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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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My conclussions on today's race:

- MSC should have been black flagged for his manouver to prevent Rubens to overtake him;

- another ridiculous and unfair decission by RC. It looks, again, that they keep ruling with strong pro-Hamilton bias. IMO a fina could have been enough punishment for Seb, and I bet this could have been the penalty should it have been other (HAM) the driver involved;

- astonishing performance by Pedro de la Rosa; simply fantastic. The Last Gentelman in this world of pirates!!


Hilarious. Either I watched a different race or this is a clear example why you should wait for the drink to wear off before posting.

Shummi left the door open, watched him go inside then tried to splat him into the wall. After what we saw happen with Webber and Kovi (which was an accident), it is incomprehensible that a driver would effectively recreate this situation on purpose... for 1 point. At those speeds, Nuts!

It is starting to look like Shummi thinks he can't kill himself (or someone else) in an F1 car. With moves like that he will be proven wrong very soon. I hope he wakes up first.


I just did a quick analysis of how close Rubens was to the wall.

Using several angles of footage, and comparisons of the width of the cars vs the distance to the wall, I got a rough average distance of around:

12-14cm (5-6 inches).

Have a look at your laps, chaps. Imagine that at 180mph. Madness.

Imagine if the pitwall curved inwards and Ruby had to brake? Doesn't bear thinking about...


I thought the move by msh to defend his position was OTT but come on this is F1.Motorsport is not a Sunday drive and F1 represents the best drivers and cars in the world who are well paid to Race.
How about the last race where Alonso was nearly put in the wall by one of the red bulls.
Usually this race is a total bore but today's race was brill.


Why do people always want to bring Hamilton into every situation? He has nohing to do with this very clear cut situation.


Why bring Lewis Hamilton into this discussion? The debate is about MS. You say that Vettel should have received a fine, since when have stewards handed out fines for on-track incidents? To bring Hamilton and Vettel into this debate suggests that you are unable to add much to this debate


er, last week


strong pro-Hamilton bias????

Whoah thats quite a fixation you have there.

The question was about Schumacher.

He,was guilty as charged.


PLEASE, PLEASE take your Spanish partisanship and return to forums where the standard of discussion is more to your level. Nonsense like yours is really forcing lots of people to take the opinion "anyone but Alonso". You're building your own opposition through your own whining! Let it go, and hope for some honest, decent racing where the fastest driver wins for a change, rather than the one with the luckiest start/best strategy and widest car.

Lately, we've seen penalties go all over the place, and apparently have a little less to do with the breach of rules and more to do with just giving a race penalty, but this time race control had a pretty solid grasp of the whole affair and I felt dealt pretty well with everything that went on.

Oh, and before spewing the inevitable "wahh, wahh, Hamilton fan, English bias!" nonsense, I've spent the whole season cheering on Nico Rosberg who, incidentally, is having a hell of a fine season considering his equipment and the performance of his team mate. So stop with the silly, petulant crying. We all could use a break from your antics.

Onto the subject at hand. Schumacher really has hit the point of no return with me and from the sounds of things many other F1 fans too. It's hard to muster respect for many of the teams and drivers up and down the pit lane for being straight-up, honest racers nowadays, but his behavior today was truly beyond belief. It was an astonishingly reckless, selfish, dangerous maneuver. He deserves to have the book thrown at him and my own personal opinion is to throw him out of at least one, and preferably several upcoming races.


I think it's worth considering whether Rubens was wise to continue to push to overtake on Shoo's right hand side, when Shoo made it quite clear as soon as he exited the corner, by drifting right, that he didn't want to be overtaken on his right and therefore the only safe option was to overtake on Shoo's left! I'm of the opinion that Bargecalo contributed seriously to the dangerousness of the event. With his experience he should have read what Shoo was saying to him and chosen to overtake on Shoo's left! And I garuntee that's what he was thinking as the event unfolded!



Thanks for that but we're not going to get into Spanish?English bias borefest here


Well said James.


I take your point and can only apologise for perhaps letting my frustrations about seeing certain statements rehashed time and again get the better of me. I'm very sorry.

But, I still entirely miss how the Schumacher incident has anything to do with, or how Vettel's penalty was somehow because of, McLaren.


