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Schumacher 'sorry' for blocking Barrichello in Hungary

Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher

Schumacher & Barrichello disagree after dramatic near miss

Michael Schumacher has said he is "sorry" if Rubens Barrichello felt he had been put in danger by his blocking manoeuvre at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver will be penalised 10 grid places at the next grand prix after he pushed his former team-mate within centimetres of a concrete wall.

Schumacher wrote on his website: "The manoeuvre against him was too hard.

"I didn't want to endanger him with my manoeuvre. If he had this feeling I am sorry, this was not my intention."

Williams driver Barrichello called the move the most dangerous in his long career and said the German should have been black-flagged for dangerous driving.

The seven-time world champion initially denied he was at fault. However, on reflection Schumacher admitted to making a mistake.

If it had gone wrong Rubens Barrichello could have been very seriously hurt, maybe even killed, and the same thing applies to a lot of people in the pit lane

Murray Walker

"Immediately after the race yesterday I was still in the heat of it all, but after I looked again at the situation with Rubens I have to say that the stewards were correct with their judgement," he added.

The incident occurred when the pair were battling for the final point-scoring 10th place and Schumacher ran wide coming into the pit straight.

Barrichello moved to pass his former Ferrari team-mate on the inside but Schumacher moved across forcing the Brazilian close to the pit wall.

An accident was only averted when the wall ended and Barrichello was able to pass into Turn One.

Schumacher, 41, was given a 10-place grid penalty for the forthcoming Belgian Grand Prix.

Steward and former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick said that disqualification would have been an option during the race if Schumacher had made the move earlier.

Warwick, who spent 12 years as an F1 driver, told BBC Radio 5 live: "I believe that we had three laps to disqualify him and throwing a black flag would have shown a better sign to our young drivers that we will not tolerate that kind of driving."

But he added: "By the time we got the video evidence and so forth, we ran out of time and the end of the Grand Prix was there so we had to do it retrospectively."

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation, with BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan describing it as "horrific".

Jordan told BBC Radio 5 live: "Not only did he [Barrichello] just miss the wall, he [Schumacher] pushed him right across the pit-lane exit. You can see the white lane you are not supposed to go across and then he [Schumacher] pushed across on to the guard rail on the other side.

"His legacy is damaged as a result of this, in my opinion.

"Yes, there is a sense of frustration that the car is not quick enough and he is getting absolutely rammed by his team-mate, young Nico Rosberg."

Veteran BBC commentator Murray Walker agreed with Jordan's assessment.

"I am a massive Schumacher fan but I have to say he's gone down a bit in my estimation; his aggressive tactics have been over the top too often," he said.

"Australia '94, Jerez '97 and now Hungary in 2010 are just three examples which all exposed a flaw in his character and he more than deserved his 10-place grid penalty for Spa.

"I have to say the one in Hungary was the worst I have ever seen because if it had gone wrong Rubens Barrichello could have been very seriously hurt, maybe even killed, and the same thing applies to a lot of people in the pit lane.

"I just think he went a step too far and I sincerely hope that the rapping on the knuckles that he has had will stop him doing it again. But I doubt it."

Schumacher returned to Formula 1 this season after three years in retirement but has been well off the pace in the drivers' championship.

Andrew Benson's blog

The former Ferrari driver is sitting in ninth position, 123 points behind leader Mark Webber of Red Bull.

Team-mate and compatriot Rosberg, 16 years Schumacher's junior, is in seventh position but boasts a far superior points tally having notched 94 for the season so far.

The Hungaroring incident was the second time Schumacher has been penalised by the stewards this season following a 20-second time penalty for overtaking Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the final corner at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Schumacher passed the Spaniard's Ferrari going into Rascasse and out of Anthony Noghes after a safety car had moved into the pits on the final lap to claim sixth place, but stewards said the move breached the rules.

However, despite his indifferent season, Schumacher insisted he will be driving for Mercedes next season in search of an unprecedented eighth world championship.



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see also
Schumacher's legacy tainted - Jordan
02 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher danger move punished
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Webber seals vital win in Hungary
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
I'm here to stay, says Schumacher
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Mercedes chief backs Schumacher
16 Jun 10 |  Formula 1


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