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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Red-faced Heidfeld offers apology
Nick Heidfeld
Nick Heidfeld was too quick to point the finger of blame in China
Nick Heidfeld has apologised to Japan's Sakon Yamamoto after confusing him with compatriot Takuma Sato in an angry exchange at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Rookie Yamamoto was celebrating his first finish in a Formula One race when Heidfeld berated him for a last lap collision that cost him fourth place.

Heidfeld swore at Yamamoto before later learning he had berated the wrong man.

"I was not that polite. I was very angry, nothing you could put in writing or on TV," said Heidfeld in Japan.

He [Yamamoto] accepted my apology so it's all fine

Nick Heidfeld

"He didn't have a lot of time to respond because I was just furious, I think once or twice he tried to say something but I just didn't let him speak.

"He acted like he didn't know, which obviously he didn't, and that just made me even more angry.

"So I just went to him and apologised today [Thursday].

"I said I thought it was him, obviously, and was very upset after my race because I lost fourth position for nothing basically, for two backmarkers who did big mistakes.

I don't think I did a wrong thing

Takuma Sato

"He accepted my apology so it's all fine."

Sato was disqualified from the Chinese race for ignoring blue flags warning that faster drivers were trying to pass him but he continued to plead innocence on Thursday.

"I don't think I did a wrong thing," said Sato. "The facts were that three laps before, I let Nick past because he obviously caught me up in the normal way and I let him go.

"But after we had the rain and under these circumstances I was quicker and I caught him and then he simply ran wide into turn one and I overtook him.

"Then we went into the last corner, unfortunately six cars just all coming together. That was a really unfortunate moment but I do really strongly think I did everything right."

The Japanese Grand Prix, the penultimate race in the 18-event calendar, takes place in Suzuka on 8 October.



SEE ALSO
F1 rivals relish 'fantastic' duel
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher on top after China win
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Chinese Grand Prix as it happened
01 Oct 06 |  Formula One
China GP photos
01 Oct 06 |  Photo Galleries


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