Is Schumacher's 10 place grid drop an appropriate penalty?

  • Too harsh, F1 is for big boys after all

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Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Based on the marvellous photo F1Lover posted I thought it worth asking you all if Schumies 10 place grid drop at Spa was an appropriate punishment for the move he put on Rubens in Hungary.

If you haven't seen the photo here it is:

I would say this is typical Schumacher but even he went too far this time.

That was extremely dangerous and at the time I hadn't realised how close Rubens was to the wall.

He should have been black-flagged, points put on his super licence and at least a 1 race ban, if not longer.
That was incredibly close to a really bad accident - and either driver could've been badly hurt. Rubens said that because of the possibility of wheel interlocking, he felt he couldn't back off - and hitting the wall could've been the least bad option because things could've gone flying if both cars came together.
No, I think (and if the FIA want to take sportsmanship and safety seriously) he should have had a race ban. What did he get after Canada? A reprimand, or nothing? And yet consider all the flack Lewis got in Japan 08 for ostensibly leaving his braking ridiculously late. Hakkinen also received a ban after causing an accident in Germany (94? can't remember which year). The worst thing here though is that this was at maximum speed, Hamilton's episode was slowing down and nothing like as dangerous.

At times like this, you can understand the viewpoint of DOF_Power with regards to defending positions.
Scary stuff! That picture really shows it was a lot tighter than it looked at the time.

10 place penalty - I think where you're trying to make a point you're giving mid-grid drivers an FP4 with the best set up to start from the back it might be more suitable to just ban them from quali and start from the pit lane.

I know there's been questions about his suitability to drive next year, but Vettel would give him a run for his money on dangerous moves. Maybe they need a drivers ed where they keep re-watching the incident and the media coverage relating to it...
Although it was undeniably a dangerous move, you cannot be sure it was as close a thing as the picture makes it appear. Long lenses make even very slight angles inportant. Looking at Rubens, it appears that his car is still heading towards the wall. If that were the case, he would have crashed. The only reasonable explanation that I can reach is that a camera angle make it appear closer than it was.

In any event, I already said he (MS) should be suspended for at least one race, and Heidfeld be brought in as a replacement.
I would imagin some boffin in a Lab (probably with a white coat), could look at the on board shot, take a known reading from the width of Ruben's front tyre! & then tell us how many cm's Ruben's was from the pit wall.

& yes we do know it probably was maybe 5 to 10cm he had to spare, not bad @ 180mph.......
Looking at that Video, @ 24 seconds looking at the caption (top left), you can see Ruben's has a gap of around 2/3rds of the width of his front tyre. The front tyres are 24.5cm's wide, so I'd go for around 13 to 16 cm gap.

Now that's close...........
It's only by the slimmest of margins and the greatest of luck that Rubens DIDN'T hit that concrete wall. You KNOW his attention had to be on the wheels of Schumacher's car and NOT on that wall, so I doubt Rubens had any idea how close he actually came until he saw the replays after the race. The FIA should ban Schumacher from any further professionally sanctioned racing. What he did was unconscionable and clearly life endangering.
Ross Brawn predictably came to Schumacher's defense, even suggesting Michael didn't realize Rubens was already inside of him when he started moving right to "defend his position." It was clear to me from watching replays right after the incident that Michael moved his helmet to the right just before or just as Rubens made his move, strongly suggesting that he was watching his mirrors. It's clear that Michael didn't move to squeeze him until AFTER Rubens had already committed to that side and drawn partially alongside. DELIBERATE and UNCONSCIONABLE. That sort of unsporting behavior by MS was first on display in Adelaide in 1994. Nothing much has changed...

The worst thing about this episode was Scumacher's dismissive and arrogant (but sadly predictable) attitude afterwards. And one gets the feeling that a 10 place grid drop hasn't taught him any lessons, so a minimum one race ban would have been better.

Perhaps, if that had happened and Heidfeld had got the drive for Spa, we might also have got another indication of Schumacher's relative performance level. I don't believe Rosberg is really getting the credit he deserves for outperforming him so comprehensively on a regular basis. After all, Schumi was only able to fight Barrichello for the last point due to Nico's and others' retirements ahead of him.
There is another way to look at it, Schuey is just poor.

& was he previously just a average driver in a decent car but never threw it away like Seb keeps doing.......

Mercedes have also been blinked to Schuey's ability too! Early in the season they had a competitive car but it suited Rosberg, they changed it to suit Schuey, Rosberg goes backwards as does the team........You've just got to laugh LOL
I'm going to defend Schuey, I know I will get ejected from this forum for doing so but I will take the risk.

These drivers are at the top of their game and all have immense car control, Schuey knew he was going to get passed so he closed the door and left just enough room for him to overtake, it was Ruben's choice to take the pass on the inside or not.

"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."

They are the most experienced drivers on the track and they know the risks, I don't think he would of tried the same move if it was a younger less experienced driver attempting the overtake.

A similar incident happened a few races ago when Vettel tried to get past Schuey. He left him enough space to get by and no more.

I'm not a Schuey fan, I still can't forgive for what he did to Hill in 94 but I've got more respect for him now he has been brought down to the same level as the rest of the drivers. Should he automatically give up his place to a faster car when they are racing for position? Of course he's not going to make it easy and he is going to push things to the limit but thats what racing is about.

The only really dangerous point of the race was Rosberg's loose wheel but I don't see the same uproar about that even though most of the deaths in recent years have been caused by stray wheels.
F1Yorkshire said:The only really dangerous point of the race was Rosberg's loose wheel but I don't see the same uproar about that even though most of the deaths in recent years have been caused by stray wheels.

Bravo to a Yorkshirman (my father was one too) for coming to the defence of someone under attack, but there's a significant difference between the two events:

Rosberg's flying wheel was an accident. Freakish, frightening, careless maybe, a miraculous escape definitely, but an accident nevertheless.
Schumacher, on the other hand, knew exactly what he was doing as could be seen from his long look in the mirror. Barrichello was clearly committed to the pass on the inside, which made Schumacher's throwaway commments afterwards all the more disingenuous.

And contrary to what he and those defending him have claimed, he did NOT leave Barrichello 'just enough room'. Look at the pictures again; the edge of the track is the white line, not the wall. The picture at the top of this thread clearly shows that Schumacher left no more than about the width of a front wheel to this line, literally pushing Barrichello completely off the actual circuit and inches away from the concrete barrier, at very high speed.
F1Yorkshire said:
I'm going to defend Schuey, I know I will get ejected from this forum for doing so but I will take the risk.
Absolutely not.

There is not right or wrong opinion here chap.
Everyone is equally entitled to post their own thoughts without impunity and I would hope that everyone knows that.
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