Barrichello gets his apology for 'too hard' move

Michael Schumacher attempted to draw the controversy surrounding his driving at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix to a close yesterday when he issued an apology to Rubens Barrichello. The German clashed with his former Ferrari team-mate on the 66th lap at Hungaroring when he squeezed the Brazilian to within an inch of the concrete pit wall at 180 mph.

Schumacher said on his website that after reviewing the incident he had to agree with the stewards – who handed the seven-time world champion a 10 grid-place penalty for the upcoming Belgian GP – that the move was "too hard". The German added that he had no intention of endangering the Williams driver and that he was "sorry" if Barrichello had that feeling.

Mercedes GP team chief Ross Brawn came to his driver's defence yesterday. He said: "It was pretty tough – a tough move by Michael and a tough decision by the stewards. But I don't think for a moment that Michael was trying to put Rubens in the wall – but he was trying to discourage him from coming down the inside because he thought that was where he would be vulnerable. At the end of the day he gave him enough space. You can argue that it was marginal but tough racing."

It's unclear whether the apology will appease Barrichello, who was furious after the race. "You would expect someone with 10 races to do that kind of thing," the Brazilian said. "But for him, who has been through so many things – he is carrying something from the past that is just not necessary today.

"It's been always my fault for six years [at Ferrari as Schumacher's team-mate]. Unbelievable. His view is always that I'm a big crier and so on."

There remains a lot of anger within the sport at Schumacher's behaviour following his return from retirement. The German press might not be admitting it yet, but the comeback has been embarrassing. Sunday's move is a worrying indication that the dark Schumacher still lurks within his psyche, and as he indicated in Canada in June, his default move is to block, even to collide if needs must, whenever challenged for position.

What he did to Barrichello was as desperate as it was dangerous and deliberate. And it is not to be condoned. It is not, as an appalled Jackie Stewart has noted so often, the way in which F1 cars should be driven. It's the way that people get hurt and perhaps a sure sign that it really is time for Schumacher to hang up his helmet once and for all.

Former F1 driver and ex-chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, Alex Wurz, condemned Schumacher's driving, saying he had "stepped far over the line of any sporting code".

"He's a seven-times world champion and knew exactly what he was doing, he did it absolutely deliberately," said Wurz. "If there had been a collision it can be fatal. He was looking in his mirror for around 200 metres, so if he didn't see where Rubens was going either the mirror doesn't work, and the car is not legal, or he should see a doctor and maybe not have an FIA super licence."

How protagonists saw it

Michael Schumacher: "There's not much to say. I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him to go on the other side, but he chose not to so it got a bit tight. We know certain drivers have certain views, and there's Rubens. 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."

Rubens Barrichello: "You know Michael – you talk to him and he will always feel that he is right. He has been [retired] for three years and he didn't change. He is still the same guy. If we had touched there, I think he would have gone into the wall head-on. I couldn't move any more to the right because the wall was there. It is unbelievable. It was the worst move anyone ever pulled against me."

Ross Brawn: "Certainly [there was no intention based on bad blood from the Ferrari days] from Michael's perspective. I know Rubens has commented on the history between them, but Michael hasn't at all. It is obviously something that is in Rubens' mind. You can argue that it was marginal but tough racing. It may have ended up in a dangerous way but that wasn't the intent, I am sure, by Michael."

The FIA: Motorsport's governing body ruled that Schumacher had "illegitimately impeded" the Williams driver and handed him a 10-place grid penalty.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower