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Was Schumacher out of order today?
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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…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


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.


*achieving so much


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…


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.


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.

Mark’s website ->


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.

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.



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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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…


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!


An apology is a beginning, and is an honorable first


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

will such behavior continue ? This remains to be seen.


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…


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.


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.


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

Time to take up gardening Michael ……..


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.


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?


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Woosh…so many comments slating MS, people seem to have short memories. Every driver has had discretions on the race track. Alonso’s infamous break testing, Hamilton drawing crticism in Monza 2008 for dangerous driving. What people’s reaction tell me is that MS won titles in an unsupporting manner, common guys he won seven of them and may be all of us are envious of him for his achievements

What people forget is that F1 driver’s are rare breed and these sort of things happen in racing.

As for rubens, he is sour grapes for me. He was never good enough and it was confirmed last year when button clearly shaded him.


I’d agree with that, Rubens doesn’t have the instinct of a true champion, and his career refelcts it. Nice guy, but winners aren’t nice guys on track…


Some thoughts:

(1) Schumacher’s explanation that he was trying to discourage Rubens from taking the inside line is entirely disingenuous – this is obvious from the replays (and should be obvious to both Brawn and Haug who have adopted the Schumacher line). Schumacher was in the middle of the track when Rubens gets his nose alongside him. It is *afterwards* that Schumacher continues to push Rubens to the wall. If he wanted to discourage Rubens from going for the inside line, why is his car in the middle of the straight, when Rubens is pulling out from the slipstream? If he thought Rubens was taking the outside line, why does he continue pushing to the inside? By the end Schumacher is only just on the track (i.e. within the white lines). Rubens is entirely off the track – between the white lines and the pit wall. Schumacher is watching all of this in his mirrors, and has deliberately caused this by continuing to steer towards Rubens and the pit wall. Here there can be no argument but that Schumacher simply deliberately drove Rubens off the road.

(2) This incident was an extreme manifestation of Schumacher’s extreme interpretation of the ‘one move’ rule – other drivers interpret it as meaning you cannot keep changing your line in the braking zone. Schumacher interprets it as you can wait until your opponent has committed to a line, and then set your car on a collision course so long as you don’t change your steering angle thereafter – it’s up to the other driver to do something about it (this is what Rubens was complaining about earlier, Button and others have complained about before). Which is fine, if unfair, when there’s some run off, but which is extraordinarily dangerous, and equally unfair, when the other driver has nowhere else to go at speeds which are guaranteed to cause a huge accident.

(3) What should not be lost sight of is that such a manouevre is extraordinarily dangerous for both drivers: if they had made contact it is just as likely, if not more likely that, it would have been Schumacher who would have been launched over Barichello’s front wheels. What this illustrates is Schumacher is still extraordinarily committed either to getting a single championship point or (more likely) to trying to put the manners on Barichello again.

(4) I don’t think Schumacher will be at all discouraged by a ten-place grid penalty. He will think to himself that he’s now shown himself again to be the ‘hard man’ of F1 and that’s worth much more than a (…yet another…) lousy grid slot. I think he should have been subject either to a total race ban suspended on condition of no further dangerous driving for a number of races or had an immediate multi-race ban (e.g. 3 races).


Noting the Senna comment above, those who saw Martin Brundle on the top gear piece last week know he said something like “Senna put you in a position of deciding whether to let him go or have an accident”.

The problem I have with Schumacher’s move is he was clearly looking in his mirrors and he closed the gap on Rubens very, very late. Had MSC done it sooner no one would have said anything and RB might have switched sides to pass; as it was RB could not have prevented an accident and MSC nearly caused one.

From Michael’s view point it might have seemed legitimate – and he can argue since RB got through it was enough room – but every view we saw on TV goes against that, and the stewards don’t agree with him. I think he should have a look at the footage and craft a statement which reflects that


Dear readers and James Allen,

Sorry for the mistakes in the writing, I hope this doens’t affect the reading of it.


David Maesschalck


Hello James Allen,

First of All I’d like to say that I’m a huge fan of you, your website is fantastic as are the books you wrote. It’s filled with experience, feeling but also bare facts and the mix makes it the more interesting to read.

Your last book ‘The Revolutionary Year’ wich I bought through your website is marvellous.

First of all I’d like to say to all racing fans out there, I loved to read your comments about the Schumacher – Barrichello incident of yesterdays race. I enjoyed reading your comments filled with pride, feelings and emotions. But let’s just analyse it as it is.

The incident is racing at it’s finest but with the difference that it was becoming a life threatening situation. If Michael would forced Rubens in the wall then Rubens’ car would have rebounced onto Schumachers car and with the dangerous posibility of a wheel of Rubens’ car hitting Michaels helmet it would een disastrous. The fact that this incident took place at the far end of the pitwall and the exit of pitlane. Imagine som other driver coming out of pitlane and being hit by the two tangling cars, imagine the chaos and possible fatalities amongst drivers, pieces and bits flying everywere. But the worst could happen if people who give up their family and spare time to ensure everybody’s safety at the racetrack are there to marshall and watch out during the race for competitors, team members etc… Those guys are even more vulnerable then those in the high tech monocoques of these days. They are the least protected. That risk needs to minimalised and show drivers that it is not only about them racing eachother. This could have been a nightmare ending to the weekend.

When it comes to Schumacher and Barrichello, they both are F1 drivers, they know the business better then any other driver out there this year, yes there is still rivalery amongst them, which is logic concidering their mutual past at Ferrari. They know the risks of making moves like they did. they know that any move they make if it’s against eachother or against any other driver, it can always result in a crash. Racing is still dangerous, you know it when you sign the contract at a team, you know it each time you get in teh car and out of it.

Don’t get m wrong I do not say that this wasn’t dangerous or on the limi of acceptable limit of racing. Sure the post race interviews are very interesting because they’re filled with adrenaline, feelings and the media jumping on it at the right time makes it the more interesting to watch for us.

Analysing Schumacher’s move yesterday was quite interesting. DC’s right on one hand saying that Schumacher never knows when to give up. I don’t any driver in F1 can otherwise they won’t be in F1, you need to be kind of Ruthless in F1 if you wan’t t make it to the very top. F1 drivers are top notch comepetitors always looking to defy limits just as the engineers of F1 teams are.

Schumacher is one of the very best in the sport along with guys like Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Webber and … all the other drivers.

His move yesterday shows how much he under pressure. Pressure he applies to himself, willing to win again, willing to show he still has it. Pressure coming from his team, coming from the board of Mercedes as they pay him deer to win again and place Mercedes back on the top step of the podium. I think that he never thought when he signed up at Mercedes that Nico was going be that strong as he is today.

The intense pressure of the media expecting him to be the man and driver he was at Ferrari : dominating !

He always smiles when he gets interviewed as if he’s enjoying every moment and that it doens’t hurt him and still full of confidence. But underneath his helmet, he’s outragious, he’s hurting, jealous, unsure. He couldn’t have known that the comeptition this year is more fearce than in 2005 or 2006. It surprised him more than he would have loved to.

He feels alot inside of him, and his move yesterday was filled with emotion.

He’s trying to hang on to stay close to the front be when it’s slipping out of his hands he tries with everything in him to to hold on to it. First of all I think that his body isn’t capable anymore to deliver the percentage of level he used to have. Compared to hot young guns like Lewis, Sebastian, Fernando, Felipe, Robert and Kamui Kobayashi. Second of all he’s still very much hungry for success, but I’m sure not as much as someone who’s still looking to become World Champion. Even he will not admit it, being a seven time World Champion is a superb fantastic feeling which he’s looking for at repeating just to feel it again not because of wanting it cost what cost.

A ten grid place penalty always hurts a super competitive driver more then one can imagine certainly when you know that you’ve got a car that can hang onto the front runners. Again with media pressure, pressure from fans, he’s own expectations and feelings, this will hurt his feelings very hard and he received a moral hit even if he doesn’t show it in public, at home I’m pretty much sure he will hit his punching bag as hard as Rocky Balboa did in numerous Rocky movies. He will have to deliver even more in Spa next tem then any other weekend because if he doesn’t wan’t to loose out to much he will have to push above his own limits to achieve a good qualifying result consedering the penalty. He has to be at least in the top five to not lose the connection to the front at the start. Certainly with such small differences in times between the drivers. There’s alot more competition for him than in the years he dominated F1.

It’s always easy to point out at the Race Direction or the stewards but this is a penalty that is well mesured. Money, is no issue for him, race ban, it will only fire him up and do even more damage to his fierce way of battling it out with other drivers. Plus a race ban is definite, it will only reinforce the fact that it’s one time off, but a ten place grid penalty is a warning shot and it can happen again if he pulls out a move like that again.

Rubens is an emotional guy and very polite but he’s fed up with being second fiddle and with being released from Ferrari and the code of ‘ Shut Up and Drive’ and being restrained by contracts of secrecy etc… he’s now the best he’s ever been, and nobody will take this away from him, he’s been through mental hell at Ferrari, now he’s got the trust of Frank Willims and everybody else at Williams F1. He knows that this is it, a full free run in F1.

I’m analysing this without putting feelings in it but just the facts and history behind the two drivers to see what was displayed yesterday.

Indeed other drivers such as Senna, Mansell, Prost, Alonso, Piquet, Lauda, and other superstars of F1 history all have their fair share of accidents and incidents ( Suzuka 1989, 1990, etc…) but again all of them felt pressure, feelings, ideals, ideas, and adrenaline and that mix always explodes at a certain moment in the heat of the battle.

That’s what makes us watch, thrive, live and feel F1 at it’s best and the proff of that is this discussion and exchange of opinions, feelings and ideas, we’re as much connected to this sport as is an F1 driver the only difference is, is that we are on the other side of the screen.

I know that this is a long comment but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed reading yours.

James Allen, you’re my favourite writer and keep up with what you’re doing, reading the comments you move and attract a lot of F1 enthousiasts such as myself. Keep up the good work and let your heart and mind speak.

We love you all.

Kind Regards from Belgium,

David Maesschalck ( racer myself )


Thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts but I am not sure if Michael as much pain as you described. Most of the people have perception where Michael is somewhat similar to Hitler in terms of determination and emotion but I think it’s a myth. The guy is actually a funny guy who can joke and dance with Massa at a party.

I am not sure he would be too hard on him, especially when he is doing his best and his body is not up to it anymore.

The guy can push away the pain better than anyone else. I mean how many of them can win a race on a day that the mother passes away.

I mean Nigel returned and didn’t work out. DC had a rubbish season before he walked out.

All of them are highly competitve guys who made it to F1. And surely it must be sux but they have a good life, loads of money and they move on. I don’t think MS is any different to that. He just get more attention than DC or JV because he is the greatest but in terms of the pain they suffer, I think it’s all the same. I don’t think the more successful guy suffer more.


Lol, you can’t say “first of all” twice 🙂

I don’t agree that this was racing. Schumacher clearly moved twice and that’s an obstruction of racing.

Hence his penalty.

The stewards don’t even mention the fact that he pushed Barrichello off track and even almost into a wall.

A fair racer picks a line and sticks to it. Schumacher picked a line sort of one third of the way from the right of the track. Then he waited for Barichello to pick a side to pass and he started squeezing him off in that direction.

Double move. Not racing. Illegal. Penalty.


Hi there,

I know that I can’t use ‘First of All’ twice but hey I apologised for mistakes didn’t I ? LOL ;-)But I am a Belgian after all !

I agree when it comes to a racing line, today’s regulations tell the guys they can’t do this they can’t do that but believe me at the end of a hard race that’s the last thing on their mind : the regulation book !

They just think : ‘You want this piece of tarmac ? ‘ ‘Come and get it’. They are just racing and heated up and a little tired too ( even the fittest is tired after a race like the Hungaroring. It’s one turn after te other, no rest, 200% concentration. With two guys with a history you finally get what we saw yesterday. It’s like shoot first ask questions later.

For us as a spectatator behind the television it’s easy to judge but when you’re in a racecar at the end of a race and under serious pressure things can look different and instincts take over, forget about them thinking, reaction is what it’s all about.

