Motor Racing: Lauda's blast for `madman' Ralf

Ralf Schumacher yesterday came in for strong criticism for causing the crash at the Luxembourg Grand Prix that virtually ended Ferrari's Formula One title hopes.

Derick Allsop, at the Nurburgring, found Niki Lauda forthright in his condemnation of the Jordan driver.

Most of them were speechless, heads bowed in bitter resignation. The championship appeared all but gone, and Michael Schumacher's devoted mechanics could not raise so much as a whimper in anger or despair.

One member of the Ferrari camp, however, was less restrained. When you have been to hell and back, speaking your mind is no big risk and Niki Lauda was not about to turn diplomat just because it was Michael's younger brother, Ralf, who effectively scuppered their hopes of a first driver's title for 18 years.

Lauda, who won the first two of his three championships with Ferrari and in between almost died following a crash on the old circuit here, was scathing of the Jordan-Peugeot driver's part in the crucial first- corner collision in Sunday's Luxembourg Grand Prix.

Lauda, now a consultant with Ferrari, said: "If you are the brother of a possible world champion you ought to use your head once in your life. It was the action of a madman. He should lie down on a psychiatrist's couch. An intelligent driver knows a race will not be won at the first corner."

It is ironic, but perhaps not unfathomable, that Ralf, until now derided for being over supportive of his big brother, should suddenly be portrayed as the black sheep of the family.

He made little attempt to challenge Michael for fourth place at the Hungarian Grand Prix, much to the consternation of some within the Jordan camp. Here he unflinchingly fought the Ferrari from the grid. To his and his brother's dismay, Giancarlo Fisichella, in the other Jordan, wanted to negotiate the first corner at the same time.

Both Jordans were eliminated and the Ferrari, crippled by Ralf's car, had to stop after two laps. Jacques Villeneuve, further aided by the retirements of the McLaren-Mercedes pair, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, won the race and now leads the championship by nine points with two grands prix remaining. Any position in the points ahead of Schumacher in Japan, on Sunday week, will give the Williams-Renault driver the title.

Schumacher, however, summoned words of defiance. "What happened was a big disappointment and it leaves me in a difficult situation," he said. "But no way do I give up the title. Many things can happen."

Even victories at Suzuka and Jerez might not prove sufficient to deny Villeneuve, but the Canadian, who along with Heinz-Harald Frentzen will be driving for Williams again next season, also insists the contest is not over.

"Things went my way here but it could be a different story in Japan," he said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Medical Affairs Executive

competitive: Real Staffing: Medical Affairs Executive (contract) - EMEA Berk...

Medical Customer Interface Manager

competitive: Real Staffing: My client requires an experienced Medical Informat...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice