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  Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Villeneuve hits out at Schumacher
Jacques Villeneuve slides his BAR car round a corner at the Spanish Grand Prix
Villeneuve's team struggle to compete with Schumacher
Jacques Villeneuve launched a scathing attack on Michael Schumacher, accusing his old rival of failing to act "like a man" at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Villeneuve criticised Schumacher's behaviour on the winner's podium after being gifted victory at the A1-Ring by Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello in the final metres.

The Canadian criticised the four-time champion for not accepting victory as he pushed Barrichello onto the top step instead and handed the Brazilian the winner's trophy.

"I don't have a problem with the team orders - the only thing I found unacceptable was the podium situation," said Villeneuve, who won the drivers' crown in 1997 after Schumacher's failed attempt to force him off the track in their title decider.


It was a very bad day for everybody when you see the result of the last race
Jacques Villeneuve

"If you win a race, even if it's in a way you don't like, then be a man and go up on the top step and take the trophy even if you are embarrassed because everyone is booing you.

"He accepted taking the win, he didn't slow down and he felt good about it and waved his hands on the last lap until he heard everyone booing, so he should have stepped up there and been a man.

"It would be stupid not to take anything you are given so if you are given a win then take it. But stick with it, don't say it's embarrassing and wrong and say you feel bad about it."

Villeneuve has often criticised Schumacher's tactics in recent years and the duo have had several wars of words since their 1997 showdown in Jerez.

Schumacher, Barrichello and Ferrari are to face the World Council in Paris on 26 June over the controversial decision to order Barrichello to move over on the last lap.

Schumacher pulled Barrichello onto the top step of the podium after being let through into the lead feet from the finish line
Schumacher was an embarassed figure on the podium

The FIA are unhappy about the podium confusion which left the Austrian chancellor, Dr Wolfgang Schussel, trying to present the winner's trophy amid jeering from the crowd.

"It was a very bad day for everybody when you see the result of the last race mainly because it was so early in the season and there was no fair fight," added BAR driver Villeneuve.

"But people should not be surprised. Everybody knew a situation like that could happen.

"But if the team had said before the start of the season that's what would happen then no-one would get angry."

The extra four points Schumacher collected extended his lead over the Williams-BMW of Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya to 27 points instead of 23.

'Good laugh'

But Montoya, who finished third in Austria, expressed bemusement at the subsequent podium furore.

"It was a good laugh being there," he said. "I am surprised by all the reaction because it has happened before.

"But they are so far ahead in the championship they did not need to do it.

"If there had been five or 10 points between me and Michael then they should have taken every point they could get - but he is 27 ahead of me!"

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

Reaction and analysis

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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