Don’t take this wrong, I’m not pro anyone, I’m the kind of guy who just loves to watch the sport in general as an addict but since I started racing myself, being inside a racing car it’s harder to tell how to react and think about it, you just react, period. Sometimes it goes just fine sometimes it all goes wrong and you end up hitting eachother, that’s the risk of racing, but what you can do is judge the amount of space on the racetrack in front of you and try to defend as much as you can. In a touring car the visibilty is reasonable but sitting inches above the tarmac with headrests at the height of eye sight it’s even more difficult to judge where you’re opponent is. Ok he saw Rubens in his mirrors but once he’s next to him he can’t exactly judge where Rubens is, just have a hunch that he’s next to him.

Trying to defend and go as far as he went it’s risky and dangerous but at that time those guys just think about 100% full attack mode, they don’t think about consequences and what might happen and what’s dangerous or not, if they did that, they would quit immediatly !

F1 drivers once they put their helmet on they don’t think they react by instinct and go by the feeling in their gut and behind because those are their sensors. Radio communication is fine but when push comes to shove they ingnore the call and they become leopards going for he prey whether a ranger tells them or not to.

I really don’t defend Schumacher or Rubens but just tell how racing drivers behave. I’m not a top championship driver but a clubman driver and this is a different point a view when you’re inside a racing car, all the regulations, stories, orders and opinions are out of the cockpit or window of a racing car. The only thing that matters to you as a racing driver is how to defeat your opponents and 90% of your behaviour on track is instinctive. Vettel, same story applies but this is a different discussion.

Like you said in your reply, penalty is in place which he got and I tell you it’s a hard penalty for a racer believe me. I all explained it in my long letter above.

I don’t know if you ever drove karting, but try to participate in a karting race and have fierce battles with the guy in front of you and behind you, and believe me you won’t know what a rulebook is nor what rules say. You’re instincts tell you this: eat the guy in front of you and make sure the other guy stays behind you no matter what.

But Schumacher is a top championship driver whether the results are not there yet, an F1 driver is a top athlete and compentent driver, some are more fierce then others that’s the difference between becoming champion or not becoming a champion. He has enough experience in battles and his reaction was pure instincts, their sences only start to work after they get out of the car and that they’ve taken a deep breath of fresh air.

Then the rulebook comes along and reminds them of what can and can’t be accepted, that’s arisk they’re wiling to take. Some call it arrogance, some call it stupidity, some even say they don’t belong there. All nonscence they are the same as wild animals who just seemed to have high speed projectiles in their hands which they just seem to keep under control.

Stewarding these days on the level of F1 is very difficult, all teams have their own interests and it’s a fine line to walk upon and keep everybody happy and safe, they too are people with feelings and a certain level of preference which is difficult to put asside, see Warwick’s reaction to teamorders in the preview on BBC when he had a chat with the commentators before the start of the race.

OK enough said, the penalty is there and we will see what the effect of that will be on Schumacher and how he will react to it on track, another race another go at the drivers in front, it will be a very interesting race as people tend to say that Spa is Michael Schumachers backyard, wait and see.

I all wish you a very nice day and love to read your further reactions.

Kind Regards from Belgium,

David Maesschalck


I think it’s pretty clear he was illegally blocking here.

In the end that’s dangerous (look at Chris van der Drifts awful crash in Superleague Formula and Webbers crash in Valencia) and it reduces overtaking. So it’s bad for the drivers AND bad for the viewers.

I’m glad the FIA is enforcing those rules.

Before (when Alan Donnelly was still in charge) we saw that they mostly penalized the overtakers. So those penalties were basically preventing overtaking moves.

This year we see that they keep defenders honest. That can only mean more overtaking is possible.

Besides, it’s not rocket science. As a defender you take your line and you stick to it.


Thanks very much for your comment. You are right in a lot of what you say


3 Words…..

Berk in a Merc


Novice indeed, that’s 4 words…


As schumi said himself, he was already moving to his right before Rubens started his move. Schumi just continued the same rightwards move, at the same rate, as the video shows. Rubens plunged to the right of a right-moving adversary…


Was Schumacher out of order? Definitely! Not only for a frankly dangerous stunt, but for his contemptuous “and there’s Rubens” to the BBC after. Ruthless tactics + arrogant disrespect = a bad day at the office.

And please, can we have a halt to all these cries of “Senna did the same” and “Prost wasn’t innocent either”. Both points have their validity (thought both Prost and Senna was straight enough to admit what they did). But two wrongs, as most parents tell their revolting offsrping at an early stage, do not make a right.


Schumacher is cooked. Stick a fork in him. He’s peeved because he’s not nearly fast enough any more. He’s not even in the top 5, maybe more, 7. And like a petulant child he pouts when he should gracefully step aside. He’s dangerous and foolish, full of the glory that was, years ago. He should quit and quit now. Early on this season I thought the talk of his tarnishing his legacy was foolish, premature, but now I think it is true. Much more of this and THIS is what he’ll be remembered for–the kind of near-cheating that won him so many races, the parking incident, almost killing himself and/or Rubens B this weekend. It’s as if he’s a silly teenager again–is this the kind of driver one wants to hold in high esteem? With Stewart, Senna, Mansell, Nuvolari, Brabham, etc? I think not.



If it was fair enough for Rubens to throw the steering wheel of his F1 car on to the track that to in Monoco then I would consider this incident of Michale blocking Rubens to be also fair enough. Just after 2 seconds the steering wheel landed on the track another car had passed, what would have happened if the steering wheel was thrown 2 seconds later or if the car had arrived 2 seconds earlier. A Massa like incident would have happened. Is it not outrageous then the blocking incident which has happened in this race.

What penalty was given to Vetal in the last race in Germany for pushing Alonso to the wall during the start of the race.


That move was pure Ayrton Senna. Schumachers competitive nature is still there for all to see. It was a very harsh move, but that’s what people like Schumacher and Senna do/did.

I think people look back on Arytons moves with rose tinted specs, but Aryton was doing that kind of thing when the cars were far from safe.

The most danerous move in Rubens career? Probably not (Rubens was racing when things were tougher than that!), but Rubens does like to complain doesn’t he (like saying Schmacher was moving too late??? there was nothing wrong with that!), not that I think the move should go unpunished, but a 10 place drop is about right. We saw Hamilton push Alonso towards the pit exit wall in Canada this year at far lower speeds (but in the pit lane which is far more unsafe) and nothing said or done about it, some part of me thinks many in F1 have an axe to grind with Scumacher, especially those who he thrashed.

Correct penalty IMO, I’m guessing a lot of the people complaining perhaps weren’t around when Senna (and Piquet for that matter) were pulling some outragous moves… That’s racing folks.


It’s funny you know, I didn’t see Ayrton Senna anywhere in Hungary on Sunday.

You’d think I would have noticed him, seeing that his actions seem to have so much bearing on what Michael Schumacher did.

…or perhaps it is that the actions of a man who died 16 years ago have no bearing whatsoever on the actions of man racing on Sunday?


I voted hard but fair.

RB must have been totally crazy going 300km per hours between Michael Schumacher and the wall.

What was Barrichello thinking?

Michael moved slowly right and left enough space.

Vettel did the same thing to Alonso a week ago, nobody complained. Not even Alonso.


Everyone go watch Senna put Alan Prost off at Japan in the first corner at 170mph, and then take the world title for the year. Senna was just as ruthless, and both are fantastic human beings out of the car. In the car, these men who are aliens in their own right as far as talent goes, are ruthless. When that helmet goes on all that matters, is the win. Like or hate em, they provide us the fan base with spectacular entertainment. I personally think the move was over the line, but having said that there was no accident.


As for Vettel’s drive through penalty being uncalled for per some of your correspondents, I thought as a minimum it should have been a 10 sec stop/go.

He was obviously trying to give himself space to Webber, so that he could run fast and pull away from Alonso after the restart without running up against his teammate – knowing that Webber still had his stop to make. Good idea, but the way he went about it put him on the wrong side of the rules.

How ever you look at it, it was a deliberate manoeuvre.

If you accidentally transgress – drive through, if you transgress while trying to generate an advantage – stop/go.


With all this talk of Michael, why hasn’t anyone questioned Vettel’s start tactics. He had tried very hard to push Alonso and Webber into the pit wall at the previous 2 races. Or is it ok for him as he’s Bernies golden child.


Michael could have killed Rubens with that move.

He is old,slow and a danger to both himself and other drivers. He should retire immediately.


I think a 4th category can be used when rating MSC’s manoeuvre on RB. You have offered ratings of either – ‘outrageous’, ‘hard but fair’ or ‘no problem with it’, but I would add ‘stupid and desperate’ with maybe just a tiny tiny bit of psychotic around the edges.

While MSC may think of it as ‘demonstrating I’m no pushover’, the fact is at the moment at this level in that car MSC is a pushover, so stopping people coming by – by driving them into a wall – really only sends one message, and its probably not the one that MSC wants to send.

Christopher Snowdon

The Brackley based cars are where they historically are at this point of the season, so is it a surprise Schumi is fighting a Williams? Last year they were behind at this stage to, maybe not quite where they are this year, but they didn’t develop nearly as well as their rivals and never have!!!

James do you think a team like Williams should look at Brawns example from last year and just sack off a whole year to develop a car??


It’s not as simple as that, otherwise everyone would do it. You need a major rule change, there is one for next year, but now everyone is building next year’s cars


WAIT A MIN. Just reviewed the replay, here goes. According to the rules, the lead driver may make one defending move on the the driver making an overtaking move as long as the overtaking car has not passed the front wheel or the nose yes, James? If that is correct then RB decided to stick to his overtaking move on the right of MS yes? ok MS held the line that he chose, now once RB got his nose in front of MS car MS moved to the left. Maneuver complete. RB had all the opportunity to go around MS on the left BUT he chose the inside Line and I must say the DANGEROUS LINE. Vettel tried this move on Alonso AND Webber at the start of last 2 races Not as severe but hey same move and NO-ONE said anything. I guess it’s because the name is Schumacher, when Lewis does something like that the same British press would defend him.


I think that English media is the worst thing that happened to the sport. And Martin Brundle is the worst thing happened to English media.

I watched Nascar the other day and it’s a lot more healthier politically.

If it was an English driver like Lewis, they would say “Ohh F1 driver knows exactly what they are doing and they are so precise that they know when the wall ends, that’s why Lewis did precisely what he needed to do”. It could be right. It may look bad on public domain but really how much do we know how much they know what they are doing? The wall ended inches after the move. It was so precise arguably. I mean, guys like Lewis, Senna, MS did ruthless things but they never actually injured anyone as far as I can remember. And I am not saying that MS shouldn’t be criticized. He SHOULD be every time he exposes his flaws. But when you see extreme bias stuff you just don’t know whether it’s him or media, especially when Marin Brundle says something about MS. You wander if he is telling the truth or he is trying to take personal revenge. But as a fan who pays to watch, I feel that he should be a bit more professional so that we can rely on the information he gives us.


couldn’t agree with you more…human Hippocratic tendencies have no limits


Well said.


It’s a question of degree with these things, and for me Schumacher went too far his time.

I’ve nothing against wheel to wheel racing (the Villeneuve/Arnoux battle linked above is still incredible viewing) and I’m not particularly outraged or disgusted, but it was dangerous and a penalty is justified.

He’s right though, Barrichello is a bit of a cry-baby…


There was absolutely nothing wrong with what Michael did in hungary/. That is what he is paid to do, to drive the car and get the best result possible. One point is one point…that s what the sponsors expect of him as do the fans..

The witch hunt against the guy, especially from the BBC team on air is just shameful. David, Martin and Rubens – how many world championships have they won? None…how many proper challenges did they mount to win the world championship and even come close by taking it to the last race of the season at least? None…

Now you see why that was…their mindset….they are irrelevant to F1 history books and here they are passing judgement on the most successful driver ever….history shows that they were merely making up the numbers during their time in F1… where as Michael was willing to go places and push the rules to the limit to win….that s why he is a winner……..every time these jokers open their mouth about Michael I need to double check the channel to make sure I m not on Comedy central!!!

One don’t hear Alain Prost complaining about Michael’s driving…even Alonso seems to have grown up a bit now….its always the nobodies who try to be a somebody by making a big noise….aka Rubes & Co…..

I think if anyone in the general public…certainly on this blog at least…expects to see good and morally acceptable behavior during a Sunday they should do them self a favor and go to Sunday mass instead coz they don’t belong watchin


…history will show that, this season, MSC is making up the numbers. Too old, too slow, too late, too dangerous. Give it up.


