Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy

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Michael Schumacher caused a furore by parking his car during qualifying in 2006

Michael Schumacher makes his first racing appearance at Monaco this weekend since the notorious controversy he caused there in 2006.

Schumacher tried to hold on to pole position in qualifying that year by parking his car at the exit of Rascasse corner, preventing other drivers from improving their time. The stewards saw through the ruse and sent him to the back of the grid.

He has never explained his actions and became hostile when asked for an explanation by the media at Monaco today.

According to Adam Cooper Schumacher turned on the press when asked if the incident was a low point in his career:

You made it – some of you guys. I mean, let’s look forward and not backwards. […]

I mean you can keep trying absolutely, but we’re not talking about 2006 any more. There’s enough said I don’t feel that I need to go any deeper into it??
Michael Schumacher

Schumacher may not feel the need to explain himself. But his refusal to do so shows his utter contempt for press and fans alike who recognised his move for the blatant act of cheating it was. As the stewards said at the time:

The stewards can find no justifiable reason for the driver to have braked with such undue, excessive and unusual pressure at this part of the circuit, and are therefore left with no alternatives but to conclude that the driver deliberately stopped his car on the circuit in the last few minutes of qualifying, at a time at which he had thus far set the fastest lap time.

As long as Schumacher persists in his denial he will continue to face uncomfortable questions from the media. Weighed against that, would an admission of guilt be that hard to swallow?

Read more: Monaco 2006: Stewards slam Schumacher

Image (C) Ferrari spa

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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176 comments on “Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy”

  1. Ha! He deserves this grilling by the media, and he SHOULD be ashamed of his cheating. Instead, he’s acting petulant?! Terrible sportsmanship!

    I still think that if it were anybody else who did this, the stewards would have been much, much harder on them then the small penalty Michael received that year.

    1. I think being thrown to the back of the grid was fair, and hardly a small penalty for someone who was challenging for pole.

      1. Ned Flanders
        12th May 2010, 18:41

        It certainly wouldn’t have fair had any of those marshals on the circuit been hit.

        Actually, that’s made me consider something about this incident which I’ve never heard mentioned before. Fernando Alonso barely slowed down when he passed those marshals, even though they were just off the racing line and there were yellow flags to warn him? He might easily have received a similar punishment himself.

        Don’t forget this is the same Alonso who has completely ignored yellow flags on at least two occasions before: at Interlagos 2003 (to his own detriment), and again at Suzuka 2009

        1. @ned

          Its a good point you make, and its one that affects my job. I am a trackday marshal and do this for a living with everything from Pro Racer to complete novice drivers and motorcycle riders. When people don’t slow down under yellow flags they are potentially putting our lives and the lives of other drivers/riders and potentially spectators at risk. I think something like alonso not slowing down should serve a greater penalty, or at least some kind of penalty for it. Although i know a driver also wants to lose no time in a race situation by slowing down maybe more than someone else, its dangerous. You’d have thought in this day and age they should be able to put a Limiter on every car so when something like this happens everone who drives through that “zone” would automatically slow down.

          It gets to me cause i have narrowly avoided injury a few times recently, nearly been wiped out by a woman spinning a lotus elise right towards me and the driver+passenger of a recently expired golf under waved yellows, missing me by about a foot…. and whilst going to pick up a motorcycle from the edge of the track i literally had to jump over another bike sliding towards me at fairly high speed under waved yellows. Dont get me wrong, its exciting and i love it, but sometimes it just makes you think.

        2. Alonso did slow down for the yellow flags (see FIA transcript from post-qualifying press conference).

          At Suzuka 2009 qualifying, 5 drivers (Alonso, Barrichello, Buemi, Button, Sutil) got grid penalties for failing to observe the yellow flag.

      2. Sideshow bob
        12th May 2010, 23:54

        The man has a massive killer instinct, he knew he was getting beat by Alonso, and he was running out of options – so, in all likelihood, he made a desperate move on the spot. It’s the Schumacher way to try everything you can and then some.

        I don’t think we need to try to make him out as some kind of immoral scoundrel. He has extraordinary qualities and some less savory ones. Everyone has positives and negatives. It’s evident that he’s gone a little too far at least a couple times. But he was punished. That’s all there is to it. I’m certainly not interested in seeing the man badgered about it.

        Time for racing!

        1. well said , Bob. I’ts one of those things he may have done on the spur of the moment , driven by his will to win , or maybe something just went wrong , but for the press to bring that up after 4 years shows just what kind of snivelling rats they are – but I understand that’s their job.

        2. I totally agree bob. Schumacher’s actions in Monaco qualifying in 2006 were deplorable, and I dont intend to dispute that. But at the same time, he was punished for it (whether or not you think the punishment was severe enough), and I dont think there is any chance that he will tell the media “Yes, I cheated. I am terribly sorry.”

          I know that we have become accustomed to public remorse in light of some of lewis hamilton and others’ transgressions, but I certainly dont see that coming from schumacher, and I dont think it would do any good if he did now. I dont think we should excuse him for it per se, but I do think it is time to move on.

        3. Schumacher is utterly without shame or integrity.

          I think it’s a damning indictment of today’s society that anyone would seek to defend his cheating over the years and now his absolute contempt to the press and the fans.

          1. People don’t mind good people, tolerate great people but hate brilliant people. God knows why. We’re all born blank, what we become is a matter of choice, some losing it so far they say things like if you pay me I’ll be a better person, as if to say I’d be doing you a favour / know I’ve the power to damage lives…

    2. That’s Michael Schumacher for you. His desire to win is his nature, and it sometimes gets the better of him. Clarkson came up with a good analogy to describe this attitude, although he was talking about Schumacher-Hill incident.

      It’s like playing chess with a kid. If it looks like he’s winning, like he’s going to beat you, you just wait until he’s not looking and nick his queen. It’s that kind of “I’m not going to let you beat me because I’m just better than you”.

      Of course if you get caught nicking kid’s queen you will be ashamed, and you probably will want everyone to just forget about it ;)

    3. It was Ferrari in Monaco. There was no way Ferrari and Schumacher were going to get slapped with a big(though rightful) penalty.

      It sucks, but that’s how forumla 1 works.

      1. I think being sent from pole to the back of the grid at Monaco is a pretty harsh penalty…
        What else do you want? Ban him for the rest of the season, just for being Michael Schumacher???

      2. They should have thrown him in jail, thrown away the key…what punishment should he have got for goodness sakes?

        1. I think that punishment would just about be adequate David A…. Maybe take his shoes off him too.

          1. To reiterate what Xanathos said, you’re only saying this this should happen for being Michael Schumacher.

    4. I think the point is that he was punished for it in 2006. It’s over. If you want to bring up cheating, let’s talk about Lewis and his bold face lie in Australia last year.

  2. I remember Martin Brundle (or was it Murray Walker?) mentioning many moons ago (well before this), that one team; having already secured a 1-2 on the grid (or at least pole), with not much time left on the clock, had sent one (or both!) of their cars out topped up with oil to ensure that enough oil was spilled on the track to result in the session being stopped/finished prematurely thus ensuring their good grid position. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    1. Sush Meerkat
      12th May 2010, 19:00

      Sounds like a Prost style thing to do to me.

    2. i don’t know about that one, but i seem to remember senna crashing at lycee hairpin at magny cours (the last corner) as he set his pole lap – everyone applauded the genius of the move, as he gained time by not making the corner, but i think he also stopped the session and ruined everyone else’s flying laps at the time.

  3. That’s the Schumacher I know…

  4. What else can he do?

    He keeps his mouth shut, reporters will keep grilling him.

    He admits his mistake and shows guilt, the media will harp on how he has always been a cheat and he will do something similar soon.

    Either ways, the media won’t shut up.

    Instead, he is doing the right thing by saying, “It was in the past, let it go”. Media should listen to him for once.

    1. He admits his mistake and shows guilt, the media will harp on how he has always been a cheat and he will do something similar soon.

      I don’t agree – remember when Hamilton made his apology at Sepang last year following the Melbourne controversy? That took the wind out of the story.

      This kind of response will only invite more questions.

      1. Hmm, true. The media did shut up after Hamilton’s apology.

        But, I think in Schumacher’s case, it is going to be “too little, too late” (16 years late to be precise).

        Hamilton did just 1 mistake and immediately apologized.

        Schumacher’s first mistake (1994 Adelaide) resulted in him winning the WDC!! No way, he was going to dilute the success by apologizing straightaway.

        Then came 1997 Jerez, Austria 2002, 2006 Rascasse.

        Lets face it, he made so many mistakes that the media stopped talking only when he retired in 2006. And you would’ve thought perhaps the matter had died its death, but NO!!!

        The media just love to hate him. One small apology is not going to change the media’s attitude towards him.

        Perhaps, if he were to write a book telling how he genuinely felt sorry, the media will forgive him. But I think not.

      2. He could apologize but I think it’s too late for that now. It will just infuriate those who forgot about this particular stunt but still seethe that he got away with so much in his day. Anyway, he has too much to lose and little to gain.

        An admission would permanently stain his legacy, possibly far more than getting trounced by Rosberg this year. A pre-meditated, calculated corruption of the competition in an official session is at the top of scales of ruthlessness. That is in the realm of Piquet’s delict in Singapore. Frankly it was worse in a way because Schumacher’s ploy was in his own interest in that session.

        Also, the whole issue goes to whether Schumacher’s apparent calm is the result of superior mindfulness and discipline, or epic arrogance. People either love him or hate him, and explain his behavior, depending on which they believe. You hear people say he can detect octane changes in gas or the barometric pressure or whatever, because he is the shaolin monk of driving. But plenty think he is a talented driver but who prospered mainly without major competition and who ruthlessly cheated on the occaisions when he was confronted with actual talent in the form of Villeneuve, Hill, and Alonso, and made sure the team did all but put sugar in his teammates’ fuel. He wants to keep people believing he is quasi supernatural. Its the key to his legacy. So he won’t talk.

        1. I think you’ve nailed it here.

        2. Was going to have an opinion but DaveW’s post pretty much got it.

          I would still maintain he was more naturally talented than Hill an Villeneurve an beat them in slower cars.

        3. Very well said.

        4. I am not sure about Schumacher being to arrogant or disrespectfull to the press. I think it is more to with about Schumi having to create this image of himself for his self to believe in how good he is as a means of being as competetive as he can be.

        5. Schumacher, he is in class of his own.

          Its funny how people constantly praise a guy that has no sportmanship whatsoever as one of the greatest racing drivers.

          1. THE greatest. Not one of the greatest.

      3. Totally disagree – the media bang on about liegate constantly. Many times there have been articles about Lewis, especially when things are not going well for him, and they bring up all the “controversies” in his career. So I don’t think you are right at all.

        The “fans” also revisit this again and again, using it as an excuse to call him and his team a cheat. I rarely agree with the media, so in this instance, I agree with sumedh – it seems unnecessary and churlish to go on about something that happened in 2006.

        This is another instance of how Teflonso gets away with things more than any other driver – funny how reporters don’t keep banging on about how come he didn’t know what was going in Singapore 2008?

        1. On the Schumacher point, I agree, but my attacking Alonso you are doing the exact same thing!!

          1. Lewey agrees – it’s in the past, look forward.


        2. Yep S Hughes, I agree- the mudslinging from so-called “fans” against Michael, Lewis, or whoever needs to stop, so we can look to what will hopefully be a great race this weekend (culminating in a Ferrari victory of course :P ).

      4. For the love of good reporting. You are a smart writer and seem to be a good person, but maybe you are so close to your personal issue with MSC that you cannot see that from the very beginning the article is about you and not about MSC. Get over it. In case you do actually read this here is an example of an unbiased title: “Schumacher balks on 2006 Rascasse incident”

        Many of the greatest drivers that many of you fanboys on here rave about have done some ridiculous things to win. Schumacher is no different except that he’s the only one with 7 championships and therefore has the biggest bullseye on his back. Whenever this guy does anything everyone makes it the biggest news story and for no real good reason. He was punished then and now its post-retirement Michael time. If douc$@! reporters want to keep harping on him, and you post a clearly biased title to their harassment, the only thing they will succeed in is wearing him down faster so that he retires and then they won’t have anything nearly as interesting to report on. He is their most important figure; he is their lifeblood and not the other way around. Once again, get over it (this is directed at all the haters and all the fans of Michael).

      5. I think its the obsession of the media to hear an apology. The whole world knows it was cheating and he did get a penalty for it, dont see why media needs to bring it up. Completely off topic and nothing new for the enjoyment of fans. And I disagree with Keith saying that Schumacher’s refusal to comment is contempt for fans, may be for media, but seriously it was few years back, I for one dont care anymore as long as he doesnt do it again.

      6. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        13th May 2010, 12:03

        Hamilton only “apologised” after he was effectively caught with his pants down, on camera. His apology was motivated by the anticipated losses in PR money. Most importantly though, Hamilton’s apology was little more than Dave made me do it.

        I do not think it was all Dave Ryan’s idea, just like I don’t think it was all Piquet or Briatore.

        At the end of the day, this story is little more than beating a dead horse at best and trying to taint an impressive record by alleging cheating at worst. Not your proudest moment.

