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Schumacher punished for dangerous move on Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher

Schumacher & Barrichello disagree after dramatic near miss

By Richard Rae

Michael Schumacher will be penalised 10 grid places at the next grand prix after a move Rubens Barrichello called the most dangerous in his long career.

Schumacher pushed his former team-mate within centimetres of a concrete wall as the pair were travelling at 180mph, late in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Immediately after the race, Schumacher maintained he had not been at fault.

But former F1 driver Alex Wurz said the German had "stepped far over the line of any sporting code".

The incident took place as Williams driver Barrichello, who had been looking for a way past Schumacher's Mercedes for several laps in a battle for the final point-scoring place of 10th, sought to take advantage of a slight mistake by the German around Turn 14 into the pit straight.

Schumacher ran slightly wide, enabling Barrichello to close up and get a run on his former Ferrari team-mate. The Brazilian pulled to his right and moved alongside Schumacher, who then moved across, forcing Barrichello very close to the pit wall.

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Fortunately for Barrichello, the wall ended just in time for him to be able to run wide into the pit lane exit before completing the pass into Turn One.

Afterwards an emotional Barrichello said on his race radio that Schumacher should be black-flagged for dangerous driving.

Talking to BBC Sport immediately after the race, Barrichello said: "What we want from racing is to be fair and to have battles, you should choose a line and that's it. It was close, close, a bit too close, but fortunately the wall ended there and I could get past.

"You should stick to a line and that's it. Anyway, it's just taking something from the past up to the present and there's no need for that."

Schumacher and Barrichello were team-mates at Ferrari for six years, during which time Barrichello was frequently required to play second fiddle.

Schumacher said: "There's not much to say. He obviously had fresher tyres. I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him to go on the other side, there was more space, but he chose not to so it got a bit tight.

"We know certain drivers have certain views, and there's Rubens. As a driver you have the ability to change line once, and that's what I was trying to do. Obviously there was enough space to go through - we didn't touch, so I just left enough space.

"It was a bit tight and tough, but I think I'm known not to give presents on track. To pass me you have to earn it."

On being told Schumacher had denied fault, Barrichello responded: "It's been always my fault for six years. Unbelievable. We'll let the stewards say whatever they have to say. His view is always that I'm a big cryer and so on."

However the stewards decided Schumacher had "illegitimately impeded" Barrichello during an overtaking manoeuvre.

There was widespread criticism of the former world champion, much of it from former drivers. Wurz, who drove for Benetton, McLaren and Williams, and is a former chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, was scathing.

"He's a seven times world champion and he knew exactly what he was doing, he did it absolutely deliberately," said Wurz.

"If there had been a collision it can be fatal. He was looking in his mirror for around 200 metres, so if he didn't see where Rubens was going either the mirror doesn't work, and the car is not legal, or he should see a doctor and maybe not have an FIA super licence."

Norbert Haug, vice-president of Mercedes motorsport, defended Schumacher.

"He's tough to the limit, but not over the limit," said Haug.

Mercedes vice president Norbert Haug

Mercedes defend Schumacher

"It looks spectacular but if Rubens had gone the other side, it wouldn't have been spectacular. Both drivers made it, there was not an accident, nobody crashed."

Mercedes principal Brawn said the team was disappointed Schumacher had been penalised.

"I think he knew Rubens was going up the inside and wanted to block that," said Brawn.

"In trying to do that it did get pretty marginal, but it was a high speed judgement call. It would be too much to say Michael knew how much room he was leaving, but he did leave enough.

"The difficulty with Formula 1 is that once drivers know you are going to concede, they force the point."

Mark Webber takes the chequered flag

Highlights - Hungarian Grand Prix

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Hungarian Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:34 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 australia M Webber 1:41:05.571
2 spain F Alonso 1:41:23.392
3 germany S Vettel 1:41:24.823
4 brazil F Massa 1:41:33.045
5 russian federation V Petrov 1:42:18.763
6 germany N Hulkenberg 1:42:22.294
7 spain P de la Rosa lapped
8 great britain J Button lapped
9 japan K Kobayashi lapped
10 brazil R Barrichello lapped

see also
Schumacher 'sorry' for manoeuvre
03 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Webber seals vital win in Hungary
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP as it happened
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Sunday's F1 gossip column
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1

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