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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 March, 2005, 12:12 GMT
Schumi sorry for Heidfeld shunt
Michael Schumacher
Schumacher backed down at the special drivers' meeting in Sepang
Michael Schumacher has apologised to Nick Heidfeld for their collision in the opening Australian Grand Prix which forced both drivers to retire.

At a drivers' meeting on Friday, the world champion accepted he was to blame for pushing Heidfeld, who was trying to overtake him, onto the grass.

"Nick made his point very well," explained David Coulthard. "Nobody disagreed apart from initially Michael.

"But with some persuasion he realised it wouldn't be sensible to disagree."

The Formula One drivers joined up for a Grand Prix Drivers' Association meeting to iron out the incident in Melbourne.

Schumacher was lying in ninth spot when he swerved into Heidfeld on lap 42, causing him to move onto the grass where he skidded and crashed back into the world champion.

Red Bull driver Coulthard, speaking ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, said it was important for drivers to thrash out track etiquette.

"We have a gentleman's agreement on not moving in the braking zone that's designed to avoid incidents," he said.

"Michael accepts he moved, effectively, twice and will endeavour not to do so again. Time will tell whether it does happen again."

Schumacher has been accused in the past of employing aggressive tactics on the track.

In 1997, he was thrown out of the championship after forcing Jacques Villeneuve out in the title-deciding race in Jerez.

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