History on his second coming is still in the process of being written…..

but….even if the 3 years with Mercedes come to nothing..(or even if he leaves early) …92 race wins… 7 world championships….couple of seasons of taking the title fight to the last race…and that too doing it with the most famous name in motor racing…statistically it still makes him the greatest driver…..opinions to otherwise are irrelevant….coz that s just what it is…opinions….and opinions start wars!!!


Not everything that is said and done in churches is morally acceptable for me.


Would you be saying this if they had hit each other and one (or both) of them were lying in hospital?


MCS move today stunk. For a single point he put another drivers life on the edge. He was a winner who played poorly for years and that move today confirmed the is a looser trying to make up for it. Rubens has had to deal with Schumacher crap long enough and today was way over the line. Good man Rubens, you are 5 times that of a man than whats his name. F1 Officials a time spot penalty for doing a move this out of order is a sign to younger more responsible drives that you do not care or respect the sport or each other. Had Rubens crashed, died or taken them both out then what would you call be? I guess we will have to wait til a near death crash helps you decide.

Schumacher should be out for a race at the least and fined heavily as life and respect for other drivers is worth at least that.


I am not a driver but from what I can see there was not a lot of room on the inside for Ruben to even pass there. Maybe, Ruben went to the inside to bait him?

So perhaps, Michael was surprised to see Ruben place his car there and moved over accidently?

Nonetheless, it was a close one…..


Plenty of room of MS would have held his line.


As Coulthard said on the telly — “Michael never

knows when to give it up.”

This incident goes to the very heart of Schui’s character flaw.

He’ll never change.


And also shows why DC didn’t win much…

Val from Montreal

Schumacher’s move on Barrichello was the most EXCITING moment in the whole race ! At least Michael gives a show to F1 racing fans … Rubens is a cry baby …. I realy hope MS’s comeback is more successful in 2011 ..

Go Michael !!


James – you mention in your review on ITV-F1 that there’s a pic doing the rounds that shows the true severity of the Schuey-Barrichello incident. Any chance you could post a link to it here??


Harvey Eight does at the top of the comments section


I hope Schumacher stays in F1 to the bitter end, and that he retires ( for good this time ) having achieved nothing worthy of note, which would certainly be the case about his second “driving career” if he retired this week.


why is it ok for senna to put prost into the wall in 88 but not ok for schuey to do it to rubens?! did anybod notice how brundle failed to answer this question on the bbc forum?! truth is senna’s death created his overhyped legacy and thats why people always praise him,

up until today i had respect for brundle and as for coulthard he REALLY proved himself to be a SORE loser! knocking schuey behind the mic, too chicken to do it on the track!


Why is it OK for ANYONE to do it…if the punishment would be tough enough three race ban…then it would stop…slap on the wrist and TONS of media coverage does not stop them.


Loved seeing Rubens in the post race BBC interview standing up for himself and inviting people to give their opinions to him on twitter. It was interesting contrasting how uncomfortable Michael looked to how happy Rubens seems, maybe a few old ghosts have been exorcised.

The story last week about Rubens wearing an “i beat the stig” t-shirt and dropping off bags containing “i didn’t beat the stig” t-shirts to Webber, Hamilton and Button made me laugh.


Rubens has a real sense of Humour, fair play to the guy for that.


There is some ‘apres moi’ hard-wired in Michael Schumacher that comes out when the pressure is on.

It was very dangerous, and not just for the drivers. As we were reminded in the recent Webber flying episode who knows where Barrichello’s car would have finished up.

And the explanation about ‘passing on the wrong side’ just doesn’t ring true.

But the incident between the two that sticks in the mind was Schumacher rejoining the race after a pit stop at the infamous ‘small show’ USGP. He seemed to come out right into the path of Barrichello both a very high speed, a ‘my-way’ or ‘no-way’ moment. Scary given the known consequences of high-speed impacts at Indianapolis.


Schumacher is an arrogant idiot and his move was a total disgrace. The stewards 10 place grid penalty is also a disgrace. They continue to hand out penalties akin to a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket. Schu should be banned for life and sent back home to clean the horse s”t out of Corinna’s stables


Delighted to see the former great one, further sully his legacy. To be consistently outqualified by a team mate whom, no disrespect to Nico has yet to win a race in addition to his stock car antics in Canada and finally today’s pit wall lunacy, enough is enough. He just can’t help himself. Consider Yamamoto had piloted the car that moved in the manner Michael’s did today against Rubens. Would he be looking at a 10 place grid drop on Spa? I suspect he’d had been banned for multiple races.

Continue by all means to tarnish a great legacy Michael. Just don’t kill anyone while you’re at it.


He is starting to look desperate now….

The fact he won his world champions with a number two at his side, we are now seeing the real talent of the man,how many championship can we really say he won fair, without a car with launch control, with a team mate shackled and without the FIA help…

Maybe two world championships ??


I think that the worst part of the move was that Schumacher continued to push Barrichello towards the wall, even past what would have been the point of impact.

I have no problem with drivers squeezing others towards the wall as a form of pressure, but there comes a point where you need to stop squeezing, so that you don’t cause an accident!

Erik ( Brazil )

I’ve seen Jim Clark come by in person, your remark of ‘the end of greatness” is right on. In all those years of F1 I have never seen a more dislikeable

person than MS.


Schumacher pulled some fairly outrageous moves throughout his career. It’s interesting to observe the differing reaction to this kind of move when fighting at the front and at the peak of his career and pulling it whilst he’s making up the numbers. I think it show that the difference between genius and madness can be simply in the perception amid the circumstances.


I’ve no problem with it because Michael’s positioning of his car was precise and his reactions when relenting were instantaneous. The gap he left allowed an overtake IF Rubens wanted it enough and IF he could steer accurately and steadily. These two old warriors ticked all the boxes. It is however a bad example to those on the grid who can’t give and take this amount of pressure and keep their head. I sympathize with the stewards since prohibiting the newbies from engaging in this master class brinksmanship is necessary. So across-the-board enforcement compels them to punish Schumacher. And one more avenue of excitement is closed off. Pity.


Great way to put an exclamation mark on his driving….at that speed it could have been deadly.

Not very good for a champion.


It was a nasty move, Webber got a drive through in Germany last year for less. I dont think the 10 place penalty is right, I reckon 5 place would have been more adequate for the crime.

I’ve had worse moves pulled on me in karting (some where I’ve ended up in tyre walls/gravel pits), and I’ve pulled out the same moves on others too. Obviously the speed difference is higher and it is quite a long shot to compare the too, but I think the move was hard but fair. Schumacher would not have pushed Barichello into the wall. He was being ruthless, but no different to what Senna would have been.


“I think the move was hard but fair. Schumacher would not have pushed Barichello into the wall.”

Barichello begs to differ. And HE, unlike YOU, was actually there.

When a man ( Barichello ) who has raced in 300 F1 races says it was THE most dangerous

incident he ever experienced, it’s telling us all that the situation was well beyond Schumacher driving aggressively, and that only luck prevented a catastrophe.

Schumacher ought to be under close scrutiny

by the FIA, from this point on. The sport does not

need any fatalities in service of the ego of a has-been,

to be quite blunt.


Give it a break. Schumacher would not haev pushed him into the wall. He’s human, ruthless but still a human. He very nearly quit the sport back in 2002 when a marshall died as a result of a crash. He knew what room there was.

Like I said, Senna would have pulled a very similar move given the situation. He did so in many of his races, in a feature for Top Gear on the BBC, Martin Brundle even said that Senna would put you in a situation where you would both have a crash, it was down to you to decide whether that crash was going to happen. Schumacher was no different here. It’s fine that Senna did it, and he’s considered a legend, but Schumacher takes a leaf from his hero’s book and is considered a villan?


There are two sides to this – Schumacher had not left a car’s width on track but he perhaps did not take account of the track widening after the pit wall, so Barrichello relied on going partly off track – and arguably by completing his move in the pit lane, he was overtaking off track.

However, to attempt to put someone into the wall is not hard but fair, it is dangerous driving.

In many respects it was similarly dangerous to putting Kubica on the grass at Canada. It seemed like each time he left a sniff of a gap and when it was taken he forced the opponent off the track. Rubens was suggesting on the radio before the incident that Schumacher was using a deliberate tactic of leaving a gap and then chopping across.

As I’ve pointed out many times, the Sporting Code EXPLICITLY forbids pushing people off the track, wall or no wall. If you let someone get a nose along side, then it is too late, you have to let them stay along side, forcing off the track is not legitimate.

(And if you think the Kubica move was not dangerous, remember what happened to Mansell at Imola when Berger accidentally forced him onto the grass – a full 360 spin).


He was definitely out of order. You don’t put guys an inch from the concrete pit walls like that.


True – a foot is OK though!


Schumi is a “hasbeen”. He cant outqualify Rosberg and his ego is so big he thinks he still has world championship potential. He probably owes at least 2 world titles to Rubens having to move over so he could win. He crashed Damon Hill out in Australia to win another title so for my money he is just a 3 time world champion and still acting like a spolt kid. No Champion with any real character would do what he did to Rubens when figting for 10th place, he should retire and go play lawn bowls!


It’s about time someone showed Shumi where the line is. This time he isn’t in a winning Ferrari and isn’t untouchable.

I agree that defensive driving is a skill and yes many other drivers have done similar things in the past.

The difference is that this wasn’t a white line or some grass… this was a concrete wall. It was the most extreme block in the last 10 years of F1.

Only Hamilton on Glock in 2008 Monza comes close.


Im betting this one blows the previous record of 1200~ hits out of the water! 😀


Not hits, comments, hits were in the 100,000s


VERY cool and great for you site.


It was a hard move, but people are over-reacting because it’s Michael Schumacher. Mark Webber did a very similar thing to Felipe Massa at Fuji in 2008, squeezing him up against the pit wall and I don’t remember this furore then.

Last week we had Brundle on Top Gear telling us Senna’s strengths were that he would let you decide if you were going to have an accident and this week he comes out against what Schumi did. I shouldn’t be surprised though. As much as I like Brundle and he has some very valid and interesting points when it’s come to Schumi this season his OTT comments have been sensationalising nonsense.


Yup I also agree. I’ve found Ant Davidson and David Croft to offer far more balance on the commentry they give than the likes of Coulthard and Brundle. You can tell lots of people are still very resentful of the guy who gave them a good thrashing in years gone by.


I also agree. While Brundle does add to the commentary, some of his bias’ are startlingly obvious.


100% correct.


Galapago555…..It’s amazing to what lenghts some will go, and how they will use any excuse to try and criticize Hamilton. There surely was a pro Hamilton bias in the ruling, that Lewis had received at Spa in 2008.

Schumacher’s actions today deserved a black flag today IMO, because it those wheels would have inter-locked on the main straight, it could have had disatrous, and possibly deadly results. Michael isn’t alone in making such moves…..The winner of today’s race Mark Webber is also guilty, maybe not as extreme, but still guilty of carring out such moves.


Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher. All the best defensive drivers do these things. They run the line between hard and fair.

The difference between those cases and this one, was the concrete wall. You can drive over grass. You can not drive over a concrete wall.


Schumacher had absolutely no intention of doing anything other than forcing Rubens into submission.

It was dangerous, reckless, foolish, disgraceful and well worthy of the 10 place grid drop he has received in my opinion.

The example cited of Senna and Prost in Portugal is a poor comparison, Senna knew the limit and left the space. Schumacher showed no signs of leaving any space for Rubens at all, if the wall had continued then an accident was inevitable.

All credit to Rubens, he refused to yield to someone who looked like little more than a bully today.

What is your opinion on it, James? Your articles are, as always, great – but I’d like to hear more of your personal take on some of the more controversial happenings.


yeah but the wall didn’t continue. thats the point, schumi knew there was some pit exit road to use after. he got rubens pinned up the wall to a point, but didn’t still continue driving to the right.

so your analysis is false.


I’m a die hard schumi fan, and have been since the early 90’s. I remember his debut, his acrimonious move to benneton, his hard work and commitment to ferrari, his SEVEN world titles which people will still say arent counted because of the class of the opposition and the dominance of the Ferrari, a Ferrari HE created to be dominant, and now his return. Yes, today was dangerous, but isnt F1 a dangerous sport?!

The move is questionable to say the least. The driver in front is allowed to defend his position, and if that means leaving a gap the size of an F1, then so be it. However, theres a place for that kind of gap, and its going into a hairpin, for example, at low speeds with a big run off area and not at 200mph. Barichello had every chance to lift off and avoid the situation but chose not to take it.

For everyone saying ‘its over 10th place’ well at the moment that is unfortunatley what the Mercedes is capable of, and a point in F1 makes all the difference. People on here are also referring to Senna et al, and discussing their moves. Its what separates these kind of drivers from the webber’s, hill’s and massa’s. Their desire to finish ahead of everyone else! remember suzuka 1990?! yes it was for the championship and not 10th place, but senna could have killed himself and prost in an era where F1 safety wasnt what it is today. i feel that maneuver was worse than what schumi done today.

Its a shame that every one is willing schumi to fail.

James, do you feel that schumi will be in the car next year? the car this year clearly would have suited button much better with his preference for understeer, but do you feel schumi still has it?


“People on here are also referring to Senna et al, and discussing their moves. Its what separates these kind of drivers from the webber’s, hill’s and massa’s. Their desire to finish ahead of everyone else! “


That must be why Mark Webber is in the lead for the WDC, because he doesn’t mind being passed ?

If this was chess, I’d be saying “checkmate” right now,



Well you might well be saying that, but you would look very silly my friend.

Yes of course webber wants to finish ahead of everyone, but when was the last time he overtook someone to gain position in the race, except for at the first corner off the start line or in the pits? when was the last time he defended brilliantly?

He hasnt got the will to win at any cost which Senna and Schumi had. thats the difference.

Theres a difference between being a good driver in the fastest car and leading the championship, and actually fighting tooth and nail in an inferior car and still almost winning the title by doing what you have to do to win (schumi ’97)


It was pretty unpleasant but maybe the BBC fanned the flames a little. It’s easy to overreact and the Schu haters love to dive in and compare with similar unpleasant on track antics that Schumacher is famous for. Rubens was a hero today for keeping his foot in but imagine how he and Schumacher would have looked if he backed off. Rubens gambled his life there and won. Schumacher came off not so good and gave the critics something to write about.

I’m not condoning Schumacher’s behavour here as we know he is dubious sometimes but watch the overtaking clip again with the sound muted and somehow it doesn’t seem nearly as bad. Ruben’s knew that the move would be tight and knew what he is capable of. I’m pleased for the Brazilian but let’s lay off the German a little as I am glad to see him racing again.


“let’s lay off the German a little as I am glad to see him racing again.”

We’ll “lay off the German” when he quits acting like the

dirty trick artist and cheat he was in his previous career.

If you’re unable to see that there are concrete reasons

( no pun intended ) why people dislike Schumacher,

perhaps you have a different sort of ethics than those of us who would not consider cheating in order to



Deserved a penalty but race bans is way too harsh.

But I bet for that split second, Barrichello regretted his homophobic comments he made about Schumacher at a Brazilian night club two years ago!



If he wanted to be “Hard but fair” he could have defended the inside line before Barrichello got too close.


Correct decision by the stewards IMO.


the only bit of wheel to wheel racing in the entire race, and it gets criticized.

what is wrong with people?

it was hard but fair. The video footage speaks for itself, he left enough room, 1 cars width, and Barichello got through.

The argument ‘what if they had touched’ is irrelevant, because they didn’t touch. You could say the same thing about a whole host of overtaking moves.

It only looked spectacular because of the dust that was kicked up – Michael was well aware that there was extra road to be used past that wall, the pitlane, and forced rubens to take it. He did, and well done to him for it.

You look at some footage in the 80’s of drivers battling wheel to wheel, constantly hitting each other, this was no different.

Schumacher does things in desperate times when theres simply No other alternative option. In 1997 he had absolutely nothing to lose.

How is this any worse than Senna doing a premeditated and calculated move on Prost on the 1st corner of the 1st lap in Suzuka? How could that move been any more blatent, Senna didn’t even TRY to race – and yet he is classed as a Hero?

Can someone explain that to me? Because I don’t understand it.


Look at the end result. Nobody was hurt, no cars were damaged, what’s all the fuss?? It’s F1, these are the best drivers in the world and Schumi showed that by giving no more AND NO LESS than the amount of room for Rubino to get through. Everyone needs to get over it and the penalty is ridiculous. Looking forward to seeing Schumi in a car designed for him and not Jenson Button in 2011.


It was a hard move, maybe dangeorus, but don`t forget drivers are even closer to the wall in every lap twice in Canada. Ok, there is no one beside.


If Barrichello had hit the brakes as he was being driven into the wall, because the tires of the two cars being interlocked together, then it would have taken them both out.

Schumacher did not leave Barrichello sufficient space to abandon the overtake as he was driving him into the wall. In effect, and if the pit wall had been several inches longer, he would have made Barrichello choose between hitting Schumacher or the wall.

I would guess there is some grazing on the side of Barrichello’s right rear tire, it seemed so close. Had there been contact, we would have had a crash much worse than Luizzi at Hockenheim.

Seriously, it could have hurt them both, badly. I think it was extremely dangerous, and Schumacher should be ashamed of his actions.

Giving someone the chance to back out of the move, that’s fair. Trapping someone between a car and a wall at 180 mph … that’s extremely dangerous.


This issue has put me in mind of the famous Dijon ’79 duel – take another look at it and listen to Clarkson’s words…

Arnoux & Villeneuve banged wheels three times and drove the other off the track more than once, yet critics cite this as the embodiment of a halcyon age of ‘real racers’ unwilling to give an inch.

Would that we had that attitude today, instead of this cry-baby, nanny culture pervading the pitlane….


Your description doesn’t seem to fit what I see in the video. For the most part both drivers seem to be managing to go round the corners side by side, no drifting wide to put the outside guy onto the grass and no squeezing people off the track.

Rather than driving each “other off the track more than once” there seems to be only one instance where someone is squeezed and that is at about the 1:10 mark. Even then both drivers are trying to take something approaching the racing line, rather than merely trying to deny the opponent track to drive on.


Perhaps if Arnoux had shoved Villeneuve towards a concrete wall at 180mph it wouldn’t have been such an acclaimed fight.

It’s not like drivers aren’t allowed to have a proper go these days – look at Hamilton and Button banging wheels in Turkey. They just have to do it reasonably fairly so as not to kill someone.

We saw in Valencia what happens when you get wheels interlocked, which was a very real danger here. We also saw it in the Superleague race at Brands Hatch this weekend where Van Der Drift was launched into a bridge and broke several bones. Rubens was centimetres away from being launched into a concrete wall. Villeneuve and Arnoux were not, not to mention that they were sticking to their chosen lines. Which Schumacher did not.


Looking at Arnoux & Villeneuve video, I see 2 gentleman racing, nothing dangerous there.

Looking at Barrichello & Schumacher incident, I see Schumacher deliberately pushing Barrichello into pitwall, if the pitwall would not have ended where it did, then Barrichello would have crashed into the wall. And if someone would have come from the pits at the same time, I don’t think you would talk about cry babys and putting links here, that you can’t even compare with.


I remember Dijon 79 well.

(It was my first year of watching F1 as a small kid)

The great Gilles never pushed Arnoux into any concrete walls – there were no walls involved at all.

They banged wheels not concrete walls, totally different.

The other difference is it was 50-50 with Rene giving Gilles as good as he got.

Today’s incident was 100% MS fault with Rubens just hanging on to see if he came out the other side. Rubens did not subsequently push MS into the wall – like Arnoux bashed into GV as much as GV did to him.


It’s a fine line between putting up a strong fight and endangering your opponent but Schumacher’s old enough to know the difference. The ten place penalty at the next race seems like the right decision.

Kudos to Rubens for keeping his foot in. He drove the wheels off that Williams today. It was a joy to watch.


I honestly think Schumacher did what most racer will do. It was Rubens’ choice to have go near the wall, he must be a brave man. I do think Rubens complains often.


i have to agree schumacher is none diffrent to drivers from past iv seen hamilton do some ify moves canada 07?? id say he went for kimi rather than hit the bmw! its the way racing is!


For all those insisting that Schumacher should’ve received a race ban – banning him from the next race would only punish the fans who have worked hard to save money and book tickets to see him race once more, at a circuit where he is traditionally the most supported driver.

I should know, I’m going for that exact reason.

Formula 1 is a dangerous sport. I for one want to see drivers take ridiculous risks, show courage and drive on a knife-edge. I’m not saying what he did was right, but give me that high intensity, ruthless, wheel to wheel action any day.


“…give me that high intensity, ruthless, wheel to wheel action any day.”

You must be thinking of MotoGP.


You want to see drivers take ridiculous risks? Easy to say when it’s not your life that is being put at risk.


Yes but I’m not a Formula 1 driver who puts his life at risk every time he steps into a Formula 1 car.

It’s all about context. To me and you, simply braking as late as these guys do into a corner would be sheer madness and putting your life at risk – for these guys it’s the day job.

I’m not saying that what Schumacher did was right (it was definitely too aggressive), but our frame of reference as to what is risky or what is life-threatening differs massively to these guys. It’s the exact reason why the FIA now appoints ex-drivers as stewards, because they have built up those same reference points from experience. Before ex-drivers were brought in to judge race incidents, stewards outcomes differed wildly – simply because the normal stewards did not have the necessary experience or frame of reference to adjudicate sufficiently.


Schumacher should know better. An pointless and extremely dangerous move. Having said that, in the past Schumacher got away with this kind if thing as he was such a draw for viewers / spectators.

If the FIA now withdrew his super-license for deliberately endangering the life of another driver then it would send a signal out to other drivers at all levels of the sport.

I guess that the FIA will issue a statement, and at the worst a fine, and Schuey will continue in his same old ways whilst being overtaken by a Lotus.

Unbelievable, he had the nerve to blame Rubens for the incident.


A “low-life” move by Schumacher. But just the most recent, nothing new. Those who try to justify squalid behaviour by comparing it to previous and even worse behaviour scare the hell outta me!


This man is 41 years old that is dog years in open wheel racing, It is time to go,Mercedes gp will never move forward as long as he is there,The only reason he came back because of his big fat ego He look at the f1 grid and said to himself I am still better than those guys,How wrong was he.Nico Rosberg merchandise has out sold his,Nico is beating him,And the rest of the drivers refuse to kiss his rings,Schumacher changed the car so many times and the car is still bad,while Nico takes the same car and beat him with it.People who make excuses all the time are losers,and Schumarcher has now turned into that,If those Schumarcher fans can not handle that to bad,He is only a race car driver not God !



couldnt agree more chaz

schumacher thought he was better than the new batch of drivers of today when he was contemplating his comeback and thought by stepping into jensons championship winning car here is title no.8 coming my way .

he was great in the late 90s and early 2000’s,but this sport belongs to the 22-25yr old drivers of today .

he should just go away as he is totally ruining his legacy and the legend people thought he was, not this old fool trying to kill himself and other drivers for 10th place on a track he has won so many times in the past .

its sad but life is sad too .


“Nico Rosberg merchandise has out sold his…”

In Weisbaden and on Planet Rock maybe, everywhere else, no.


I think I agree with Chris. The block was pretty tough, but that’s racing!!!


scumacher is a disgrace to our sport .

senna would have done this for the lead not for tenth and a single point .

schumacher is a joke and he will never be the greatest of all time for stupid driving like this .

go home schumacher ,count your money or watch corrine training her ponies .

we dont need you we dont want you

leave the sport now before you hurt yourself


1. This is not your sport.

2. Great to see a driver fight for a single point in the same way he does for a victory. Senna nearly did not drive in 1993 when he found out about the Ford engine in his McLaren and complained about Prost 1993 contract at Williams. Wow, the motivation of that guy is admirable.

3. Schumacher is statistically the greatest, with nearly as much race wins as those of Senna and Prost combined. Deal with it.

4. Most of us want Schumacher in F1. Except for some frustrated crybabies.


Here Here


i never said it was my sport

i said it was our sport the fans that is and the people who are involved in it around the world .

statistics dont mean anything ,how many years did schumacher have no competiton at all ?

senna drove against the best and beat the best

prost is the one who said he didnt want senna as a team mate in 93 at williams

schumacher couldnt even beat alonso to the 2006 title even though he had a faster car

get over that .


Couldn’t agree more.


Schumacher should have been dealt with before in Canada when he pulled the same move on Massa. and run him off the road.

The only thing that is surprising me is all the people coming out and saying how dangerous MS is now and should he have came back after all – he has never been any different. Once a dirty driver, always a dirty driver.

Great drive Mark by the way.


Yes, Senna, Prost, Piquet and the like also had their fair share of ruthless racing in their days.