      7. if he admits this, they’ll force out of him the villeneuve-Shui incident and also the Hill-Shui incident. They probably won’t let it lie untill they have him admit to every large “cheat” he’s ever done.

        Personally i think he is a massive cheat, and think he would never have won 7 WDC if Senna was still alive. (And thats Ayrton, not the Also ran Bruno)

        1. Sigh, its easy to say what could have been, or should hsve been, but you can only beat what is put in front of you. Facts are facts.

          Michael Schumacher- 7 time champion- FACT.

        2. Senna isn’t alive and Schumi won 7 WDC’s. Get over it. Schumi is better than any Brit driver that ever lived. And the British press hate him for that. Cannot wait until he wins his next WDC!!

          1. its ridiculous to claim that Senna would of been better than Micheal if he had lived, nobody can know what Senna would of done, he was a great man and a great driver, and its equally stupid to argue that Micheal is a better driver than ANY brit driver, if micheal tried to drive BRM or a lotus etc of the 60s against the likes Hill(graham), Clark, Stewart and he wouldnt stand a chance, likewise i doubt Hill(graham), Clark, Stewart would stand a chance against Micheal in a modern Car. the fact still remains Micheal drove into Hill on purpose in 94, on purpose into Villeneuve in 97 etc etc etc, micheal for all his championships is a cheater, cheating sportsmen by virtue of cheating rule themselves out from being Great simple as. Great Sportsmen dont cheat, they can win without cheating.

          2. There have been five drivers who can be classed best of the best:


            The only driver other driver who may lay stake to a claim on that list is Sterling Moss.

            Beyond that, who gives a bleep where a driver is from? I can tell you right now that the country a driver is from is definitely not the defining factor in his skill as a driver.

            And Parker,
            No matter what you say, Schumacher has 91 wins, 154 podiums, 68 pole positions, and 76 fasters laps. Whether you wish it or not, in reality he didn’t pull a fast one on the rest of the F1 community for 16 years and actually deserves the laurels he has gained.

    2. The only “mistake” he has admitted to was the crash which everyone knows was not a “mistake” but an intentional act contrary to the rules and to good sportsmanship. The stewards have confirmed that it was an intentional violation of the rules by penalizing him. What is this slavish devotion Schumacher fans have that will not allow them to see their idol as a complete human being? Other drivers have made errors and admitted to them, have apologized for them and asked forgiveness from their fans. Schumacher is not much of a man and exhibits a great deal of disrespect for his fans by continuing to lie to them.

  5. I think, another question from that day is why was Alonso not penalized for trying to do a fast lap under yellow flags? All drivers pulled out of their hot laps while Alonso went on to complete his lap and improve on previous best and narrowly miss on pole. I think he should have been also given 5 place penalty that race for dangerous driving under yellow flag conditions.
    Here we go- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqo_WSG4VMg

    1. Weak. Try again.

      1. Why is Ninad’s point weak? Alonso clearly didn’t slow down despite the waving yellow flags. At least try to back up what you say.

        1. As far as I know Alonso didn’t set a personal best sector time when Schumacher was parked up. He was some way ahead of Schumacher’s pole time through the first two sectors, yet behind through S3 – which would suggest that he backed off.

          1. I know i was watching at the time. Fernando did a great time in the first part of the lap to jump Schumi for pole. Then at Rascasse he had to slow down and lost a lot of time.

            I am pretty certain he did slow down, so why should he be punished?

            I hope Schumacher shows a great race here in Monaco to set off the negatives of his last experience here. For me it was the low point of his career and in a way the end of it. Such a sad move, Ferrari just had to cut the ties after the year.

          2. I’d be interested if someone could dig up sector times for this…

        2. I remember Hakkinen going for pole at Monaco and not slowing down when encountering yellow flags. He did acknowledge them with a gesture of some sort, but did not slow down and grabbed pole. I guess the rules apply differently depending on who’s doing the offense …

        3. The article is about Schumacher’s cheating and continued unsportsmanlike behavior, not Alonso. Alonso was a victim of the situation, just like every other driver that day.

          Where is Ninad’s evidence that every other driver slowed and Alonso did not? Is it just because the world feed picked up Alonso’s in-car camera and not another driver’s?

          I cannot make out who is ahead of Alonso on the lap, but the gap between Alonso and the car ahead looks consistent to me, before encountering Rascasse and then continuing on the lap after the turn. This indicates that both cars maintained a relative speed to each other.

          Slightly better quality:

          Perhaps the FIA has available all of the running cars’ times for that lap? That would be the only way to prove if a driver did not slow sufficiently.

          1. No way, some people won’t be happy until Nano is tortured and shot. And I thought this thread was about MSC…

          2. Yes Gopher you are right, Keith can you please delete all comments not directly related to the article, obviously people have this idea that they can bring up ideas as they see fit…….

            On second thoughts, considering the incidents involved each other directly, doesn’t make it relevant??

        4. Alonso did slow down. It is in the FIA post-qualifying transcripts.

    2. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 19:24

      Sorry Ninad I didn’t see this comment, I made the exact same comment above but 10 mins later. I’ll copy a bit here:

      Alonso barely slowed down when he passed those marshals, even though they were just off the racing line and there were yellow flags to warn him? He might easily have received a similar punishment himself.

      Don’t forget this is the same Alonso who has completely ignored yellow flags on at least two occasions before: at Interlagos 2003 (to his own detriment), and again at Suzuka 2009

  6. Ned Flanders
    12th May 2010, 18:34

    He’s dug a hole. Now he can’t get out of it. There’s no way he’ll spill the beans any time soon, if ever. Unless we get sneaky…

    I remember Mark Webber’s take on the situation was something along the lines of ‘he’ll only ever admit the truth over a bottle of wine when he’s in his 60’s’. Well I can’t wait that long. If any Mercedes engineers are reading could you please spike his water bottle with vodka and then ask him about it during the race.

    Then hopefully in his drunken daze he’ll express guilt and remorse for the incident for us all to hear over the team radio, and hopefully a few other secrets too. Although he’d probably crash the car before long

    1. If James Hunt survived Spa on LSD, I’m sure Schumi could survive Monaco drunk. Maybe…? :-/

  7. give him a break media! that was the past. give Shumi a fresh start. do they really not have any better questions to ask him?

    1. His act of cheating was dangerous, and although it was less violent than Piquet purposely crashing his car, the result was very similar – a car blocking the track on purpose. Schumacher deserves to hear the hard questions. And his impatient, frustrated attitude that he is showing is disrespectful to the fans and to the sport.

      1. Richard Merk
        12th May 2010, 21:59

        Saying this is very similar to the piquet scandal is a little dramatic. I understand there are similarities, but you can also argue that schumachers victim alonso in this matter did the exact same thing to hamilton in Hungary 2007. Purposely waiting in the pit box so that hamilton couldn’t get one last flyer.