I think I will get my tin hat next time that I mention Lewis... I was only trying to say that the penalty for Seb seemed too harsh... Btw, it is obvious that being one of the main title contenders, probably Mclaren are happy having Seb losing a couple of positions.


Excuse me? The question asked is about Schumacher's reckless and irresponsible driving.

It's not about your fear of Hamilton's abilities on the race track.


Can you re-write point two, please? It seems to read that Seb was unfairly punished - with a drive thru - because the stewards are pro-Hamilton. Classic. 😀


Your second comment is absolutely ridiculous! Seb broke a rule. Just like Hamilton in Valencia, where if i remember rightly, he got a ermmm drive through penalty...


Not sure what Hamilton has to do with the Vettel incident.


How is it an unfair decision by race control? It was a clear violation of the regulation with a clear punishment.

If you are referring to Hamilton at Japan, which was years ago, that incident was behind the SC, but the actions were not the same. Today, Seb was not driving erratically like Hamilton was in Japan, he was creating an artificial gap to the car in front. I'm not debating whether or not Hamilton should have been penalized back then, but you cannot compare the two events because they are fundamentally different.


Yes, and I understand the rules were different back then too.


How is Hamilton even closely related to the penalties in this race? I think sometimes Lewis haters give him too much credit :))


Absolutely disgusted with Schumacher ! over 10th place, c'mon, it's not worth killing another driver. All past respect for MS has gone. Hang up the helmet immediately Schuey !


One final comment from me....

Schumachers move, the most dangerous incident we saw yesterday? Nope... the 2nd most dangerous nope...

The top two have to go to Renault (the Kubica/Force India Accident) which was far closer to multiple fatalities than the press seem to have given credit for, and of course the Rosberg wheel incident. Look at what happened to Henry surtees with a full race helmet on, to have a wheel bounce up and come done in a mass of people like that was very concerning.

If anything folks we're discussing something which was small fry compared to what happened in the pits, perhaps it's anti-schumacher sentiment, perhaps it's because the schumacher incident happened late on, perhaps it's because Rubens was talking about, but one thing is for sure, I'd take overtaking through a narrow gap at speed over standing next to two F1 cars hitting each other or a wheel flying at me...

Zobra Wambleska

The big difference between the other incidents and the Schumacher issue is that Schumacher's was premeditated. It wasn't going to be an accident, it was going to be an assault.

Zobra Wambleska

Bluey, I completely agree with you. My comment was in response to Paul in the post directly above my comment.


Obviously hit a nerve with my comment.

Have a look at it this way - take away the names of the drivers and the teams - and look at it as the incident only.

Two cars travelling in 6th/7th gear down a main straight, the lead driver is looking in his mirror, not watching where he is going, and then moves right to block (force ?) the other driver who is trying to overtake, into the concrete pit wall.

That move/action is reckless and absolutely dangerous.

Driving standards ? is F1 embracing the driving standards of NASCAR, which the move Schuey did on Rubens resemles.

If that pit wall was 2 meters longer, not only were both drivers in danger but also marshalls/team staff along the pit wall.

Schuey, it's time to retire again.


Let's not get to emotional . Like people said that Piquet jr. spin in Singapore was life threatening. Schumi did a hard move , probably a bit too hard , but do not exagerate . Rubens has breaks , so if somebody coming out from pits , he used them , and also there are mirrors in that car who coming out from the pits . And if Rubens touched the wall , well that would be a huge accident , but definitely not that dangerous . So Schumi killing a driver ? Let's get serious .


I'm aghast at your response, Gaspar.

How can any potential crash be justified because it may not be life threatening. I thought Webber would have been killed before he got out of his Red Bull at Valencia. Kovalainen was hospitalised for a relatively low speed crash in Spain a couple of years ago.

Drivers who are prepared to cause crashes have no place in
Motor Sports. Whether they have seven titles or seven laps worth of experience.

Schumacher should have been penalised in Canada for the Kubica and Massa affairs.


You're twitching my word . I said that his move was not life threatening , so do not use the killing word . Of course being not dangerous does not justifying any crash , and i didn't say that his move was fair , i am just pleading for more rational and not emotional argues .


