i look forward to reading your comments on this incident and those that might come in Spa. F1 is and will stay interesting and addictive to all of us racefans.

Kind Regards from Belgium

David Maesschalck

35

Ross Brawn at the very least needs to take MS to one side and have a word. It’s starting to look sad now, and it is really damaging his image. At least in the past, he was begrudgingly respected for being a ruthless winner. But trying to put someone in the wall for 10th just makes him look incredibly desperate. My heart was in my mouth with the onboard footage, so god knows how Rubens was feeling.

There is no way that Michael is all of a sudden a bad driver, and he’s driven (and got good results) in some dogs in his time. Maybe the time has gone when a driver could make a difference in a mediocre car?

On another note, James, were Red Bull running an F-Duct this weekend as I didn’t see them placing their hands to the left in any of the onboard footage. I may have missed it though.

36

Let’s assume neither of them had the presence of mind to make any calculations about where the wall ended. Michael definitively shut the door on him, as he was perfectly entitled to, but Rubens didn’t back off. Either he was too slow in his reactions to notice Michael shutting the door, or a red mist descended on him. Either way, it was just a matter of luck that there wasn’t a very nasty accident, which would have been Rubens’ fault.

37

Can you let us know which area of the country you drive in as most of us would prefer to avoid it based on the above analysis.

38

Like many “sports” these days, the stakes are getting too high and, for some, the first thing to go out of the window when the stakes get high is sportsmanship.

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