        Alonso was very upset that schumacher did this to him in Monaco… Any yet he does it himself the year after to hamilton… Says a lot about his character.

        1. Yes, it is different than the Piquet incident because Piquet finally admitted what he did and showed some remorse. Schumacher is unrepentant and can therefore be expected to cheat again and endanger drivers again. This is not to mention purposely running championship rivals off the road. Oh. I guess I did mention that.

          1. If he was truly remorseful, he wouldn’t have waited until he was sacked to tell the world what he did.

      2. He heard the hard questions F1withYourSon. This is 4 years later. Check your baggage before you log on and post your anger. You’re mad at your dad, not at Michael. We all want you to get better but we need you to see someone who is qualified.

    2. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 18:44

      But that’s a bit like catching a murder who’s been on the run for 4 years, and then releasing him because it was ‘in the past’ and he deserved ‘a fresh start’…. not that I’m comparing his Schumacher to a murderer of course…

      1. woah, comparing it to a murder is a bit extreme!

    3. No, they don’t and I’ll give you two reasons why.

      First, it’s because Schumacher answers questions like a politician. He does everything he can to give as little away as possible. It’s a defensive tactic, of course, and he’s not the only driver to use it.

      So, knowing that Schumacher isn’t going to be drawn into saying anything interesting about updates on the car, his relationship with his team mate, his rivals and so on, the best way to talk to him and get a good story from it is to ask him a question where, whatever his answer, there’ll be a story to write. This is such a story.

      They’re also right to keep pressing him on it for the obvious reason: he’s never come clean about it, everyone wants to know why he did it and if he’ll do it again.

      He’s in the court of public opinion, and “it was in the past” is a weak defence.

      1. Well I think you’ve fallen victim to being hungry for a story there as well Keith –

        ‘he’s never come clean about it’

        Its quite possible that he has…and actually did make a mistake. Now don’t get me wrong, thats not my opinion either, but with such an assumption on his shoulders that he did cheat, he’s damned if he says anything and damned if he doesn’t.

        Hamilton’s incident was nailed on the head because he came out immediately. Schumacher didn’t – and that was his mistake. He can’t change his mind now though

        1. He surely did make a mistake: a mistake of judgement!
          But at the moment he did it, it must have seemed the “only” option to him. After starting the move, he could not back out, and dug himself in even more by finishing it with cutting of the engine.

          He must have trouble admitting even to himself, that he is prone to these kind of misjudgements when under enormous stress, because it is a weakness of him.

      2. the best way to talk to him and get a good story from it is to ask him a question where, whatever his answer, there’ll be a story to write. This is such a story.

        Spoken like a true journalist :-) (and an extremely smart one at that)

        But this is exactly that, a story, and it will remain one whether he apologizes or not. He might as well keep his mouth shut, in that case, since clearly, this story will remain a story till he is alive and racing.

        1. Maybe the guy has too many things to keep under wraps, coming clean with this one will result in other actions being questioned, so he might be best served by indeed going defensive. After all, isn’t it better to remain silent and be thought of as dumb, than to speak out and remove all doubt ?

      3. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        13th May 2010, 12:16

        Not a good story Keith, just “a” story.

        Examples of good stories (many of which you probably have covered here on this blog at some point):

        Is the dip in Massa’s form because of last year’s accident, or just being out-done by a brilliant team-mate, Or a reversal in form like Raikkonen vs. Massa in 2008?

        Is Schumacher’s form improving? Was it a broken chassis that held him back in the first 4 races? Will he be able to rebuild Mercedes like he rebuilt Ferrari?

        Are Petrov, Sutil and Alguersuari diamonds-in-the-rough?

        Was Barichello ever really any good?

        Is Webber another Barichello?

        Will Raikkonen replace Webber at Red Bull next year? Should he?

        Is Chandok a better driver than Senna?

      4. @Keith

        No disrespect mate, but Kimi did have a similar incident, in a Ferrari again, at the same darned corner. Why wouldn’t you cover that? For that matter none of the mdeia does. Perhaps score telemetry (a long shot and pretty much impossible task) of both Michael and Kimi driving through that corner and may be compare speeds, braking and all for better visibility of the incident for all of us.

        Without evidence to boot, all this talk is nothing more than plain speculation.

        Those who say that Lewis came clean, well they are just plain deluded. He was squeezed hard with evidence and was caught lying so he was made to squeal. I’m pretty sure that Whitmarsh was also in on it, just as in Spygate. That man for sure has nine lives!

        1. Kimi did have a similar incident, in a Ferrari again, at the same darned corner. Why wouldn’t you cover that?

          Schumacher parked a healthy car deliberately.

          Raikkonen had already broken the suspension on his car when he got to the corner and so could not get around it:

          1. Yes… Kimi did have some issues with the car… but my understanding was that Ferrari was experimenting with their car during those years, moving away from a set design philosophy… They changed a lot of design parameters of the car during those years… I do not know how much whatever they did affected the handling of the cars over tighter corners… Fact is, Ferrari’s weren’t so good in tighter corners and slow stuff over those years… Which is where telemetry would have come in to the picture and clarified a lot of things… What is funny is Kimi also stumbles at the same corner…

  8. ThePink Bengal
    12th May 2010, 18:42

    I know exactly why he did it.
    It’s because he’s a competitive mofo like no other who does (or did) anything and everything to win.
    And to be honest, at the highest level in any sport, you have to be prepared to do just that.

    Or, maybe he just had a brain fart.

    1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
      13th May 2010, 12:17

      Could not agree more.

  9. Pengo (Blake Merriam)
    12th May 2010, 18:51

    Ofcourse if he admits to one of his many questionable discretions won’t it invite more questions about the others?

  10. why did he do it? To beat Senna’s record in Monaco. That was probably more important to him than the championship at the time.

  11. I think Schumacher’s only regret is that he didn’t crash the car into the wall.

  12. I still find it difficult to believe that Schumacher was only given a grid penalty for this act of deliberate and dangerous cheating. Only a few races previously, a driver had had his superlicence revoked for causing an accidental collision on the first lap of a Grand Prix. Consistency?

    1. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 19:26

      I see what you mean… but you can’t seriously be comapring Michael Schumacher and Yuji Ide, can you?!

    2. I see what you mean, Schumacher should’ve been handed life imprisonment for making a driving error at La Rascasse.

      1. That meant to say “parking at La Rascasse”.

        So to repeat:

        I see what you mean, Schumacher should’ve been handed life imprisonment for parking at La Rascasse.

  13. Who cares?

    We all know he did it. He got punished for it. End of story.

