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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Schumacher's chequered history
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher's career has been clouded by controversy
Michael Schumacher is no stranger to controversy, and his banishment to the back of the grid in Monaco is far from the first time he has been accused of underhand behaviour.

The German's career has been littered with similar incidents, where rivals have accused him of going beyond the bounds of fair play.

Here, we highlight just some of the controversial events in which Schumacher has been involved in F1.

AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, 1994

With the world championship at stake, Schumacher's Benetton slid wide and into the wall while trying to stay ahead of title rival Damon Hill's Williams.

Damon Hill faces the media after seeing his title hopes collapse in Adelaide in 1994
Hill said he was "left cold" by Schumacher's attitude to fair play
Schumacher rejoined the track with a damaged car and Hill, who had not seen the German's error, attemped to pass him at the next corner.

Schumacher turned in on the Williams, putting both cars out of the race and sealing his first world title.

Hill wrote in a subsequent book: "There are two things that set Michael apart from the rest of the drivers in Formula One - his sheer talent and his attitude.

"I am full of admiration for the former, but the latter leaves me cold."

EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX 1997

Another title decider, another collision.

Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve would win the championship if he beat Schumacher, now with Ferrari, in the final race of the season at Jerez in Spain.

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari team boss Jean Todt at a news conference after the German was stripped of second place in the 1997 world championship
Schumacher faces a grilling following his punishment in 1997
Heading into the closing stages of the race, Villeneuve was closing on Schumacher and attempted to pass him at the end of the track's back straight.

Again, Schumacher turned in on his rival, but this time it backfired.

Schumacher's car was left beached in a gravel trap, while Villeneuve continued to finish third and win the title.

F1's governing body later stripped Schumacher of his second place in the championship, although it allowed all his results from that season to stand in the record books.

ARGENTINE GRAND PRIX 1998

David Coulthard fights to control his McLaren after Michael Schumacher pushes him out of the way in Buenos Aires in 1998
Schumacher barges Coulthard out of the lead in Argentina in 1998
Schumacher barged David Coulthard's McLaren out of the lead in the opening laps by forcing his own front wheel inside Coulthard's rear halfway around a hairpin and moving his rival car aside.

To Coulthard's consternation, Schumacher was not punished.

BELGIAN GRAND PRIX 2000

Battling for the lead at 200mph, Schumacher moved aggressively across on Mika Hakkinen's McLaren as the Finn tried to pass.

Their wheels touched, but - fearing an accident - Hakkinen backed off, passing the Ferrari for the lead a lap later.

When the drivers climbed out of their cars after the race, Hakkinen took Schumacher to one side and left him in no doubt that he took a dim view of the Ferrari driver's on-track ethics.

In a news conference a few minutes later, Schumacher denied he had done anything wrong.

EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX 2001

Even Schumacher's brother has felt the sheer force of his determination to win.

Michael Schumacher made a poor start to the 2001 European Grand Prix at Germany's Nurburgring, while brother Ralf was much faster away in his Williams.

To stop his brother passing, Michael veered across the track at him, leaving Ralf with the choice of backing off or risk being forced into the wall. He backed off.

AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX 2002

Michael Schumacher crosses the line after team-mate Rubens Barrichello moved over to let him past on the last lap in Austria in 2002
Schumacher benefits from team orders to win the 2002 Austrian GP
Ferrari caused outcry when they ordered Schumacher's team-mate Rubens Barrichello to move aside on the last lap, gifting Schumacher victory in a race the Brazilian had dominated.

The team were fined $1m and team orders "contrary to the interests of competition" were later banned from F1.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2003

Trying to defend his position from Renault driver Fernando Alonso on the opening lap, Schumacher moved across on the Spaniard at the fastest part of the track.

Although Alonso did not back off, Schumacher continued to move across, forcing half the Renault on to the grass at 190mph.

He escaped punishment.



SEE ALSO
Schumacher not a cheat - F1 boss
28 May 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher stripped of pole spot
28 May 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher in the dock
28 May 06 |  Formula One


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