Schumacher penalised for Vergne shunt
Michael Schumacher, pictured, has been handed a penalty for crashing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne
Michael Schumacher has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix after smashing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne in the race in Singapore.
Seven-times world champion Schumacher admitted liability for the accident that occurred just after the midway point of the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Schumacher said: "It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race when I ran into the car of Vergne, who accepted my apology straight afterwards."
"I am not totally sure why it happened. I was braking, but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be and I could not avoid running into the car in front of me," the German added.
"We have to find out what happened. Up until then I think it would have been possible to get some points."
The incident followed the restart after a safety car period for HRT's Narain Karthikeyan hitting a barrier across Anderson Bridge.
In what was a repeat of two previous incidents - one at this track last year and one earlier this season when Schumacher ran into the rear of Williams' Bruno Senna in Barcelona - the stewards decided to heavily penalise the 43-year-old for the next race in Japan.
Schumacher collected a five-place penalty for the subsequent race in Monaco after hitting Senna, one which saw him start sixth after he had set the fastest time in qualifying.
On this occasion, given it was a repeat offence, the punishment was doubled, with the stewards stating: "The penalty takes into account this is the second similar offence by the driver this season. The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate the braking performance of the car with lower grip following a safety car period."
Toro Rosso driver Vergne added: "I assume Michael braked a bit too late and could not avoid running into me. There is no sense in being angry about it because these things happen in racing and even the most experienced driver on the grid can make mistakes. He said sorry and that's the end of it."
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Why does Eddie Jordan continue stating that Michael Schumacher is a fantastic ambassador for F1? This is a man who was disqualified in 97 (with all points wiped clean) for bringing the sport into disrepute, who deliberately drove close rivals off the circuit as well as blatantly parking his car in Monaco to wreck Alonso's flying lap which was destined to give the Spaniard pole! His comeback has been an embarrassment with his teammate consistently outpacing him for most of the last two seasons plus this one. Yes he's bagged 7 world titles, 5 of them in a car he took 5 years to develop, but where was his competition? He was in the fastest, most reliable car, the team wrapped around him with a pliant teammate and outright No1 status. Button did the same for the Honda, in which he eventually took his world championship (albeit re-named Brawn) in 2009 but up against 3 world champions, Hamilton, Raikonnen and Alonso and with a teammate who was allowed to win if possible.
Despite all that I sincerely hoped he would redeem himself when he returned in 2010 and prove he was indeed a talent worthy of sitting alongside Senna, Fangio, Moss, Stewart, Hill G and Clark. He would be finally racing against 4/5 world champions in a car that was mid field but to a 7 times DWC that shouldn't have been a disadvantage. After all Alonso has more than punched above his weight this season in a car that every commentator in and out of the sport deemed a dog when it first hit the circuit.
And I hold the view that he won his first title in 94 in a illegal car that was still using telemetry banned from the previous season and which the FIA discovered to be fact yet couldn't prove it was being used. Even Senna noticed the Benetton was behaving quite differently to all the other cars on the track. What might have been if he'd had lived!
I think it's about time he hung up his helmet - for good.
i think michael should retire and be the end of him racing, he can no longer get away with his dirty antics anymore!!!
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