You forgetting the fact that the wheels were interlocked for a fair proportion of the move. If RB had breaked MS back wheels would have hit RB fronts. Also no way could either of them have seen anything leaving the pit lane until it was way to late


I never had any respect for him in the first place. It is not the first time. It won't be the last.


Totaly agree, He is only 7 times champ because he had such subserviant drivers as team mates. Had he had a team mate like Lewis as Alonso did, then I think he may of been champ a couple of times.


I agree with this...I think now that the deck isn't stacked in his favour he's starting to show that he's just a great driver amongst other great drivers.

His 'I am a God' attitude sticks in my throat and is a danger to all the other drivers around him. I wasn't at all surprized by his move on RB...let's face it, he's beeen putting people in the wall for years (it cost D. Hill a title in 1993, and he did it again to J.V. but got done for it).

Tough defending is respected, his 'Thou Shall Not Pass' attitude isn't.

Just A Bloke (Martin)

It was his interview which sealed it for, "I saw him coming down the inside and moved over. There was space on the other side", it appears he simply cannot accept any blame.

I think Vettel is cut from the same cloth I'm afraid. Hard but fair is fine, that was simply intimidating, arrogance. It's the arrogance I can't take.


totally agree. it is now becoming *embarrassing* to watch him drive, and that move today is the perfect example. sad that his legacy will now be for moves like this.


Why because he was racing for 10th place?

Well they are there to race be it 1st place or 21st .

I think that was a bit too much then all great driver are ruthless .

Senna might have killed barichello Michael dint .


Ayrton Senna was the greatest racer and also the dirtiest IMHO.

Not many F1 fans admit to that.


Totally agree - Schumacher was completely and outrageously out of order today.


Poor Shuey, one of the worlds greatest, has still not learned how these incidents show his "if I can't beat you I'll bump you" mentality belittle his talents!


Senna was equally insane. He died racing and perhaps Schumacher will die racing too.

This is F1.


That is a terrible comment. Senna was out in front, on his own and driving away from Schumacher when he crashed.

The difference between Senna and Schumacher? Senna at least left the option of backing out. If Senna had been doing that yesterday, he'd have been wheel to wheel with Rubens, and not wheels interlocked.

Rubens couldn't do anything - brake and Schumacher would have flown over him, huge accident. Keep going and be pushed into the wall, possibly spinning off (vertically or horizonatly) and wiping Schumacher, and possibly some of those on the pit wall themselves, out.

Schumacher was just lucky the wall ended where it did, as Rubens could move over more.


The comment 'Senna was insane' is completely uncalled for.


Well .. which Senna are you talking about? C'mon .. you could not be serious! There's a move made by Senna, the Ayrton, in the Portugal GP in 88 when Senna, in the 2nd lap, closes the door on Prost in the main straight. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zznJjSncGCE)

See it carefully and see the differences ... and there are many ... and they were running for the 1st place ...



I must admit the first thing I thought of was Portugal '88. Now I go back and look at the footage of that incident, it doesn't seem to be as bad as I remembered. Certainly nothing like as bad as this one.


I just had a look at that clip and what Senna did there was not even close to what Schum did to Barrichello yesterday.

With Senna and Prost there was still about half a meter between Prost and the wall, and about 20 cm between the cars. With Barrichello and Schumacher at the end of the pitwall at the rear tires it looks like less than 10cm between Barrichello and the wall and about 15 cm between the cars. Surely the two incidents can only be compared to show that Schum was a lot more dangerous than Senna here.


Actually, Senna and Schumacher have been compared for their ruthless moves.

My point about the original comment was that his connection of his racecraft with his death.

If that was not the intentional connection, then why bring it up at all?


Agreed with Alias J. Senna and other past greats were at least as ruthless. All great champions have carried themselves with a sense of entitlement and arrogance. Perhaps we are all becoming a little too sensitive and too politically correct.

The (less educated) mass media are always going to be more interested in a hero and villain story than tyre degradation and aero efficiency. Especially when it comes to that old favourite of villains...


Agree with MassaFan, that's a ridiculous comment to make. Senna was no angel, but that doesn't excuse any subsequent driver to be so as well.


