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Sunday, 30 July, 2000, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Furious Schumacher blasts Fisichella
Michael Schumacher
Schumacher was not entirely pleased with Fisichella
World championship leader Michael Schumacher has accused Giancarlo Fischella of shunting him out of the German Grand Prix.

The incident occured on the opening corner of the Hockenheim circuit as the cars were trying to gain position in a frantic start.

The German, clearly angered by his early exit, aimed his frustrations at the Italian Benetton driver who he came into contact with in a spectacular collision.

"I was turning into the corner to get an outside line so that I could reach Coulthard," said Schumacher.

"Then I was bumped from the back and it was Fisichella. There are limits to what you can do and what you can't do under the circumstances."

I can't believe it, I can't believe it - the last lap was the longest lap in my life
  Rubens Barrichello
"I am out of the race not because of David (Coulthard) but because of Fisichella."

Schumacher's exit gave team-mate Rubens Barrichello the chance to go and pick up his first ever Formula One win.


Barrichello is now just 10 points behind the German with both McLaren drivers, Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen, just two points adrift of the leader.

An emotional Barrichello could not believe his luck.

"It was such a bad day in qualifying, but this is so good," he said. "I just cannot believe it. I was so lucky today with the accident at the first corner and the strategy working out.

I am out of the race not because of David but because of Fisichella
  Michael Schumacher

"We are a team, we are a big family and Ross (Brawn, Ferrari's technical director) said 'Mika is coming in' and we said we'd give it one more lap. After that we decided to stay out.

"The slicks did really well, though it was worrying because I could not see the track very well."

Both McLarens had captured great positions from the green light and current world champion Hakkinen was thrilled with his flying start.

"It was a fantastic start. It will go into the record books of my career," said Hakkinen.

"If I had kept the slicks I might have gone off. Life would have been really, really difficult."


Coulthard, who was seen to cut across Schumacher at the start, explained that the manoeuvre was not intended to disrupt the German.

It was not revenge - I had too much wheel spin so I knew I had made a bad start
  David Coulthard
Coulthard had accused Schumacher in the past week of unsporting conduct on the track - but the Scot made it clear to the press that there was no vendetta against the German.

"It was not revenge. I had too much wheel spin so I knew I had made a bad start," said Coulthard.

"There was a little bit of confusion on my part. I was pitting that lap anyway and did not hear the radio in the stadium.

"Mika pitted in front of me and I continued on past. It was just one of those things, I am just happy to be sitting here with points and closer to the world championship leader.

"It was getting pretty wet at one corner and the rain seemed to be flowing down the chicanes so I took decision to come in.

"But when I pitted I was fourth or fifth and am now third so it is better for the championship."

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See also:

30 Jul 00 |  Motorsport
German GP racewatch
30 Jul 00 |  Motorsport
Irvine spins out of German Grand Prix
30 Jul 00 |  Motorsport
Dennis hits out at rivals
27 Jul 00 |  Motorsport
Schu shuffle provokes fury
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