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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 May, 2004, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Ferrari blame Montoya
MONACO GRAND PRIX
Michael Schumacher was shunted into the tunnel wall
Ferrari team boss Ross Brawn suggested that Juan Pablo Montoya was to blame for the crash which ended Michael Schumacher's victory chances in Monaco.

But ruling body the FIA decided that no action should be taken against Montoya.

"We'd told Michael the safety car was coming in and as soon as that happens drivers start warming up their brakes.

"That happened, and Juan Pablo hit the back of him. I'm trying to restrain myself but it's frustrating going out of a race like that," said Brawn.

Schumacher was leading the race at the time of the crash in the Monaco tunnel on lap 46, although eventual winner Jarno Trulli had already been in for his second pitstop.

"We had a chance to win, maybe not a strong chance, but we had a lot of fuel left in the car," said Brawn.

"Michael would have had a good sprint until his next stop and it might have been possible."

I tried to avoid him as much as I could - where else am I supposed to go? Over the wall?
Juan Pablo Montoya
Schumacher and Montoya were both summoned to see stewards after the race but the FIA decided no punishment was necessary.

Montoya said: "Michael braked very hard as he was warming up his brakes and I moved to the right side of the track to avoid him.

"But the gap narrowed and we touched.

"It has been quite a few times that he has been doing that. He has been lucky and getting away with it.

"I tried to avoid him as much as I could. I put the car against the wall. Where else am I supposed to go? Over the wall, just to let Michael by?"

Williams technical director Patrick Head defended Montoya.

"All Juan has said is that Michael accelerated hard, spinning the rear tyres and then putting the brakes on hard," said Head.

"One has to wonder whether that is a wise thing to do in a dark tunnel.

"Juan moved over to the right and when Michael hit the brakes his car moved right.

"What you can say is that it doesn't seem to be a position when the driver behind can react fast enough.

"No matter what Michael or Ross might think, Juan is not a dirty driver.

"He's been used to driving on high-speed ovals and respecting other drivers. I don't think there were any dirty tricks in there."




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