This is a can of worms remark.

I honestly think Senna's track manner wasn't that bad by today's standard


When was the last time we saw MS ruin his race to help a stricken driver in a race?


When was the last time we saw Senna ruin his race to help a stricken driver in a race? None, that was in a free practice, know your facts.


Terrible comment there. Senna's death had nothing to do with a "dangerous" move.


Agreed, he didn't die in a racing incident. Check your wiki next time AliasJ. 2 totally different personalities, driving styles and ability levels. Schu is (or was) a rock solid metronome and Ayrton was a firework.


Totally agree...


Agreed, Alias you're comment is distasteful.


I have no wish to speak ill of the dead but I think maybe Senna had the red mist at the time of the terrible crash. He came to Williams after dominating Mclaren and probably thought he'd do the same with the new team, he didn't and was on the back foot....

I liked Semma but Schumacher is just as ruthless. Today smacked of Adelaide 94 and Jerez 1997. Leopards and spots spring to mind.

Great news for Webber though who again made the best of things in the race, remember him in Formula Ford with Dan Wheldon and hope he manages the title this year.


So Senna managed to break his steering column due to frustration? I am finding it hard to express my disbelief to some of these absurd comments without being abusive.

Why do people insist on justifying something clearly wrong by claiming someone else did it first? Even worse, wrongly claiming it.


I would like to see him suspended for a race or two (and leave the sport at the end of the season). He was a dirty driver throughout his career and now he's getting plain dangerous.


completely agree with your comment as do most of the comments on this subject. What I can't understand is why the Stewards only gave him a 10 place grid penalty.

A lot of people have mentioned similar moves before but not sure a Pit Wall or Pit Exit was involved in those.

Be interesting to see what the American viewers think since they have more concrete involved at the US circuits.

Thankfully, for us viewers no one was hurt and Schumacher is in the twilight of his career so we don't have to put up with him for more than a couple of seasons.


i don't know why everyone is getting their knickers in a twist-the move wasnt that bad!

Schumi gradually moved towards the right,and Barrichello thought he would slip up the inside-that was his decision to go for the narrow gap. If you watch the footage michael didnt make any sudden swerve to put rubens in the wall (like vettels' last 2 starts),only a sudden swerve once he realised rubens was trying to fit in a tiny gap-Bad judgement from rubens IMO-he should know that schumi wouldnt make it easy.

And I cant help but think that this is all stirred up once again by the sensationalist BBC-the reporting/journalism covering that incident was appaling.They were completely fixated on the move and couldnt hardly talk about anything else that happened. I have noticed the same last week with massa/alonso. Im disappointed that jake bloke goes for the sensationalism so much


totally agree. he has a history this. bravo to Rubens for not being intimadated.


I completely agree! How many other drivers has he taken off (driving incident) in his career? Yes, F1 is a dangerous sport - we all know that - but drivers should trust that other drivers will not try and end their life! He should never have come back to racing as he will never go out in a blaze of glory - just made in the blaze of someone elses car!


mate you use the name ayrton, and forget ayrton's moves....

thats the nature of schumi, and it was a hard but fair move...

leave the great german easy, because you have to be proud that he still has the motivation to race!


There was nothing fair about it. Unless my eyes deceived me, Rubens was within millimetres of the wall. If he had bounced off it would have probably taken both cars out.

Schumacher WAS a great driver, always a lousy sportsman. Now he is just plain dangerous as well as slow. I hope the stewards peanalise him heavily, he should have been black flagged at the time of the incident.


@"for sure" : Absolutely spot on!

It's funny that most people quote the "one move" rule which was actually introduced by Schuie to justify his appalling driving at race starts where he swerved to put people in the wall, off the track etc. It's just that no-one really pointed out at the time that he was out of order so the "rule" became accepted. I don't believe there is actually anything in the rulebook as such (but stand to be corrected).

The comparisons with Senna are fair in that he too, often made dubious moves on track, but I don't remember too many incidents where he actually put someone off (Suzuka 1990 excepted). Remember Spain 1991 against Mansell with the cars millimeters apart?

However there are countless examples for Schuie: Hungary 1992 (Brundle), Australia 1994 (Hill), Jerez 1997 (Villeneuve), Canada 1998 (Frentzen), Belgium 2000 (Hakkinen), Britain 2003 (Alonso) to name but a few.

ricardo Diaz Marquez

DEar fans: Schumi never was a pretty girl, but its time tu put him in a right space.

Hit to the wall at 300km/h a friend? for a tenth place?. It was ridiculus, and he is a very bad human person. if he isn't german and world champion, the autorituies should be hard with him, but, every time but with Michael.

It is not hapen nothing.

He needs, somebody make hard with him, very hard, and put him otu of the traks for ever


I think many people seem to have forgotten what a competitive beast the great german is. Although it looked bad on tv, Schumi did say the you are allowed to move once, so he moved to the inside to cover off Barichello and he expected Barichello to go to the outside. When this didn't happen he expected Rubens to back, which to Ruben's credit, he didn't.


Being able to 'move once' doesn't mean that you're to run someone alongside you either off track or worse still into the wall.

That excuse is one of the most bogus I've ever heard. He should have receive a one race ban at least.

He used to be sublimely talented, arrogant and dangerous.

Now he's just arrogant and dangerous.


Sorry, i'm as much a MSC fan as the next guy, but that was rediculous. It was plain from the start he was overtaking on the inside and MSC ran him all the way to the wall knowing RB clearly had him beat. Defending is one thing, but lets not pretend that this was anything but what it was. This was as much a racing move as Massa had problems coming out of that turn last week was.


He doesn't... he's Ayron and his website is consistant as Ayron.


He never mentioned Ayrton. This posters name is Ayron,probably pronounce air-en.


Schumacher is not a *great* german.

He acts like this all the time and it is dangerous and stupid to do this. He could have easily killed someone there and no one complains.

He did the same to Hill and somehow he gets this free ticket.

More and more I am getting irritated by F1. Last week was that circus with Massa/Alonso, now this.

It is really stopping to be fun.


Fair? Did you see how close Rubens was to the wall? I have read alot more outrage for guys being driven onto runoff areas let alone into walls!


Mate, Ayrton was not an arrogant cheat, Schumacher always was and, still is! Ayrton was a really tough racer but he never pulled a stunt like that!

Forcing another competitor towards a concrete wall at 200mph, 'Hard but Fair'. Mate, your'e spending too much time playing computer games!


Mate 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, and 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.


Don't forget that Prost drove into him the year before at lower speed in Suzuka


Agree. Well said


So Ayrton did't push Prost off the track in Japan. It was all an illusion.

michael grievson

So senna didn't force Prost off the track? Or punch Irving for unlapping himself?


Finally sum1 with some sense.

By the way Michael does not

have the habit of chucking

his streering wheel on the

racing line


No, I use my name, Ayron - no 't' - and today's comment is aimed squarely at today's shocking move which has been condemned by more than 80% of poll respondents so far...

I was excited to see him make a comeback this season, because I thought it would be great to see him racing some of today's great young drivers, but he has yet to do any impressing and I suspect most of the field would be happy to see him gone and not because he is better than them...


I thought it was disgusting, and he should penalised with a race ban imo.

But having said that, not significantly worse than a lot of the driving standards in F1 at the moment.

It has become the norm that it is OK to drive a competitor off the track to defend a position. That needs to change, there is no respect between drivers now.

The battle between the McLarens at Turkeys shows how great the racing is when there is respect between drivers.

The incident in today's Superleague race is a perfect example of what could have happened between Schumacher and Barrichello today:



Agree on this comment...

I don't like all these moves, sending another driver into the grass (or so much worse in this case).

There are so many examples of it and with the rules as they are (change the line once is permitted) just fine.

Of course today was extremely dangerous which is not allowed in the first place.

My point is that defending your position according to the current rules hinders the overtaking.

Why not agree that no matter what, there should be enough room left for the car behind as long as it has 2 wheels next to the car in front?


No way is a 10-place grid penalty for Belgium enough punishment for the offense.

Look at the youtube video in today's Superleague. All the young drivers look up to F1 and F1 drivers and this is what happens when F1 permits dangerous driving.

At least a one race ban is what he deserved.