But what I saw today was different. Here Schumacher purposely tried to run Barrichello in the wall. This wasn’t about position, this wasn’t about making it ‘hard’ for his opponent to overtake. This was about total and complete disrespect against a fellow driver…


It was a bit hard I have to admit. But what do you expect from Schumi? He moved all the way to the line. Ruebens could have just slowed and went round the outside. But he decided to take to the pitlane. They didn’t touch so I can’t see what was wrong with it…. I guess it is just because it is Schumacher and he polarizes people. You either love him or you hate him. On the German websites most were saying how brave the move was. And also about Ruebens whining on the radio. What did he expect? Schumi to move over and let him through just because he got paid to move over at Ferrari? NOT!


Shuntys true nature showing again today.

Besides the grid penalty he should have been warned about future conduct.

The arrogance of him to try and justify his dangerous act against one of the true gents of F1 is repugnunt.

The sooner this flawed ex champion is out of F1 the better.


Disgraceful move. Schumacher should be banned for several races and warned that any repeat will mean a life ban. I know that’s not long in practice, but it has to be a message that is forced home.

That move was a calculated attempt to force the other driver off the track. It could have killed both of them and also possibly marshalls etc nearby.

There is a fine line between hard and fair and dangerous. This was nowehere near that, it was well beyond that line.

I’m also dissapointed that James Allen hasn’t expressed condemnation. Asking for readers views is a cop-out!


Just remember – James (I believe) values his public credibility and whereas you or I can mouth off reactively and nobody remembers, that’s less the case for a highly esteemed journalist.

Either way, it’s fine to take your time to consider an event and let the immediate reaction settle.

For what it’s worth, I am not a Schumi apologist and I agree with what you otherwise wrote.


Yes, but “highly esteemed journalists” need to remember that they require credibility from both sides.

Their audience needs to respect the journalist.

I agree that on less controversial issues, it is OK to sit on the fence. There is no doubt that outsiders will see things differently from insiders, and Allen needs to ensure he does not just jump on the populist bandwagon.

However this incident was way beyond that. The move was dangerous. Full stop. End of discussion. This is not an issue of being (or not-being) a Schumacher fan. Anyone that thinks that this issue has anything to do with whether chumacher is liked is missing the point.

The move was deliberate, it was calculated, and it was dangerous. I have no idea why he did it. I have no real interest why he did it. The fact is he did it, and until everyone in F! takes their head out of the sand and says it was dangerous, he will continue to do it.

Where is Mr Rent-a-quote Ecclestone now? And that parrot Ross Brawn simply repeats what his driver says!

Why will no-one in authority criticise him. The fact is that the local stewards (Including a driver) said it was dangerous enough to be punished. Does Brawn dispute that?


I have been a die-hard Schumacher fan since 1994/95.. but what he did today to Barichello simply underlines his frustration with how his comeback has gone totally wrong so far this year.. he knew that not only Barichello had fresh tyres but also that his car was marginally faster than the dog that Schumacher was driving.. and they were not fighting for the last corner of the championship decider. If Mercedes has stopped developing this year’s car, even Schumacher cannot do anything but be a mid-field rider and simply collect points. I think Schumacher is finding the reality difficult to accept. As a side note, Ayrton did not die pushing someone else in the wall. Let us a have a bit of respect for the legend!


Todays events were exactly what everyone should expect from Schumacher, typical of his style throughout his career. His comeback is not going well and one wonders how long he will stay in F1 if he cannot get back to being at the front.


Schumi’s move today was indefensible. Yet Norbert Haug, Ross Brawn and others are defending a move that should have been black-flagged. If a driver reverses in the pit lane as Mansell did all those years ago in the 1989 Portuguese GP, he is immediately black-flagged. Yet a dangerous, high speed incident like this is not punishable with the black flag. Is the 10 place punishment on the next grid a measure of the lingering respect that F1 has for Schumi, or a fair judgement by the stewards? The fan base vote so far seems to think a black flag was warranted on the day.

F1 is producing some highly debatable incidents recently such as this and Ferrari’s choices alst weekend. What are your thoughts James? Should Schumi been black flagged or even banned from racing in the next race?


No disrespect towards the race fans on this blog, who by large, offer reasonable, knowledgeable and thought-out comments (though I suspect that James does a good job of filtering out the duff ones).

However, I take the race stewards judgement over the opinion of race fans any day. Most people seem to agree that by and large, the stewards ruling this season have been well balanced and fair. The inclusion of the ex-driver-turned steward has been a great success.

They had a range of punishments at their disposal to inflict upon Schumi. If they consider a 10-place grid penalty the appropriate punishment, then so be it.

Calling continuously for race bans, black flags and so on, makes people just sound bitter.


I couldn’t agree more that utilising ex-GP drivers to act as stewards is a very good move. However, one trusts they will rule iaw the rules and regulations on the day, and use their discretion based on their GP experience to smooth out the awkward interpretations. And, bottom- line, ensure that the sport is greater than the individuals/teams!

There are two issues: Is Schumi the beneficiary of his legacy such that stewards, no matter who they are, are intimidated by a top flight driver’s reputation and rule leniently? If that had been another driver one wonders what decision may have been made! It is not clear by what rule the stewards were guided, however, if an act is deemed dangerous it should surely be black-flagged! Reversing in the pit lane is judged dangerous presumably because it can create a dangerous situation as the car is moving in the opposite direction to the normal flow of cars into the pits. Yet the speed at which a car is moving at that point is minimal by virtue of the circumstances. Yet here these two cars were at very high speed and one of them being pushed deliberately towards the wall. That is simply dangerous. So why isn’t that punishable by a black flag? Dangerous driving equals disqualification no matter who that driver is. There is absolutely no way that Schumi could have judged that situation to the point that he was confident that Rubens had a way out, and that equated to a fair safety net. It was a reckless move, and given the high speed and proximity to a very solid wall, it was dangerous, and therefore punishable with the black flag.

Second. Are the Rules and Regs sufficiently clear, unequivocal and all embracing that the stewards can make easy decisions? One is left thinking not, because there is debate like this one taking place and many fans expressing the opinion that Schumi’s move in this case was “outrageous”. The essence of the sport has not changed in all the 60 years of its existence: this is a high speed dangerous sport, and surely by now the rules should have been developed to the point that these sorts of issues are easily and expeditiously dealt with, and not after the race as this was. I am not saying this because I have some bitter agenda against Schumi.

It seems almost incredible that F1 is frequently in the territory where it cannot rule with satisfaction on issues that one would have thought it would have thought of long before it happened. F1’s technology is continually changing, but not the essence of the sport. F1 is blessed with many people with a very high level of intellect, and surely it should be better able to rule on itself than it is during moments like these. Where F1 gets complicated is the speed at which things happen, and the stewards may need time to examine events by referring to replays. However, there are events that irrespective of the speed at which they have happened, are unequivocally straight forward to make a decision. Frankly, I judged that to be the case yesterday.


Yeah, F1 has moved on and Schumacher is now nothing more than a rolling roadblock. This move smacked of desperation – the other guys are just driving around him and it must be hard for him to realise he’s now just an irrelevance.


Firstly, wasn’t that a corker of a race today?! Absolutely brilliant!

Now then, I have always admired the way Micahel Schumacher can rally a team around him to the point of being virtually unbeatable. But his attempted block – for that is exactly what it was – of Barrichello was inexcusable. And that goes for what Vettel did to Alonso at the start in Germany, too.

If you make a mistake, a poor start or a wide exit, don’t compound that error by playing chicken at 200 mph.

Closing the door in a corner is the leading driver’s right as he is following the change in course direction. If the following driver is along side him the leading driver will have to give room or crash. If the follower is behind but closing up, he’ll have to check up and know he’ll have to be alongside before the turn or back off to avoid a collision – not rocket science.

So when did blocking on the straight become acceptable race craft? Hello? Swerving is not defending your position! It is nothing but an attempt to intimidate the following driver. Bullying pure and simple. Some drivers’ entire careers are based on this bullying principle – if you force the issue the other guy will back down the large majority of the time.

The ‘one-direction-change’ rule is as big a bunch of baloney as the ‘no-team-orders’ rule. If a leading driver changes direction on a straight he should be black-flagged immediately and disqualified from the race. And if the same driver repeats such a blatantly dangerous offense he should be suspended for the remainder of the season. I guarantee the swerving will stop.

But enough of my ranting. For now.

Great column James.


Up to his old tricks?

The problem with Schumacher is that he thinks F1 is war rather than a sport.

Unfortunately, based on some of the tricks he pulled in the last few races, I’m starting to think Vettel is in the same mould. These two are both brilliant drivers — why do they feel the need to win at any cost… including their own reputations?


“Win at all cost” is and has been the motto of many great and successful sportsmen, not just in motor sport.

As the saying goes, “nice men (or women) don’t win”.

Schumi has always been ruthless, clearly influenced by drivers like Senna and Prost.

Alonso has the same streak, so have Hamilton and Vettel.

Unsurprisingly, all (expect Vettel) have been Champions in the past. And according to many within the paddock, Vettel is a Champion in waiting.


A totally outrageous move. Someone should show Schumacher the video of the horrific crash at Brands Hatch today to show the dangers of open wheel cars colliding at high speed. The stewards should have made an example of him banned him from Spa. A 10 place penalty will only mean he’ll start from near the back rather about 14th, either way he will be struggling to score any points.

What is really sad was that Schumacher felt the need to defend that aggressively for a mere 10th place. He should stay at home. He is making a complete fool of himself this season, driving around slowly, getting in everybody’s way, and driving dangerously. His comments about Barrichello afterwards were a complete disgrace. It just sums up the total lack of respect that he shows to his rivals. You get the feeling a lot of the other drivers would rather he wasn’t there as well. Today just reminds me why, despite 7 world titles, there are few people that believe he is the greatest driver of all time.


Appalling move. I was really pleased when MS announced his return to the sport (even though I was never a fan before), but this was atrocious. He knew exactly what he was doing, and for Brawn and Haug to stick up for him is indefensible (if not terribly surprising). One mistake from either driver, and Rubens is in the wall, and bits of car go flying all over the place. How can that possibly be fair? If he’d gone any further to the right, Rubens would have been toast.

As for comparisons with Vettel’s moves at the start of recent races: who exactly was the king of pulling such moves? His name as Sichael Mchumacher or something like that.

Ten place penalty at Spa. So that means he’ll qualify in 27th place then?


Schumacher’s move may or may not have been dangerous but what happened in the pitlane was worse!


Had Michael wanted to stop Rubens passing on the inside he could and should have moved over further and earlier and stayed there.

His continual narrowing of the gap to the pitwall whilst actually watching Rubens overtaking him in his mirror was pretty ugly.

At the end of the pit wall the Williams could not have had a gap of much more than an inch or two. Thank heavens no one was in the pit road.

This is another episode or unsportsmanlike behaviour from Michael and probably his most dangerous yet.

If he can only get points by intimidation it’s time to stop. Moreover he chose completely the wrong guy to intimidate. His judgement deserted him even in his perfidy.

Rubens may well wear his heart on his sleeve. Now we know why. His balls take up the rest of the space.


A move like that by ANY driver is dangerous and could have resulted in a death. I can’t believe 22% of voters thought it was acceptable to deliberately put someone’s life in danger!

He should have had a one race ban.


James – great paraphrasing of Dylan (the not Bob). Thought I should quote a few other lines:

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Schumacher should burn and rave somewhere other than the racetrack perhaps……

This has been a disastrous season for his reputation and makes one wonder whether Ralph was ultimately the more talented, but less ruthless brother!


I’d have black-flagged him on the spot and banned him for three races.


That was a disgusting move – Schumacher should have been black flagged for that and banned for a couple of races.

Nice move Rubens – it would have been good to see you race the same Ferrari as Schumacher, with the same amount of practise and development time and with no team-orders.


He’s being pulling these stunts through out his career.

In the past,he forced both Alonso and Hakinen(sp?) of the road at the most dangerous part of the track.

Anybody can see what he does.He drives down the middle of the road and waits until the car behind has comitted themselves and then he moves accoss into their path.

Today was just so blatent,you can see him looking in his mirror waiting for Rubens to make his move.


it looked to me as rubens to complete the move had to move over the white line, doesnt that means he was off the race track to attempt the move and is this no different to when alonso passed kubica of the track.


Hard not to get the feeling that he (MSC) is looking at this return year as a bored millionaire’s hobby – by which I mean that he seems not to appreciate that the rules / guidelines apply to him as they would to a driver trying to make his way and mark in the sport.

