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Page last updated at 21:01 GMT, Sunday, 13 June 2010 22:01 UK

Michael Schumacher escapes Felipe Massa penalty

Michael Schumacher

It was an incident-packed race - Schumacher

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher will not be punished for his part in an incident with Ferrari's Felipe Massa during the Canadian Grand Prix.

The seven-time champion was referred to the stewards after he made contact with Massa near the end of the race.

The incident damaged the front of Massa's car, with the Brazilian needing to come in for a new front wing.

Renault's Robert Kubica and Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari were handed reprimands for two separate incidents.

Kubica was reprimanded for "a dangerous entry to the pits" while Alguersuari was referred to the stewards following his collision with Williams driver Rubens Barrichello.

Schumacher and Massa were battling with six laps to go when the German appeared to cut across the Ferrari as he returned to the racing line at Turn 12.

Felipe Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley

Smedley on Schumacher incident

The back of the Mercedes clipped the front of the Ferrari, knocking Massa's front wing, with the Brazilian having to take evasive action and briefly going across the run-off area.

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, speaking before the ruling, defended his driver.

"Michael didn't have a lot of grip, he was on tyres that were very badly grained, so I'm not aware of anything unusual that happened," added Brawn.

"It might be true that he braked much earlier than Felipe was expecting, but that was the point at which Michael, with the tyres he had, had to brake.

"I don't think there was any malice in what happened."

Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley said: "I think that Michael had to possibly brake a little bit early as his tyres were not great - much earlier than Felipe was expecting and he drove into the back of him."

It was not the only incident involving Schumacher in the race, as the German also went wheel-to-wheel with Kubica when coming out of the pits on lap 13.

"The first stop was perfectly timed, so it was looking quite promising," said Schumacher, who ended up in 11th place.

"Then I had a puncture on the front right tyre after I got together with Kubica, and that obviously decided my race."

In a race that was decided on tyre strategy, Brawn said the Kubica incident proved costly as Schumacher had to pit again two laps later.

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"It was a shame because he got out in front of Kubica, and was looking OK," added Brawn.

"But we could see from the data he had a right front puncture and it was correct, because when we called the car in there was a slash on the tyre.

"Because of the puncture we got out of phase with the tyres, and we took a chance on whether the option [softer] tyre would last, and obviously it didn't.

"It was a pretty optimistic move, but we figured if we went for another pit stop after that then we weren't going to get there."

It compounded a miserable weekend for Schumacher, who was overtaken at the very end by the Force India duo of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil to finish out of the points.

Apart from a retirement in Malaysia and ending up 12th in Monaco after being penalised 20 seconds for an illegal overtaking move, this was his worst result of the season.

McLaren's Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton

Highlights - Canadian Grand Prix

The 41-year-old, back in the sport after three years in retirement, also had his worst qualifying session of the campaign and started 13th on the grid.

Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg ended up in sixth place in an incident-packed race after qualifying in 10th.

"Sixth place was probably the best result that we could have achieved today, so I'm pretty happy," said Rosberg.

"It's been a difficult weekend with a poor qualifying performance yesterday due to the tyres not working properly and I was unlucky on the first lap today to lose so many places from the chaos in front of me."



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see also
Superb Hamilton wins in Montreal
13 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Mixed reactions from Red Bull duo
13 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Canadian GP as it happened
13 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Canadian Grand Prix photos
13 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton storms to pole in Canada
12 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel sets Canada practice pace
11 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher focused on next year
11 Jun 10 |  Formula 1


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