A self confessed Schumi fan, but I can't help but feel his driving (throughout his career, not just today) is unfairly criticised. Senna, Prost etc drove just as ruthlessley and are often cited as heroes.

In terms of his driving today, harsh, yes... different to Vettel cutting up on the start line... not so much!

As has maybe always been the case in his career, Schumacher is villified, for not always doing something massively different to his peers.


Out of interest (not necessarily agreeing with this statement, but curious to understand opinion), to what extent do you think Schumacher's desire to push as hard as he did today for just 1 point is at least in part, the receipe for his success and what put him apart from the others in the early 00's particularly? Eg, do you think his extreme desire to push, even when there seems little point has contributed to his 91 wins?


More like a desperate man who misjudged his comeback. It's looking increasingly unlikely he will be around next season.


Schumi was not pushing hard. He was a sitting duck. Rubens was on fresher tires and much faster on the straight. Rubens was going to fly on by. The only was Schumi was going to avoid getting passed was to crash Rubens.


He was. Remember, when Barrichello caught up to Schumacher, in the two previous laps he was 2s and 3.5s faster than Schumacher.


"In terms of his driving today, harsh, yes… different to Vettel cutting up on the start line… not so much!"

The difference is that Schumacher and Barichello were

traveling at much greater speed than occurs at the starting line.

Seriously, if you don't know any more about driving than this, you really ought to lurk and abstain from posting comments.


I agree to a degree with your Chris, Vettel tried to shove Alonso into the wall last week but didn't spark as strong a reaction as Schumi.

Schumi is always going to polarize opinions, there's no middle ground with him or his fans 🙂




Sorry Chris but Prost never drove like that - he once turned in slightly early at a low speed chicane in Japan - if there's an example I've missed on Prost's driving standards, please do tell, but I think you'll find Prost had the speed, talent and class to avoid ever having to resort to bully boy tactics.

4 World Championships and 4 times a runner up with no team-orders or unfair advantage over his team-mates and with team-mates like Senna, Lauda, Rosberg, Arnoux, Alesi.....


Agree, but the one blight you refer to has forever tainted Prost in my mind.


The 'slightly early at the chicane' move was completely deliberate. He tried to take Senna out in order to win the Championship. Fair enough in my opinion as Senna did the same to him at the same circuit!


Vettel's move was pretty bad, but it was at least fighting for the start. I think people have some sort of understanding for desperate defending when it's about the lead or a championship. But doing something as dangerous as Schumi did here for *one* point is truly despicable.


Couldn't agree more. Yes, I'm also a fan of the man, and yes it was harsh, but also fair enough. But it really bothers me when people use Senna, Prost et al as being model sportsmen, against which to castigate Schumacher. Senna, whom I loved by the way, was ruthless in a way that makes Schumacher look like a pussy cat! The man would actually say before a race his intentions to drive someone off the track!

Once again, I admit a harsh move today, but nothing out of the ordinary to what a lot of drivers, Vettel, Hamilton, etc have been known to pull.


I agree in the sense that when we look back at Senna this sort of thing is not forgotten, but certainly isn't seen as the defining moment of his career. What was worse about Senna was that he actually declared before the race (Suzuka '90???) that his intention was to be first into the first corner or for neither of them to finish.

It was perhaps a move that went too far though today.


True, true. Webber did a similar thing to Massa at Fuji 2007 but then the common opinion her was "Massa should have never pulled such a dangerous move for only 5th place".

Brits, get over it. Germany has beaten you silly in soccer and F1 in recent memory. The only way you can win a WDC title is by a superior Williams in 1996. After that, the only British WDC titles were after Schumacher's retirement.

Sour grapes,sour grapes. Demonstrated no better than by DC (sick because he could never beat Schumie) and EJ (still roaring over what happened after Spa 1991) today at BBC.


Not everyone who is saying Schumacher was in the wrong yesterday is English either. Nor Brazilian.


I think you will find that DC did go wheel to wheel with MS and came out the victor. I could be wrong, but one memorable occasion to place on the debut of a cerain JA to the ITV commentary box in France? MS got the titles but you're not completely correct when you say that DC could never beat MS.


