After receiving a ten-place grid penalty for the Belgian GP for his dangerous move on Rubens Barrichello at last weekend’s Hungarian GP, Michael Schumacher has apologised to the Brazilian. “Apologise” and “Schumi” rarely coexist in one sentence, but this was a much mocked move that did little for the seven-time champion’s “super kiasu” reputation.
“Yesterday, right after the race I was still in the heat of the action, but after I watched the incident with Rubens again, I must say that the stewards were right with their assessment: the move against him was too hard,” Schumacher wrote on his website.
“I wanted to make it hard for him to pass me. I clearly showed him that I didn’t want to let him pass but… I wasn’t seeking to endanger him with my move. If he feels I was then I’m sorry, this wasn’t my intention,” he added.
His tone wasn’t so conciliatory after the race. Former F1 driver Derek Warwick, who joined the stewards’ panel for the Hungaroring race said: “We interviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty.”
He was also nearly black flagged if not for the lack of time. “Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers. But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively,” Warwick told BBC.
If you missed it, the Mercedes GP driver was being tailed by a much faster Barrichello, and when Rubens dived to his right to pass, Schumi then closed the door to squeeze his ex-teammate against the pitwall on the main straight. Fortunately for the Williams driver, the wall (which was just inches from his car) ended at the right place and he made it through.