‘Don’t you know who I used to be?!’


I think this one is six of one and half a dozen of the other. It was clear which direction Schumacher was heading, and it was closer to the barriers. Any move in that direction by Barichello was obviously going to get the door closed. If he was so superior in speed he should haved perhaps sent a dummy to get Schumacher to react and then gone the other way, or just let Schumacher outbrake himself and pass him as Rubens was eliciting loads of mistakes from Michael.

If we look at past races, Rubens has done exactly the same, and actually got a puncture in Brazil doing this to Lewis IIRC. And what has happened to Vettel for his chops? Or Webber against Felipe Massa?

If drivers dive for a diminishing gap and then complain of a squeeze when chopped off, they should maybe think a bit harder about their style too.


Was Schumacher out of order today? Yes.


It’s always the usual suspects who criticise Schumacher, saw Wurz on the BBC, he never did anything worth talking about in F1, and is always quick to jump on the anti-Schumacher band wagon. I hate the double standards attributed to Schumacher on track, where’s the criticism of Senna?(clouded in sentiment no doubt), where was Hamiton’s 10 place grid penalty for weaving in front of Petrov in Malaysia? Disgraceful

Come on FIA/Stewards if there’s a rule it’s a rule for all

Great quote from Schumacher “We know certain drivers have certain views and then there’s Rubens”


Was Schumacher out of order today? Of course he was. It’s all very well making it difficult to pass, but making it dangerous to pass is another thing entirely. Good to see he’s been penalised.


Pathetic penalty. Should be a 2 race ban minimum.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Despicable. People looked the other way when he was a winner/champion. Now that he’s running for 11th place, not so much. That said, he’s laughing all the way to the bank.


I expect if schumacher knew then, what he knows now he would not have made this disaster of a comeback. He finished pretty much on his peak just missing out on a 8th title, he comes back in a pig of car and being 3 seconds of competitive pace, he cannot compute and reverts to ruthless mode, take no prisoners mode. This was ok when your leading but not when your battling for 10th.
If there is no significant improvement by the end of the year, I wouldn’t expect him back.


I agree with Chris there has been loads of incidents like this in the past from legends such as Senna and Prost down to Webber v Massa in Japan in 08 and nothing bad has been said. However because its Schumacher the usual suspects like TV pundits and Commentators start to vilify him. Schumacher is an aggressive defender. I do not see it as cheating. Rubens had the option to lift and he didn’t.


Dear Rubens:

was it more or less dangerous than you throwing your steering wheel onto the track at Monaco? Because that was pretty stupid and dangerous.


The difference between the two actions is that the steering wheel incident was thoughtless and Schumacher trying to drive Rubens into the wall was reckless.


I voted that this was outrageous ,although I don’t actually agree with the word in particular I think it was dangerous and past the point of being reasonable, but not actually outrageous.

I am a long term Schumi fan, and I have no problem in saying that he went too far, but he didn’t swerve drastically. It was one move across the track at a constant rate. I think Rubens could have foreseen this and gone to the outside and still passed. It did look as though (from Rubens on board camera) that MSC moved across in a gradual and consistent way. He probably ought to have stopped moving in time to leave Rubens a car’s width before the pit exit line, but equally Rubens could always have backed off, although I would have thought less of him if he had!

The rule is that he is allowed one move across the track to defend his line. He did that. There was certainly none of the swerving to “break the tow” that Hamilton was guilty of against Petrov earlier this year.

He should have stopped pushing Rubens at the pit exit line and he has been penalised. This is correct, but I wouldn’t change Schumi or his uncompromising approach in the same way that many people wouldn’t change anything about Senna or his legacy.


He went a bit too far and has been punished with an appropriate penalty which will act as a reminder to all the drivers. Time to move on.

As a Schumacher fan, I do find it disappointing and frustrating. I would have liked to see him hold his hands up for once, admit he was too forceful and promise to play nicely in future. We can but dream.


I say it’s time for some danger in F1. It’s all to nice and rightious, someone has to be the hated one. Schumi feeds on hate, as we know. The more he is hated the better he drives. He’s been all too bus-driver like and needs something to pump him up.

I predict your driver of the day in Spa will be none other than the Schum-ster.


Yeah well, if he qualifies 14th he will start last, so can only go forward.

No chance of any points though; he is rubbish everywhere now, wet, dry, fast tracks, slow tracks, twisty tracks, open tracks. You name it.

He is just jaded and totally past it.

He should have thrown in the towel on this very-ill-advised comeback long ago.

Frankly, I am amazed he hasn’t.

I suspected that when he realised the Merc was not a winner, unlike the Brawn, he would call it quits. But he didn’t.

Allegedly, he is focussing on 2011 and supposed “wdc challenge” for that year, but since he is now 6 years past the time when he still had a wdc in him – and getting older and (the merely competent) Nico Rosberg will comfortably beat him anyway whatever the car is like.

I don’t know what he is up to.

I never liked him in his hey day, but now he is old, slow and incompetent as well as a cheating, dangerous liability.


Well, at least he didn’t stop in the racing line this time to prevent losing a spot eh’?


I find it strange that everyone criticises MS and idolise Senna, they both had/have a similar driving philosophy, ie I’m going into this corner first, if you’re there, we will crash. You may not like it, but don’t criticise one and idolise the other.

michael grievson

My concern is this isn’t just once he’s done that this season. One dy someone is going to seriously hurt. I think all of the drivers need a talking to just to remind them f1 is very dangerous


Got to say Rubens is milking it what with the Twitter mention and suggesting the reason why he moved like that was because of baggage from the past. Another sympathy card played by RB, just well disguised.


Milking it? He’s a veritable milking machine – farmers wish they could have him around!


Why single out Schumi?Rubens himself has closed the doors so many times during his 300 races old career.Michael tried to ensure that he stayed on the inner line heading out to Curve1.

Rubens was faster than him and could have overtaken him anywhere -he chose to dive into the inside and it was his decision,so why cry about it.

As far as the “most dangerous in the entire career”,common Rubens,do you remember THE gentleman who threw over the steering wheel on the race track not so loooong ago?


Very good point… how much did Barrichello deny he’d done anything wrong after Monaco? Yet his petulant tossing of the steering wheel into the path of an oncoming car was, to my mind, far more disgusting and dangerous than today’s racing move. Particularly given Massa’s accident the year before, as a result of debrix from HIS car!


a ten place grid drop for spa. gee, thanks Michael for screwing up my trip. I thought it was insane. What for? What for.


P.S. He should have had a race ban for the move… I don’t think a 10 place grid drop shows the potential danger in his move… we all saw what a bouncing wheel down the pitlane did at 65kpm… this reckless move was at about 240kph.


Schumi’s defensive tactics were out of order this time, as they have been several times this season. IMO he totally deserved what he got.


Absolutely disgusted by this move. His head was cocked to the right for over 180m, so he was clearly looking in his mirrors and knew exactly what he was doing.

An excellent point made on the BBC said that if he really was moving to the right – Schumacher would not have moved the whole way to the pit wall.

He knew he was there, and his competitiveness coupled with his poor performances produced this very dangerous situation.

I’m very glad Rubens is ok.


He has always done this, but when he was leading we didn’t see it too often!


You must agree he’s not lost his fight in age however it was unacceptable to throw Bazza into the wall almost.

It was right to punish him with a 10 place grid spot for Spa also.


I was loving Schumi’s pace,wet track skills and his diligence.Some disgusting move but OK.

But this year I can only find a dirty Michael,and this move was the most dangerous move I have ever seen in my whole life!!!!

I think he should have been suspended for some races.

Rubens,you are the man of the day!The bravest move after 10 years waiting!!!


When Schumi was winning, these types of maneuvers could be excused as being hard but necessary, if there is ever an “excuse” for trying to massively injure another person for sport.

However, now he is unretired, unquestionably slower than his teammate, and unable to reliably make it to Q3 on race weekends. So in this context, Schumi’s move is a sign of desperate amateurism. It’s time to call it quits because Schumi is looking more like a has-been rather than a 7-time champion.


What is YOUR view on the incident James? (That is why we read your blog!)


I think it was over the top, certainly. It happened very quickly and he wasn’t going to give the place away easily, but it was too tight at too high a speed. Put it this way, if the stewards hadn’t punished him with a Spa grid penalty, it would have set a very unfortunate precedent


I think MS just proved he is going to give up and after being lapped by the race leader, he was probably a little unhappy then come RB who had some things to say about him, thought he is going to have to fight me to the death, except it was a little to close for comfort, unless is was a very calculated MS move and new how many mm’s were to go and give RB a scare!


Over the top? It was wreckless and petulant.


I have to agree with you there James,if there is no punishment for a move like that,then what constitutes dangerous driving in F1.I have always supported M.S his desire to win title after title and in way I have always admired his ruthless nature , his unwillingness to be bullied by the likes of SENNA.Yesterdays move though was very dangerous ,I thought it made him look desparate,I could be wrong.

Tell me James what do you think is the real reason he hasnt performed this year,do you think its because he has been away for so long or is it more than that.


He has been talking up a storm about next season , are the tyres likely to be different from what they are now,the front tyres that is, which Ross Brawn describe as “perculiar” for Michael?


Do you think it might be because the car was originally built for Jenson Button,before he went to Meclaren off course.Thing is, I read somewhere that JB stated that one of the reasons MS was not able to drive the car was because he(JB) was actually meant to be in that car .In the article JB says Schumacher’s move to Merc was late as he was signed late in the season anby then car was already built.He JB also spoke about the understeery nature of the car .

Do you think its more rustiness than the driveability of the car that is a problem?


Tyres have a lot to do with it


Well I would say rustiness, obviously, but what worries me is that he doesn’t seem able to drive around problems any more, like he used to. I think this is an understeery car, but by round 12 they should have sorted that for him. It’s mainly quali pace, his race pace is usually better


Y’know what? I don’t it’s overstating it to say that I’m actually starting to despise Rubens Barrichello.

He’s the longest-serving grand prix driver in history, and it’s fair to say that about 90% of any glory he’s had in a racing car has come about because he was in a Ferrari. He knew the contracts he was signing; his tenure at Maranello made him a multi-millionaire and brought him the widest acclaim of his career… and he repaid his team (which he was delighted to join on the terms offered to him) by showboating in ridiculous fashion at the LAST CORNER of Austria 2002 rather than dicreetly blending positions when asked to by his bosses, and has griped and whined since about ‘what it was really like’ being no.2 to the most successful F1 driver of all time.

And how many times have we seen him whinging since then, culmination in last year’s shocking display of disloyalty and ingratitude when he all but accused Brawn of sabotaging his WDC campaign…?

All Michael Schumacher did today was put a few manners on an inferior driver who’s been slagging him off more than necessary. Was there room for a Williams to pass between the Mercedes and the wall? Clearly there was, so what’s the problem? I dunno – Senna punched Eddie Irvine for unlapping himself, and displayed utter ruthlessness during his career while claiming that he was basically driving for the greater glory of God, and he (absolutely deservedly) gets the Top Gear tribute specials; Vettel chops and blocks drivers off the line this year and he’s a cheeky chappy who all the pundits love; but Schumacher will always be the Evil Baron, subject to the snipes and gripes of those like Coulthard and Brundle and Jordan and Barrichello who, frankly, WISH they’d had literally a fraction of his success…

I think the best reaction of the day came from Jenson, who grinned and exclaimed ‘excellent!’ when told that Michael had shrugged the incident off. Sure, he’d probably be moaning too if it was done to him, but one gets the hint that some of the younger ‘softer’ drivers love having an old school racer in their midst who tangled with Senna and Mansell and beat them all…

I just wish everyone would stop with the hysterical cries that he should be black flagged, banned and punished – some people it seems are addicted to outrage and feed of the adrenaline of complaining.



Button’s ‘excellent!’ sounded more like sarcasm than admiration after he was told that Schumacher blamed Barrichello.


Chalk me down for either (a) sarcasm, or possibly (b) admiration for the sheer cheek Schumacher displayed when talking about it.

In no way was he saying the move was excellent.


I disagree… it definitely seemed like admiration, if not for the move, then definitely for his account of it. Let’s not forget, after Michael few other drivers will know what a moaner and emotional bully Barrichello is than Button.


Finally!!! I’ve read all the comments so far, and someone finally see’s it the way it was!! if that move was done between 85-95 people would say it was amazing driving!