I noticed Barrichello giving the finger to MS on Sunday. It was in the in car footage.


Ah yes, I remember it well. He gave him the finger as he went past..


Agreed about Senna's ruthlessness. But when was Prost that dirty? I absolutely cannot recall Prost ever being that dangerous.


I remember him taking Senna out at Suzuka.


I wasn't comparing Prost with Schumacher just making an observation that he did deliberately take Senna out. (Any accident puts the track workers in harms way and is potentially dangerous to someone).

Schumacher's actions on Sunday were reprehensible.


There is a dramatic speed difference between Prost squeezing Senna under braking for a slow speed chicane versus Schumi squeezing Barrichello at full tilt on a straightaway. Prost v Senna resulted in both cars retiring from the race relatively undamaged. Schumi v Barrichello could have resulted in one or two drivers being carted away in a pine box.


Anyone successful is the target of criticism, but there's a fine line between being driving aggressively and driving dangerously. What Schumi did today was plain dangerous. Maybe not massively different to his peers, but different enough.

He is undoubtedly the most gifted driver of his generation, but his questionable tactics (winning the championship by crashing into Hill, trying the same against Villeneuve, parking on the track in Monaco) tarnish his image.

Alan Goodfellow

There is a huge difference between what Vettel does cutting across at the start (which, I have to say, Schumacher was famed for doing as well) compared with the Schumacher-Barrichello incident.


The cars are travelling nowhere near as fast at the start and therefore if they do collide, although unfortunate, it is highly unlikely that it will be as big or dangerous an accident.

I'm still trying to fathom Schuey's intentions with this move. Was he aware that the pit-wall was coming to an end and did he factor this into his decision to continue to move across on Rubens?

Or would he have put Rubens in the wall had it continued?

Personally, I'm leaning towards the latter, and, as was mentioned on the TV coverage, what if another car had been exiting the pit-lane at that point? Barrichello would clearly have crashed into it.

You also have to think about the fact that you have the guys on the pitwalls and the safety car crew in that area as well.

Yes, Schuey has to make a point that he is not prepared to be a push-over in his second career, and you have to respect that. But what he did today was ridiculous and extremely dangerous and I don't think the 10 place grid drop he recieved was harsh enough.


I don't think you can just dismiss moves at the start as not being dangerous due to lower speed.

The speed may be lower, but there are a good number of hard accelerating cars with limited visibility charging along behind so any accident is likely to be a significant one.


Senna is widely acknowledged as a superb driver who had a ruthless streak. No one is casting doubt on Michael's ability to drive a car (although he is being battered by his young team-mate at the moment.) So, just because Senna and Prost had their moments he should be allowed to do it as well? Two wrongs and all that..

To be honest, I know one shouldn't keep score of things like this, but I think Schuey's list of sins are far longer than Senna's.


I agree with the comments regarding Vettel's past couple of starts - although certainly not today - but Vettel's moves weren't at 300km an hour and followed earlier complaints by Barrichello that Schumacher was outside the accepted guidelines regarding his defence of his position.

Buemi complained after the race regarding Schumacher's move in the first lap - I haven't seen and can't comment on whether or not that is appropriate - and it is not the first incident of the season by any stretch. The problem is, he is dangerous and getting more dangerous and another incident like Webber's crash in Valencia is not out of the question if he continues this way.

He is not popular among today's grid...


There is no similarity between the Schumi chop, from a stand still, at the start and pushing a competitor into the wall at 300kph. Only a Schumacher fan could come up with any justification for todays behavior.

Jonny Kiehlmann

Wasn't it seven days ago that Top Gear aired footage in praise of Senna, speaking about how he'd make a move that would "let you choose between backing down and letting him past or taking both of you out. He knew if you let him past like that once, he'd always be able to breeze past you."?

Not having seen Senna race , I'm not sure why this doesn't count as double standards.


Great point, Jonny. Exactly right, I saw the article too. Yield or crash, your choice. That was what made up the Senna 'Genius'. But is Schumi tries it, he is a disgrace and should be banned.


I'm sorry but Schumacher didn't give Rubens the choice. Their wheels were interlocked - if Rubens had backed out of it there'd still have been a huge crash!

