Motor racing: Schumacher backs Hill's peace plan

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The Independent Online
Michael Schumacher has welcomed Damon Hill's suggested pre-race public gesture of reconciliation at this weekend's German Grand Prix.

Hill, who has been embroiled in a war of words with the world champion in recent weeks, suggested on Tuesday that the two drivers go on a lap of the circuit in the same vintage car during the drivers' parade several hours before the race. Normally drivers from the same team sit or stand together in the cars.

Schumacher, who was involved in a controversial collision with Hill at the British Grand Prix earlier this month, accepted Hill's olive branch yesterday but the German was still critical of the Williams-Renault driver. "I will accept Hill's outstretched hand," Schumacher said. "That shows his understanding that he was responsible for the crash at Silverstone.

"The idea is a good way to dampen the emotions of the fans. The matter will then be over as far as I'm concerned. The [German] public should be fair to Damon Hill. The fans at Silverstone greeted me with applause."

Schumacher's Benetton-Ford team-mate, Johnny Herbert, who won the British Grand Prix, was denied a test session at Jerez in Spain earlier this week when Jos Verstappen was given the drive. However, Herbert will race at Hockenheim.