True racing in F1 is going to the wall, literally!


cant agree more!

Im not some nutter who wants suicidal racing, but the drivers in F1 now are so devoid of character and personality I dont know if they really can race properly-this is F1-not some go-kart race.

It IS a dangerous sport, and drivers should not put themselves in the position of being between a truly HARD racer and a pit wall if they can’t deal with the potential consequences.

Rubens was lucky he made his dive up the inside of a driver who can judge his car and the space around him!


if that move was done between 85-95 people would say it was amazing driving!

You make a good point, however it’s 2010. 2010 rules apply. I have defended the actions of MS in the passed saying that “true champions are ruthless and single-minded”, but there can be no excuses for today.


You’re right – there can be no excuses. Because none are needed. I say again – was there space left for a Williams to pass? Yes.

Don’t you think that a driver of Michael’s calibre would have known EXACTLY how much space to leave? Again, yes.


This mentality has won him 7 championships. I guess this is why people like us would have never won a single thing if we were ever in his shoes.

End result – no damage, no injury. The rest is scandalous! Typical Michael.


Schumacher has just illustrated that he is mentally ill, racing is clearly the be all and end all of life for him, you cant tell him anything, he just doesnt get it, its psychotic thing, if he hadnt of been in racing, he’s is the kind of profile who would end up killing someone, he has very little/no regard for life.

Yes I was a fan of his back in the day a bit too so its not anti schumachers sentiment its more a pro LIFE thing!


“Schumacher has just illustrated that he is mentally ill, racing is clearly the be all and end all of life for him, you cant tell him anything, he just doesnt get it, its psychotic thing, if he hadnt of been in racing, he’s is the kind of profile who would end up killing someone, he has very little/no regard for life.”

I was going to write something on the order of what you wrote but I didn’t believe it would make it past the censor.

I agree with what you wrote. And I will add that I view

Schumacher as a pathetic person, because there is so much more to life than F1, and he could easily afford to do virtually ANYTHING yet he lacks the imagination

to pursue other things. One supposes Corrina wishes

things were different …


Glad you feel similar, yeah his wife and kids, I got the feeling he didnt care when he was being interviewed when he first came back and said “leave my kids out of it!” when asked what did his family feel about him coming back. He is a strange fish I think. But he won 7 titles so what does that matter right? Glad he’s not my dad thats for sure!


One thing is for sure, Micheal has not changed as far his ruthlessness is concerned … But i think it was a bit unnecessary. After all he’s micheal schumacher who is known for his all out winning approach.


Racing it is! and if you are scared of being pushed to the wall, better call it a day. No one is going to let you pass and make your life easier.


“Racing it is! and if you are scared of being pushed to the wall, better call it a day.”

I bet you’ve never raced anything in your life.

If you had you wouldn’t make simplistic comments which ignore the reality that circumstances dictate tactics, for those who don’t have a death wish.

I imagine that Le Mans 1955 crossed the minds of a few Mercedes employees today. If carnage had resulted

from a collision between Schumacher and Barichello, there can be little doubt that Mercedes would then leave F1, at a huge cost to the company in public relations terms.


Oh dear oh dear. I’ve raced before – quite a bit. And I concur with Jack’s comment.

And to compare yesterday’s squeeze to the Le Mans tragedy is the very worst kind of snivelling, sanctimonious guilt-mongering.


The point many people seem to be missing is that if the pit wall had been three feet longer an awful lot of medical staff and marshals would have been killed. And there is no doubt whatsoever that Schu kept coming over to the right when RB was alongside.

There is no possibility that this escape was down to Schu’s fine judgement. RB could not have backed off as their wheels were interlocked. Had RB slowed it would have been Schu launched into the safety car and medical crews.

Schu should have been banned for several races. We were inches away from having the sort of disaster that would have jeopardised the very future of F1. 10 grid spots in the next race doesn’t really seem to fit the crime.


So it was a double bluff on top Gear last year: Schumacher really is The Stig.


I just realised that!

The Stig wants to eliminate Barrichello

Schumacher tried to make Rubens crash yesterday.

Schumacher claimed to be The Stig.

It all adds up!


Now THAT is the best comment i have read since this all happened!!

However, that does now imply that the Williams is a reasonably priced car!


I am a longtime Schumacher fan and have witnessed him pull a few tough moves in the past, but todays move was just plain desperate. A desperate move from a desperate man, time to hang up the helmet for good.


I agree with the earlier comments. Other drivers throughout history have been far more aggressive and are still held in high esteem.

And to be fair. Rubens does have a habit of complaining un-necessarily. He DID pass him, and they didn’t touch. This is racing.


Its looks to me from studying the stills, that Barichello did actually touch the wall at the beginning of the move.

Schumi’s 10 place drop is fair punishment, however I feel strongly that he should have been blacked flag during the race by the race director immediately as well.


Outrageous ? .. Dangerous would me my word.

Potentially a very serious accident.


Hi James,

I’ve got a suggestion for your next book:

Michael Schumacher: The Edge of Madness


Thanks!.. Or, The End of Greatness…


Hi James,

After taking a breather from the furor, I watched on top gear, they had a feature on the making of the “Senna” documentary. And I watched some of the crowding moves he made, and listened to some some of the things he said (and how Martin regarded him as well). These things are forgotten in time, but Michael comes from an era (when he was still young and impressionable) that if you did not make very hard moves, you were regarded from then on as a pushover. I remember the story you wrote about him not cleaning his cart as a boy, and the effect that it may have had on how meticulous he became in life… Some things stick and become part of the makeup.

Don’t get me wrong, I was appalled at what he did on Sunday. We’ve all seen Schumacher pull some overly desperate moves in his time, and in spite of his calm demeanor out of the car, (which might explain how he can pull off being so dismissive of his critics and fellow drivers) I believe he truly panics when the pressure is on, inside of it.

I suppose as a fan of his I will clutch onto the fact that he’s now apologized to Reubens, as mitigation of a maneuvre that should never have been seen again after 1994.


i dont think it’d be fair to take the “greatness” away from him..

however James, having read your book and as you mention that he puts up this persona of being so tough and ruthless..

i read on some other site that Ross Brawn said that he dint expect him to come alongside so soon and that moves normally happen only much later down the straight.

How much of it do you think could be plausible?

at first sight though it did look outright outrageous!


Could’ve been: Michael Schumacher – The End Of Rubens, had things gone differently today.


A ten place grid penalty, is this fair? I think a race ban like many are suggesting would have been a little over the top.


It must be very frustrating for Michael.

Number one status in a team that won last years championship, the clout of Mercedes, people he’s worked with and achieved a great deal with in the past, seven times world champion, the list is endless…

Yet for some reason he’s not delivering.

And we were all waiting for the return of the champion. Ha!

It must be bad karma for all the bad deeds and his past is now catching up with him. Will he be there next year? Let’s see.

Now if he had killed himself today with that maneouvre on Reubens, he would be hailed a hero.

Funny old sport…


The problem with that move was the move right after Rubens was already alongside in a tight space.

Had Schumacher taken that position on the far right initially, and Rubens had chosen to take the gap anyway and thus missed the wall by inches, it would have been hailed as brilliant driving from both parties.

But Schumacher made a second move right once another driver was almost alongside, which is unacceptable. Even without a concrete wall so close that would usually result in a penalty.


MSC left all track to the left of him. RB overtaken him with 4 wheeles out from track and heading his own car to the wall. What do you think MSC should do? Just drop speed to 150 kph or take the left part of track, out from any trajectories? MSC since 2005 is like a red rag for RB, he becomes “mad” in some aspects


Michael was watching his mirrors the entire time. If he wanted to close the door on that side of the track then he should’ve made the move much earlier and then Rubens would have had no choice but to go to the left. He left Rubens the width of a car and then when Rubens took it he squashed him. That is what was unacceptable.


Suspension I believe is fair on this occasion.


A 10-place grid drop has been announced as the penalty for Shumi’s little display. It seems appropriate… Given his typical qualifying performance recently, that should place him reasonably far down the grid. Alex Wurtz had some interesting things to say on the incident, none of them in Shumi’s favour.


A good story for the press to chew on during the summer break …

I think the problem with Schumacher is that although he is still as ruthless as ever, his performances have not been as good. This gets him more than his usual share of negative publicity.


Please get over the partisan schumacker loving. It was wrong and just because there wasn’t an accident doesn’t make it right. If that wall didn’t stop and there was a serious accident you wouldn’t be defending it.

At the start of the race the cars are a lot slower, and using the example above, Vettle still left space and only made a single move instead of slowly pushing towards the wall.

Alex Wurz also made the point that you can see schumacher looking in the wing mirror the whole time he is doing it, meaning he knew exactly what he was doing and wasn’t just leaving the left hand side free. You could of fit two cars down the left hand side, and he doesn’t give presents so he was never going to use his move up to allow somebody extra space.


I think it’s pretty clear it was a dangerous move and he got his penalty for it.

What bugs me is that the man is not simply big enough to state “ok I don’t make it easy for the other guy and perhaps it was a bit over the line, I have to see it again ,sorry Rubens”.

Instead he goes and blame Rubens, simply not very ellegant to put it mildly.

You can not but wonder what he would have said had Rubens or worse a spectator/marshall been injured over a scrap over 10th with neither in the hunt for the title.


P.S. I think Norbert is getting pretty fed up about the negative PR this whole comback is causing and this is not going to improve. I’m now pretty sure we will not see MS back in 2011


I just wonder how hard it is to change that mentality. Schumacher had been no.1 to Rubens for so long, I’d say that came into play and he gave him nothing, nowhere to go.

Would have been a totally different story if they had crashed, but they didnt.


I was an ardent Schumacher fan during his entire Ferrari career and I questioned his decision to return to F1 this year thinking he was past it. I stand by that questioning.

Even I am starting to wonder whether Schumacher was just another damn good driver in brilliant cars. This year in a below average car he has been rubbish.

After todays dangerous squeeze on Barrichello I think he SHOULD quit at the the end of 2010. Where else did he think Barrichello could go other than bounce off the pit wall ?

He should not have come back. For me, he has tarnished his legacy this year. As Montezemolo said ‘this is not Schumacher this is his twin’.


No not his twin this is the REAL “MS”


It’s not his twin. It’s Ralf. That’s who Michael’s driving like these days: Ralf.


Schumacher was very lucky not to have a suspension after today. That move was insane.

If any other driver had done that he would be banned, Schmacher has always been able to get away with outrageous behavior.


Just because Senna and Prost did it doesn’t make it right. Let him do something different without trying to injure his fellow drivers.


he’s damn right slow and dangerous. So they need a fast and reliable new driver for 2011. Kimi Raikkonen.


I thik the move was a bit on the edge, infact I myself commented on it being unacceptable, but listening to what Schumacher has to say, it does make sense (he wanted Rubens to make a move on the outside).

However the speeds involved made it a dangerous move and it could’ve easily gone catastrophically wrong. So the moot question is, should such chances be taken? i think not Therefore i assume Schumacher will be penalised for it.


Same old Schumi – dirty to the end.


I thought the move was harsh and uncalled for, but other drivers do it as well and get away with it. I am not a Schumy fan, and I hated his dominance in 2002 and 2004. He has got a penalty now there must be consistency if there is another move in the future.

What I don’t get is people react very different if there is a wall, but barely care if it’s runoff or grass. I don’t see a difference, you shouldn’t force cars off the track.

Yes the move was wrong, yes there should have been a penalty but there must be consistency from now on.


“What I don’t get is people react very different if there is a wall, “

The difference in peoples’ reactions **might** have something to do with the fact that they would rather not see a driver die.

I don’t suppose you considered that aspect ? This is not a video game, you see.


A driver could die if he’s pushed onto grass as well. My point wasn’t meant to seem focused around that. I think that divers shouldn’t force cars off the track anywhere, wall or no wall, it is dangerous. I also think there has been a bit of an overreaction, yes it was bad, but it’s not like we haven’t seen it before. Same with the team orders last week.


Its all risk related though, and it depends on where you draw the line. RB was purely at the mercy of MS in this case. If he had a few meters of grass to his right he would at least have had options, albeit limited.


Michael, oh Michael. Never fails to disappoint. At least he used to get away with being a right **** by being fast!


Well he’s been given a 10-spot grid penalty for Spa. Only a slap on the wrist! Should have been a race ban!!!!


If the edge of the circuit is designated by the white line then Schumacher had Ruben’s completely off the circuit. Bravo to Rubens for not giving up. Patrick Head must have loved that one. Had they touched or the wall been slightly longer it would have been a monumental shunt which might have made Webber’s Valencia flight look like a fairground ride. Given the example of how much energy Rosberg’s wheel had in the pit lane I hate to think where Ruben AND Michael would have ended up. The 10 place grid drop is the least they could do.


I have a strong feeling that most people only think it’s outrageous because it was Schumacher.

If Rubens had squeezed michael to the wall it propably would have been all right…


It’s utterly irrelevant that it was Scumacher. It was stupid and dangerous.


“I have a strong feeling that most people only think it’s outrageous because it was Schumacher.”

I believe people think it was outrageous because it was Schumacher doing something which was outrageous yet again, as he was wont to do in his “previous” career.

Today stood out because Schumacher’s actions could easily have killed one or more people. A driver of Schumacher’s experience knows the risks involved, and his actions are thus doubly reprehensible, especially

given the fact that tenth place was being contested

while Schumacher has no chance of winning the WDC

this year ( or any other year from now on ! ).


I’d look at the pasting Rubens took for lobbing his steering wheel into the road at Monaco and reconsider that.


I am a Schumacher fan and always have been… still, I remember him complaining, after the Canadian GP one year (anyone remember which one?), that Damon Hill, in a Jordan, blocked him when he came up to overtake him, in the straight before the last chicane… on that occasion, he said something to the effect that while he has played part in some controversial incidents (:)), he would never block someone “at such dangerous speeds…”

I suppose he’s older and wiser now…


I was a big Damon Hill fan back in the 90s, so was naturally never too fond of Schumacher. However, this season I’ve found myself routing for Schumacher to do well – to “recapture the glory days”, as it were. But after his desperate moves in Canada, and now this against Barichello, I’ve changed my mind. Martin Brundle’s commentary that he “doesn’t know when to quit” is spot.


Yet another tragic move by the great man. If it were anybody else making these moves people wouldn’t be cutting them so much slack. He needs to be punished. I used to be a massive Schumi fan, but no more.


What I object to is if that move had been made by Hamilton, Brundle & co would have said that is was ‘hard but fair’ or “Sennaesque”.

I am becoming increasingly bored by ex drivers such as Coulthard and Brundle, who seem to be using their BBC employment as a platform to consistently denigrate someone who was a much better driver. And had there not been the wall incident I’m sure they would still have found enough material to fill the scheduled 15 mins of anti Schumacher ranting.


None of them denigrate his ability to drive fast. Indeed, their point was that his amazing record will forever be tarnished by his habit of simply driving people off the road. Schumacher-esque has almost become a term for dastardly driving in the same way that Senna-esque or Prost-esque have become terms for carving through traffic and preserving the car respectively.


Amazing how the Hamilton haters can produce an inference in any situation regardless of how tenuous or irrelevant.

Clay from Australia

I thought the move itself was fine IF the concrete wall wasn’t there. In the past we’ve seen heaps of drivers do it at numerous circuits after the pitlane on the way to turn 1 (eg at Barcalona) when you are only pushing the other driver onto the grass.

However, pushing another driver into the concrete like that is completely unacceptable. I freeze framed the move from both Rubens on board and the front on camera and it was seriously close.

Merc are only keeping Schuey so his pride isn’t dented. They should put Heidfeld in!


I agree if the name on the can wasn’t MS everyone would be calling for this guy to be dropped and Merc would have probably done so


The hypocrisy about this incident is everywhere. No one seems to complain when Vettel pulled the same moves in Germany and Silverstone. No one complained when Mark did the same to Massa in 2008 in Fuji.

Hypocrisy at it’s best


That’s not true, now is it? There may not have been as much furore, but to say that no one complained is bogus.

Personally, I thought Webber was well out of order and should have received a penalty. I don’t remember if he did or not. Either way, that doesn’t justify this. And having rewatched the Massa Webber incident you’re talking about, sorry but it was not as bad.

As far as Vettel, I assume you’re talking about him chopping across at the starts. If so, that’s a false equivalence – one is done at fairly low speeds, the other at top speed.

Again, I don’t agree with what Vettel did, and think he should be warned about this, but it’s not the same.

For me, this is the worst piece of malicious dangerous driving I have seen in some time, and deserves a serious penalty.

You can put myself and everyone else down as Schumacher hater’s if you like.

Maybe however, it’s your own judgement which is clouded.


Sorry but Vettel chopping at the starts is way more dangerous to what Michael did yesterday. Because if an accident appears at the start, you got 20 cars behind going flat out and the result would be another Spa 98.

What angers me, this has been happening for years, yet when Michael does it, WW3 breaks out. This has happened so many times in F1 and this is the first time I see a penalty given for this.

It won’t be the last time, but I am pretty sure if it’s any other driver there won’t be any penalty.

Here are a couple of similar things when drivers push their competition of the track or against a wall.

Vettel in Silverstone 2010

Vettel in Germany 2010

Mark vs Massa in Fuji 2008

Mark vs Kimi in Brazil 2009

Kimi vs Michael in Brasil 2006

And he list goes on….

No penalty was given for those incidents, because it was hard but fair racing. What happened yesterday was the same but the driver doing that was Michael Schumacher. The same thing happened in Monaco this year, Green flags were shown everywhere yet Michael gets a penalty. That was also fair right?


Or worst, surely?


Rubens didn’t called it “the most dangerous move” of his career. EJ put those words in Rubens mouth, who happily chewed them a bit and spitting them out for everyone to hear.


Rubens didn’t talk to the BBC alone, you know, he has given other interviews tonight..


Yes, but it was EJ, who immediately after the race ask Rubens if that was the “most dangerous move” he has ever been into it (or something to this effect).

Maybe, without Eddie’s “suggestion”, Rubens would have used a bit less drastic expression in his remaining interviews.


errm I think its fair to say it was the most dangerous move which alot of people would agree with and I’m amazed he walked away with a 10 place grid penalty! Should be give a two race ban…..! outragious….


There was no need for Rubens to comment, the on-board footage and the subsequent replays told their own story. You would be hard pressed to find another incident as serious as this one during Rubens career. MS crossed the line today and there can be no excuses.


The track is defined by the white lines and not by the wall. I don’t believe Barrichello would have dared to go for the inside had the wall been exactly on the white line.

Schumacher should’ve stopped moving to the right in the end as well, but it was really Barrichello’s choice in the first place.

We would not be talking about this back in the ’90s.

Nevertheless, I’ll be looking into it frame by frame for my driving-analysis on my website tomorrow.


BTW, the daily mail ( has a brilliant picture of the two of them next to the wall, which is gobsmacking – there literally must have been only millimeters between Rubens and the wall because you cannot see ANY daylight between his wheel and the wall.

Seeing that, it’s stunning that there wasn’t a massive accident – it was *EXTREMELY* close.


Watch the footage – there was space for one car between Schumacher and Barichello at the time that Rubens made the move.

THEN once alongside him, Michael started to put him into the wall, forcing him across the line.

Sorry, but even Schumacher fans should just give up on this one, there ain’t anyway you can cut it, which is going to justify that malicious dangerous move.


Fair point about the car width that is. Schumacher though wasn’t expecting the Williams to climb up so fast and thus kept on his diagonal course for covering the inside. I do not think he was “pushing” Rubens towards the wall, he just kept going towards the inside and Rubens was up there very fast.


With respect Konstantinos (and as Phil points out) when Rubens made his move there was room for him on the right of Schumi. If Rubens had gone left (as Michael wanted), he would have “parked on the apex” or pushed Rubens out wide at turn one… so the only way to get past him, was to get on the inside of him on the start\finish straight for turn one. They both knew this.

Michael made an error on the last turn which compromised his speed on the start\finish straight… they both knew this too. This was Rubens opportunity.

Michael looked in his mirrors, both sides and several times… he knew exactly where Rubens was. He tried to pressurise Rubens into backing off, by continuing to move right… Schumi didn’t move right and stay on that line… he moved right and moved right and moved right…

I think the history between these two, made Rubens all the more keen to get past – almost like he had a point to prove – and Michael all the more keen to prevent Rubens from doing so [supposition on my part, I admit].

I’m not anti-Schumi – I loved his move on Alonso in Monaco; I think like a lot of drivers, he’s done questionable things.

Was it out of order? Yes, I believe that it was… Why? Any closer and that would have been a massive, massive accident.

There were 3 incidents in Hungary which were way too close (and my heart was in my mouth!) in my opinion… Schumi vs Rubens; Kubica vs Sutil (in the pitlane – thank goodness they have restricted speed) and that tyre flying off down the pitlane… someone is going to get seriously injured (or worse) in that pitlane and only then will the FIA do something about it.


Penalty does not fit the crime.


That’s the point – there was no crime. Penalties have to be sought if there was a consequence and not a presumed ‘what if’ scenario.

If they both crashed then Schumi would have been slapped with everything under the sun probably for causing an avoidable accident.

In this case, he got the maximum penalty.


Well I’d disagree; and so it seems does Lauda, Wurz, Colthard, Brundle, Watson, Warwick, and it seems every driver asked. But that’s why they have menu’s in restaurants. It’s not the first time Schumacher has used his car as a weapon and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Great to see Rubens stick it to him this time. Great job Rubens. Please write a book when/if you retire.


I think they should revoke his super licence. That was unworthy of a professional race drivers are any level of the sport never mind the pinnacle


Michael Schumacher’s bullying tactics. Back off or you might just die.


I really wonder what kind of people vote outrageous. These are probably the same people who say they love Senna but seem to have forgotten that he actually drove into opponents on purpose!

They didn’t touch, they didn’t crash so get on with it already.


“I really wonder what kind of people vote outrageous. These are probably the same people who say they love Senna but seem to have forgotten that he actually drove into opponents on purpose!”

I didn’t love Senna. I thought he was a gifted lunatic,

who was naturally better at driving a racing car by

virtue of things which were not entirely of his doing

( e.g. genetic makeup ).

And I think that Senna and Schumacher were both lesser men for deliberately taking out other drivers. At least one of them is no longer able to indulge in such

psychotic behavior.


I’m a massive Schumi fan but that move deserved a race ban to send out a message that this sort of thing isn’t acceptable. A 10 place grid penalty doesn’t cut it for me. I have seen a few drivers pushing others towards the wall this year, although nowhere near this degree, and it needs to be stopped.

One thing that is unhelpful is people using this an an excuse to say he should quit. He is only roughly where Merc were in the Honda days and it is just as likely as it was in 2008 that they could design a dominant car for next season.

We shouldn’t let driver bias cloud the issue. It was a dangerous move and he should be severely punished for it but I don’t think it in anyway signifies that he should quit.

stephanie isherwood

Chris totally agree with you. Would any other driver have got a 10 place grid drop? I seriously doubt it.

It wasn’t a brilliant move but I’ve see worse. Twice this year cars have been side by side in the pitlane and have only got reprimands. Surely that is more dangerous with pit crew around.

Still the Schumi haters will have a field day. I guess they’ve had 3 years to get worked up so yeah get it all out of your system. We’ll still be supporting Michael when you’ve finished.


“We’ll still be supporting Michael when you’ve finished.”

You’d better get your jollies while you can, then.

Schumacher is not going to be driving much longer,

because there is too much at stake for Brawn, Haug,

and all the sponsors to continue to indulge the ego of

a has-been and thereby continue to be backmarkers.


You really think the almost uniform outrage is just “Schumi haters”??!

I suggest you re-watch the incident.


Yes, he was visibly frustated with his brake problems and clearly struggling on the harder compound. But that is no excuse to push Rubens in an extremely dangerous manner.

Common Schuey you are way way way better than anyone on the grid. Please start showing this in your driving ethics.


I think Michael’s a thoroughly decent man but he suffers from a defective conscience as a sportsman.


Its just a 10 place drop for the cheating mobile chicane.

Spose he will be starting last again, Deja Vu from Monaco 2006 for him there…


So Schumacher has been penalised by the stewards “a drop of 10 grid positions at the next race”


Disgraceful. He should be DSQ’d and given a race holiday to think about the error of his way.


I love the idea of Schuey brooding on his errors. Walking into a confessions booth.

“Forgive me father, but I wish to confess my motor-racing sins…”

‘Certainly Michael.. just let me make a phone call and cancel a christening on Tuesday.’


Fantastic ! Love it.