If Senna had done that, he'd probably have been wheel to wheel. Senna wanted to finish races, not put drivers into impossible situations where they would most likely wipe him out too.


Should be banned at Spa. Give Nick the seat. Let's see whos faster.


I love Schumacher.

I've supported him throughout his career-he's a legend.

I've made excuses for him for what he's done in the past, but today there can be no excuse.

1hat he did today was terrible.

He's so lucky there was no contact...

I want him to continue racing,but he should be removed from the starting line-up from the next 3 races.

What he did today could have resulted in loss of life.


Michael was tough but fair in this situation. Rubens chose to go outside the white line to make his move when he could've easily taken the outside line.


Actually Rubens committed to the inside line and Schumi continued to squeeze. If Rubens suddenly decided to go to the outside, we would have had a replay of Valencia's Webber/Kovalainen wreck.


Just because the move is between struggling Schumi and Rubbens, that this has got all this attention. Had schumi had a better car, Rubbens you would have been no where close to him.


So if it had been Schumi in a faster car coming up behind Rubens, and Rubens had squeezed Schumi into the pit wall, no-one would be talking about it - is that what you're trying to say?

Sorry, but that's nonsense.


You mean to say if Schumi were quicker in said car, like his teammate for example, then Rubens would have been nowhere near.


when will Schumacher finally be penalised for his behaviour? This time? Hope so. A race ban would be in order.


Looks like his comeback has proven he has lost most of his ability/speed, but none of his propensity towards evil, dangerous driving.

I hope he is banned for a race or two and then Heidfeld is drafted in and is so much quicker than MS, that he is never to return.

I always despised MS even from Macau 1990 when he crashed Hakkinen out deliberately.

I expected him to be a total bastard in F1 and he exceeded my expectations.

I was glad he could not drive last year, only to be disgusted when he attempted to steal another bogus wdc by jumping into the dominant car 3 years past his sell by date.

Thankfully, both he and the car have been a let down, but today he could have killed Rubens, one of the nicest and most popular drivers in the sport.

Earlier in the season he did pretty much the same to his alleged 'mate' Felipe Massa.

The sooner the sport is rid of Michael Schumacher, permanently this time, the better.


Absolutely spot on!


Here here Paul,I couldn't agree more strongly with you as I too saw that Macau incident with Hakkinen,disgracefulness at its highest order 2nd only to the infamous Monaco qualifying debacle that will never ever lie down.The thing with this whole blocking debate is if they outlawed it they'd (FIA) have far more time to devote to more meaningful endeavours rather than wasting time dreaming up failed concepts to improve overtaking,"every season".


Surprisingly, I agree (for once) with Eddie Irvine - that this practice of willingly taking another driver of the track for track position has to stop! Someone IS going to die if it isn't stopped. All of the drivers know that they could lose their lives doing what they do, a large part of why they get paid what they do, but it shouldn't be something that is done at the hands of another purposefully. The last time I looked that was classed as murder.


Am a big Schumacher fan BUT he over stepped the mark today on your move on him!! Brave pass well done Rubens!!!


It was a legal move, I just don't see the point of doing something that left so little margin to a very big accident. Especially when he seems unable to find those fine margins in other areas, like car performance.

I'm still a Schumacher fan, he lost at least one today that I know of.


Well, I guess I wish I didn't say it was a legal move now. It's a matter of judgement, you're allowed to drive in the pit exit area, he left Rubens technically enough room (otherwise there would have been an accident!), and it wasn't in the braking zone.

I think its a good idea for the course stewards or FIA to say "that was too much," a truly stupid move by Schumacher.


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.


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


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...


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


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.

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk) 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.


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 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?

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


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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


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


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.


Same old Schumi - dirty to the end.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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 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


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.


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.


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.


Suspension I believe is fair on this occasion.


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.


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.


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...


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.


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.


Outrageous ? .. Dangerous would me my word.

Potentially a very serious accident.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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!!!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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!

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


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.


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


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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.

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.


Pathetic penalty. Should be a 2 race ban minimum.


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.


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? Yes.


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.


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?!'


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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?


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.


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!


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...


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Correct decision by the stewards IMO.



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


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!


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



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)


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.