    It’s a lose/lose situation for Schumacher. He can continue to stonewall and get negative press for it. Or, he can answer the question. If he says he didn’t do it, we all know he’s not being truthful. If he says he did it, then he gets crucified for admitting it.

    I don’t really see a lot of incentive for Schumacher to talk about it.

    1. If he says he did it, then he gets crucified for admitting it.

      Again, I think that’s forgetting the example of Hamilton at Sepang last year (see earlier comment).

      1. I can already hear the BBC comments, ‘Schumacher set a good laptime there, he is in 3rd now .. lets hope he doesn’t crash in some corner just to secure his position’.

        F1 comes back to Monaco, many drivers should be able to win this race, Schumacher just beat his teammate but who knows if he can do it again here, possible weather changes, new challenges, the possibility for him to get even with Senna .. so many things to talk about! But what do people ask him about? That.

        I dislike cheating as much as the next guy, but we will never know for sure if it was an accident and if it wasn’t, the only thing that Schumacher should be regretting is that he didn’t just deliberately crash his car a bit in that corner. Everyone would have thought he was pushing very hard to set a good laptime, barely anybody would have doubted it. Its in the past, we should really get over it.

      2. Keith, I have to disagree with you here(perhaps for the first time!), as Hamilton was not exactly let off the hook after his apology for the melbourne incident last year. He continued to be slammed by the media for the incident throughout last year, and many said that his apology was not convincing/made it worse, etc. I do feel that apologizing was the right thing for Lewis to do, but I dont think that he was instantly absolved of the matter upon doing so (as you have implied).

    2. We all know he did it. He got punished for it. No way, the story is over. Why did he do it? And no matter what he says, keep drilling and reminding him of what he did! GO JOURNALISTS!!

      1. And let the same journalists keep reminding every other driver of the bad stuff they’ve done? It will get very tiresome in the long run.

  14. Weasel Chops
    12th May 2010, 19:28

    To be honest, I’m over it.

  15. John M: Your comment is the best post on this topic.

    And seriously, what’s up with all of the contempt for Schumacher here?

    1. Every great drama needs an equally great villain. Formula 1 is a great drama, and I think for a lot of people (certainly for me), Michael Schumacher was a great villain–he was smart, cunning and dangerous. He crushed dreams, wrinkled suspension arms, and sent rookies back to the paddock in tears. I loved to hate him.

  16. At the time it was out of place, but Michael paid the price for his mistake by starting not from Pole but from the back of the grid. from what i can remember that made for a very interesting race seeing him carve his way through the field.
    i can’t think of any driver who hasn’t done something in Qualifying or in the Race that he has not paid for by being tagged a cheat, just look at Hamilton last year Melbourne, nothing is said about that, or the late Senna crashing into Prost to keep the Championship. how some people choose to forget somethings, but in turn keep bringing up issues from the past.

    i say keep the past in the past, nothings going to change the outcome, just F1 drivers can learn from mistakes in the past that make them better drivers for the future.

    1. Thing is, it still makes me sick to watch it.

  17. Did Senna,Prost,G Villeneuve, Ascari, Fangio and all the rest ever apologize? Let it go. 16 years on and most of the comments are from people who were still at junior school at the time. Big bad Michael is out to get you.If you turn him upside down and look at his bum he’s got 666 tattoed on it.

    1. lol…I know…it’s ridiculous

    2. I’m intrigued to know what Villeneuve did which he should have apologised for?

      1. Villenueve tried to pull out an impossible move on Ronnie Peterson and they came together as a result. Villeneuve went into the air and then into people killing one and a marshal. Officially there was no blame however most felt it was Villeneuve’s fault. He said nothing outside the enquiry. He was my all time favourite driver but here he was wrong and he knew it.

        1. Villeneuve was early in his career, in his second race for Ferrari and it was a racing mistake that cost much more dearly than it should have. The marshall that was killed was trying to move the spectators who should not have been in that particular area because of the danger. Villeneuve always expressed great sorrow for the incident but felt the responsibility belonged to the Fuji organizers as they had allowed spectators into the prohibited area.

          This was a very unfortunate and tragic accident at a time when safety measures were not as advanced. It does not make sense to compare this to a deliberate act of cheating such as Schumacher carried out 4 years ago at Rascasse.

        2. I’ve never seen video of that accident (is there any?) so I can’t really comment.

          1. only post accident. Peterson said afterwards that it was one if not the worst move he had ever seen. it was Japan 1977. It was incredible that Villeneuve was not killed.

    3. But did it stop people from asking them? I am sure a lot of people tried to ask all of them questions about these incidents during their whole careers.

      For Senna it is one of the Highlights of most books about him, as well as for Prost.

      Senna maybe made up for it in part through his initiative to get the GPDA started, right before the Monza race, Schumacher did do a lot for the GPDA to compensate for the darker side of his caracter. Is it enough?

      You are right, they do not have an obligation to answer the questions. But untill the questions are answered they will be asked.

      I think part of the motivation for Schumi can be in ending his career by not being a cheat, helping another team to the top and suppporting Rosberg to lasting stardom (he did like mentoring Massa as well).

  18. 43 comments in less than 2 hours. A journalist dream. Schumi is gold for the press. Whatever character he is portrayed as, he is still a huge story.

    1. That was my point exactly. Its as though they are on his payroll but suck at doing their jobs! They are the “Frado’s” of his family. I wonder if they all end up in Nevada trying to become legitimate! ha ha!

  19. Let sleeping dogs lie…

    Schumacher is arrogant yes… I’ll forgive him: he has the silverware to back it up.

    Alonso (on the other hand) is proud, and devious, and pride comes before a fall… he’s started at Ferrari already… the boy is trouble wherever he goes.

  20. Rob Gallagher
    12th May 2010, 20:30

    I think this is the difference between Hamilton and Schumacher, while both are ruthless Hamilton wont cheat to win (his hand was already forced by Dave Ryan)but Schumcaher has always believed in winning at any cost. Hamilton was apolegetic for what he did, Schumacher is not.

    1. Hamilton is a ridiculous cheat! However, I still hold hope that age will make him wise before the luck of not causing serious injury catches up. If you think that Hamilton is so classy, just keep watching. He’s sure to cause some tragedy sooner than later. The only difference is that I’m truly hopeful that he classes up and only soft cheats which is what all the great drivers do and IF he continues to have speed maybe he can become just that. Hopefully he doesn’t get anybody else fired in the mean time.

  21. HounslowBusGarage
    12th May 2010, 20:52

    Schumacher is undoubtedly one of the two or three best ever drivers, and certainly one of the most intelligent and reasoning.
    But sometimes, he just seems to made a wrong decision on the spur of the moment. I doubt that he started the qualifying session with that kind of move in mond. It probably just popped into his head half a second before he did it. I doubt that he considered taking Hill out or trying the same on Villeneuve for more than a moment before he actually did it.
    But having made those stupid moves, and realising with hindsight that they were definitely stupid he probably can’t even admit it to himself that he really made them. So there’s no chance he’s going to admit to anything in front of a bunch of journalists.
    If he “became hostile” today, it’s because he hasn’t worked out his position on the incident. He hasn’t been able to work out a logical and resonable riposte because he hasn’t actually admitted to himself that it happened.
    Just an impetuous act or ‘brain fart’ as The Pink Bengal has it.
    He’s never going to admit it, so we might as well get over it as Rampante says (but the incident in question wasn’t 16 years ago, it was in 2006, Rampante).
    There. Phsychological stuff over.

    1. The UK hate of Schumacher started 16 years ago with the attempted assassination of Hill and being responsible for the destruction of the rain forests, the collapse of the Roman, Egyptian, Greek, Mayan, Inca and possibly the Russia(disputed)empires and never stopped. It is also rumoured that prior to driving in F1 he created several plagues before setting off a few volcanoes and earthquakes.

      1. So on his return he might just be responsible not only for ousting Button from Mercedes, but for the Iceland volcanous, the exploded oil rig, crashed Lybian airplane yesterday etc. ;-)

        A controversial character, i love Mercedes for bringing him back, there is so much more to discuss and we have more enemy nr. 1s to choose from (Alonso for the UK, Hamilton for the Spanish and maybe Italian allso, Schumi for all but the Germans).

        This just makes it a great season.

  22. just a thought i wonder what the new stewarding system would off made of schumachers actions that day ?

    1. Well Damon Hill’s a steward this weekend so we may find out!

  23. Interesting : Another Schumacher bashing post, sorry I couldn’t resist joining in.

    Its being suggested here that Lewis Hamilton owed upto his lying, I seem to distinctly remember a slip of tongue in a press conference was the nail in the coffin and not an admission of guilt. His statement didn’t match up. As far as being apologetic was concerned, he didnt really have a choice with the PR ensuring the good boy image and his guilt being established beyond doubt. If his guilt wouldnt have been established, he too would have denied much like McLaren did in the following episode before they were also caught.

    Also, if we go further back to the spygate scandal, McLaren had almost been let off before the emails were discovered and guilt was established beyond doubt.

    So please don’t indulge in double standards, bash everyone equally, if Schumi deserves a bashing for parking in Monaco, so does Lewis for the white lies and Mclaren deserves a bashing for spying and using Ferrari tech. in their cars. (apparently without the knowledge of Ronn Dennis :D )

    1. I don’t see how you can say ‘Hamilton apologised but it doesn’t count’ and then accuse someone else of double standards.

      How’s this for double standards: Both Hamilton and Schumacher were caught cheating by the stewards. But afterwards only one of them said this:

      It is right for me as a human being and as a man to stand in front of you all and tell you exactly what went on and put up my hands. I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I’m sorry to my team and my family for the embarrassment.

      1. See, Hamilton was caught, caught with irrefutable proof, Schumacher was not, its human tendency to try and find refuge in doubt.

        1. Also, being a F1 blogger, I am sure you do realise the kind of PR that goes behind Lewis Hamilton and projecting himself as a good kid

        2. I think you have a point here: wasn’t radio traffic intercepted or something which proved Hamilton’s guilt ? He had no choice but to come clean.
          Schumi’s case however is very different.

          1. Yes, schumacher’s case had circumstantial evidence, Hamilton’s case was clear open and shut with him blurting out something in the press conference and something else in front of stewards to get a favorible ruling.

        3. Nothing refutable about it. The FIA had access to Ferrari’s telemetary which showed he’d deliberately parked the car.

          1. Yes I am sure the deliberately parking car switch was on :D

  24. The reason MS won’t admit to cheating is because he didn’t cheat. It was a dumb driving error, plain and simple. Happens to the best. MS is far too smart and calculating to have “parked” his car deliberately – he knew that he’d be severely penalized and so had nothing to gain and everything to lose. However, if any other driver had done the same thing it would have blown over very quickly. And the ONLY reason the stewards found him guilty and imposed an overly severe penalty was because Flavio Briatore – Alonso’s Renault team boss, at the time very influential in F1, and a scrupulously honest man who would never think to fix a race himself – threw a hissy fit and went screaming to the stewards demanding they punish Schumacher. Funny thing, Flavio’s out and Schumi’s back. The racing gods must be smiling.

    1. Then why is Schumacher so touchy when asked about it?

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      12th May 2010, 23:01

      “It was a dumb driving error, plain and simple”
      Spherical objects.

      1. ‘Spherical objects’ ….. LMAO… :-)

    3. I suppose, that is exactly what Schumi keeps telling himself.
      Sure Briatore had to push a lot, and yes he was probably exactly the man to judge this move for what it was, he would have thought of the same.
      But honestly the FIA was biassed towards Ferrari and Schumi that year (Monza anybody).
      I remember at the time a lot of people were questioning weather Schumi would actually be punished for a move all drivers immediately recognized as intensional parking. All were relieved, he did not go without punishment.

  25. Schumacher may be a great driver, but surely being a cheat overshadows that. Senna was the same albeit more likeable as a character. It seems that those who are driven to win in F1 are occasionally driven to win at all costs. That’s a shame. The true greats are those won and entertained without resorting to underhand tactics. Just for the record, my favourite driver of all time was Gilles Villeneuve. He was exactly what an F1 driver should be: Ballsy, exciting, quick even in a poor car, determined. All while being fair and rspectful on the track. He was flawed like all drivers, and that probably contributed to his death. However, Gilles and those of his ilk would be sickened by some of the attitudes adopted by modern F1 drivers and teams and I for one feel the same.

    1. maybe for Senna as well as for Gilles, an enormous difference is, we can hardly go and ask them, can we?

  26. Jeez, move on already. Keith, is there really nothing more worthwhile to talk about with present day F1 that you have to jump on this tired old bandwagon?

    Good to see the holier than thou brigade out to keep check on our moral yardsticks; with which we can measure their high-ground.

    Really crass.

    1. Obviously I disagree. Yes, he got caught and punished but from what little he’s said for all we know he’s learned nothing from it and will do it again. This from the most successful driver ever in F1. If he wasn’t racing in F1 any more then I could see your point but he could quite conceivably have the opportunity to repeat what he did this weekend.

      1. i doubt “he’s learned nothing”. I doubt also that he will do it again. I’m sure in the privacy of his own thoughts, that this burns, as with all the other mistakes.

      2. Fine, he doesn’t want to talk about it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he hasn’t learned anything or that he’d do it again.

    2. @psyrnrg. I think it is quite an interesting topic actually… and I guess the number of posts prove it.

      Im guessing you are a Schumacher fan, because a post like this would definitely annoy Schumi’s fans.

      I do believe that Schumacher will be upto some antics this weekend… probably slowing down on track during qualifying. I think Rosberg will be his first target, as he is less likely to get a reprimand for slowing down his own teammate.

      1. Of course I’m a Schumacher fan. I’m also a Formula 1 fan. The two are synonymous.

        Of course the incident was questionable and controversial in equal measure. Schuey received a penalty at the time. It’s a done deal. It was an interesting topic in 2006.

        1. I’ve been an F1 fan for over 15 years. I’m also German (since so many people here seem to love getting hung up on nationalities). I’ve never been a Schumacher fan. Instead of pointing fingers at Keith maybe you should take a good look at your own biased assumptions first.

          1. Not biased, I just want to get on with 2010 not a rerun of 2006.

            Oh and what’s yours called if it ain’t bias, you think being German somehow (you brought it up) cancels that out?

  27. yea keith.. I agree with pSynrg

  28. For some interesting reading, here’s the post-qualifying press conference from that 2006 Monaco GP:


    (And for those speculating about whether Alonso slowed down or not at the yellow flags, it answers that – yes, he did.)

  29. For me, this is a non-story. Sorry.

    Schumacher was never going to admit to what he did – it’s too late now – and it would give him barely any benefit, since the lines of division were drawn a long time ago. It’s not going to make people who think he’s a cheat say “at least he admitted it” and stop hating him. The difference with Hamilton is that here was a young guy, frustrated at finding himself in an uncompetitive car for the first time since his first season in Formula Renault, still probably bruised after having his victory taken away in Belgium the previous year, loyal to the team and prepared to do what was asked of him. With Schumacher, he was already an old hand, a 7-time champion, with a bad history when it came to cheating.

    I don’t see what an apology would do except to give the media its lamb to slaughter. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t apologise though! But all things considered, for Schumacher personally it’s not going to be a move worth taking (ironically).

  30. why are we picking this old scab? Lets move on.

  31. In the end this is an example of the type of “sportsmanship” which will bar Schu from ever reaching the stature of true Champions like Fangio, Moss and Clark. It’s not the style you show when you win it’s your behavior when you lose.

    1. Moss was never F1 champion.

  32. It’s pointless going over it again now, I think any media asking/reporting on this are basically maintaining a narrative that serves their own ends and isn’t really in the interest of the fans. I don’t think it shows utter contempt for anyone.

    1. Nice point K, i agreee with you there.

  33. If that was intentional then it was unnecessary from Schumacher.

  34. Prisoner Monkeys
    13th May 2010, 2:50

    I hate it when journalists do this. There’s so much more out there that’s more interesting than something that happened four years ago.

  35. Quite a biased article, this is.

  36. Pathetic line of qustioning from British tabnloid media just looking for a tag line for their low IQ Schumachee hating punters. Calling these bottom feeders journalists is a big stretch.

    1. A racing driver openly cheats and a journalist reports it. You apparently find no fault at all with the driver but call the journalist a bottom feeder.

      Hmmmm. I don’t think I’d want you dating my daughter.

  37. Okay, all the lashing and bashing aside, journalists did nothing wrong in pressing him on the 2006 incident as it was clearly one of Schumacher’s blatant acts of desperation which more often than not lead to cheating.
    He will never admit to it, there’s no doubt about that, in my head at least.
    Another thing, its quite amusing how Schumacher’s back to his adamant, unapologetic and disrespectful ways just after one ‘okay’ race finishing ahead of his team-mate.
    Anyway, I couldn’t be any less bothered as there are better things in F1 right now than this guy (and we can’t even be sure if he’ll be here next year). And all of this sounds so awful when I think that I was such a MSC fan in the past. But then, I didn’t or couldn’t see any further than the winner he was. I was a kid, what do you expect?!!?

  38. dosen’t some part of “Schumacher” like “Schu” translate to cheat or fraud in german slang? i swear i read that somewhere a long time ago.

    Still think he is a great champion with the “what ever it takes” mentality. He always pushed to every extreme even pushing the boundries of the rules

  39. Last time i checked Schumacher was the most successful and most popular F1 driver ever. I don’t think he will be losing too much sleep about some of the press / armchair critics craving for an apology so i wouldn’t hold your breath.

    And the difference between Hamilton and Schumacher is not cheating, it’s 6 titles

    1. “And the difference between Hamilton and Schumacher is not cheating, it’s 6 titles”

      And Hamilton doesn’t have nearly 200 races run yet. Give him time.

    2. Schumacher might have seven titles, but he will never have the respect, and the adulation of the fans that a seven time world champion deserves.

      And that my friend, is more important than having seven titles.

      If he did not pull off Adelaide 94, Jerez 97, Austria 2002, Monaco 2006, etc. He would have a title or two less, but he would be considered a worth champion and a legend.

      1. Are you sure? Look at the stands. Look at the TV audiences. They’re up substantially. And there’s no real new big name between this year and last except… Schumacher. Looks like adulation to me.

        Ask the drivers. They’ll all say they’d love to beat Schumi – which some of them are. But that shows that they think of Schumi as a target, a man to beat. Doesn’t that mean they respect what he’s done and they want to beat it themselves?

      2. If he didn’t pull off Adelaide 94 he’d have one less.

        Jerez 97 he wouldn’t have been disqualified from 2nd.

        Austria 02 he’d still have had enough points to be champion.

        Monaco 06 he could have had another 10 or 8 points and finished closer to Alonso in the championship at the end.

        you’re just dramaticizing the adulation aspect. who cares.

  40. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

    Every (healthy) F1 fan knows that this recent attack has nothing to do with Rascasse, but with the simple fact that Schumacher is the devil, the Dick Dastardly, the arrogant German that British fans love to hate for his achievements against other British drivers.

    It’s the British F1 media who run the circus, and they know that Schumacher hatred sells copies and gets website hits. In a sport that has been dominated by spying, dodgy maneuvers and dirty tactics, it’s always Schumacher that the British media needs to chastize, because it’s the easy thing to do. Because, to put it plainly, it sells.

    Do I need to remind you that Alonso was involved in some pretty disgusting things in his career (espionage, ratting, holding back his team-mate on purpose in 2007 Hungary, his team fixing a race, etc), but no one breaks a sweat, because he’s the good guy who took the fight to the evil Kraut.

    Frankly, the sheer level of hypocrisy and double standards is sickening.

    The British media will continue to grill Schumacher, simply because they can. Simply because they feel that this grilling and this questioning takes the shine of his numerous achievements. I am sure that in the eyes of the British fans this is true.

    But in the eyes of all the rest, healthy F1 fans, this is far from happening. We can see a dead duck when we see it, and this whole story is just a dead duck. A lame attempt to bring back the Schumi hatred at the fore front.

    Frankly, I expected more from you Keith.

    1. I can’t speak for the rest of the media, but I don’t hold Schumacher to a different standard compared to other drivers and I’m perfectly happy to hold other drivers including Fernando Alonso to the same standard: Fernando Alonso should renounce his Singapore Grand Prix ‘win’

      1. Fair enough. But my suggestion, the bottom line of my comment, is that you can find similar (or worse) actions in most drivers’ careers. Alonso has been guilty of several dodgy things in the past. But there are other things as well… Do you remember Coulthard brake testing Alonso at Nurburgring (I think it was 2003), which caused Alonso to spin to the gravel trap? He completely ruined his race and, further more, endangered him. How is this any different from what MS did in Rascasse, provided that he did it in purpose?

        I can give you examples of poor and questionable driving for the majority of the drivers. In fact, the more successful a driver is, the more controversy follows him, because it’s the competitive nature of the beast.

        I have been following F1 almost as long as you have, Keith, from 1986 to be precise. I have never seen a driver, in that period of time, do the things that Michael was able to do with a car, especially in the 1993 – 2004 period. He was so head and shoulders better than the rest, it was a joke.

        But I am not a blind fanboy. I think Adelaide 1994 was as much Hill’s fault as it was Schumi’s. Hill shouldn’t have gone for this tiny gap and Schumi had the right to close the door. I think that in 1997 Michael tried to close the door on Villeneuve and take him out of the race – and paid the price for it. I also think that in Rascasse in 2006 he deliberately parked the car, taking this decision in the heat of the moment. He’s also done other things in the past (blocking moves, etc), like ALL F1 drivers. All of ’em.

        But I am disgusted to keep hearing the same journalists over and over again trying to belittle his perfectly valid achievements on the basis of these incidents. Not many contemporary F1 fans had the joy to watch Schuey in action, and in much the same way that we will never be able to fully understand what it was like to watch Jim Clark or Fangio race, they will never be able to understand what it was like to see Schumacher race, at his peak. The sense of occasion, the laptimes that came out of nowhere, the car ballet…

        I feel that this insistance in the past does all true F1 fans a disservice, in that it takes away from Schumacher’s mythical achievements and focuses only on the negative aspects, which I will be the first to admit that they do exist.

        After all, it is impossible to be a human being, involved in a sport for 17 years (always at the fore front), leading the competition, and not have moments of weakness, poor judgement and mistakes. It is impossible.

        It’s not Schumacher that has not mellowed. It’s the media who have an axe to grind, and it takes away from F1 fans the true essence of the sport and its beauty.

        My 2c, anyway, thanks for giving us this place to voice our arguments.

        1. As far as Alonso and Hamilton are concerned for their behaviour in 2007 both have recently spoken about it in interviews. Both admitted, that they did things wrong and made misjudgements as well as that they learnt a lot from it and are the better from it.

          I did not exptect this from neither of them, but both had been questioned about it. Hamilton for fear of wanting to bash Button, Alonso after people speculating on him throwing the toys out of the pram if Massa would be doing better than him.

          Both, impressed me, as i really did get convinced, they ment it and improved themselves from learning.
          Schumacher does not want to or cannot do that. Shame for him as it bars him from improving himself to become even better.

      2. Would love to see any of the spygate or liargate articles, both pre and post verdict ;)

    2. This “attack” has everything to do with Rascasse! Criticism of Schumacher’s actions, whether you like him or not, is certainly fair. It does not necessarily mean “Schumi hatred … devils”, etc.

      Schumacher put himself back in the spotlight and open to questioning by returning to F1. Why would you expect journalists to forget about the Rascasse incident now that he has returned to the scene to race again? Many F1 fans like myself want to know how he looks at the incident 4 years later.

      His achievements are all recorded and have been celebrated, any shine rubbed off has been through his own behaviour.

    3. You may know a dead duck when you see it, but you wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you on your a@@.

      The reason we “unhealthy” folks say Schumacher is a cheater and a dirty driver is because those things are facts. Not because we wish to unwarrentedly vilify the Evil Hun. Not just because we are British and hate Germans—actually some of us are Americans. We say those things because they are facts, because they happened. We, unlike the Schumacher Apologists, deal in reality.

      And the media don’t continue to grill Schumacher simply because they can. They continue to grill him because he refuses to answer in any cogent way. And it isn’t the continued questioning that will take the shine off Schumacher’s achievements. Through his own actions over the years, Schumacher has already done that himself. Had Schumacher never done anything out of the way, this thread would not exist, there would be no questioning, and his seven titles would shine brightly as they should. It is unfortunate that this is not the case.

      It’s plain that Schumacher Apologists follow the party line–he wasn’t a dirty driver, he was a fierce competitor. He never cheated, he merely took advantage of opportunities. In psychology that is called denial, because it is a belief system that contravenes the facts, and is not considered to be a healthy mental state.

      Keith, in his article, asks questions that many people ask, that many people would like answers to. Reporting on facts is not unhealthy, nor do I see any double standard here. You bring up Alonso, and other Apologists bring up Hamilton. Why? What has their action to do with a converstion about Michael Schumacher? The fact that a reporter does not mention them in an article on Schumacher is no indication of any double standard. It is an indication, rather, that the reporter can stick to the subject. Apologists, you can’t clear Schumacher’s name by bringing up dirt on other drivers. It was okay for your guy to do it, but not okay for them…..?….no, just doesn’t work. That, I’d say, is hypocracy.

      1. I just read your post. I have replied above. I never once said that it was ok, or that it wasn’t cheating. Both Jerez 97 and Rascasse 06 were attempts to gain advantage over the opposition. Be it decisions made in the heat of the moment, or premeditated, it doesn’t matter – it still qualifies as attempt to cheat. That’s clear.

        However, please read my reply and you’ll see that the gist of my post lies elsewhere.

      2. I think when Schumacher “Apologists” bring up actions of Hamilton and Alonso, they aren’t trying to clear his name by bringing up dirt on other drivers.

        What they are trying to point out is that any top driver who stays at the helm for an extended period of time is bound to have a number of controversies against his name. It is the price a driver / celebrity pays to be in spotlight.

        The way he transformed the win-less Ferrari factory of Maranello into a multiple championship winning team in the 4 years ( 1996 – 1999) is stuff legends are made of. And he gained the unchallenged no. 1 status in the team in exchange of these 4 years of unrequited hard work and patience. Schumacher haters call this his “selfishness”, whereas the Apologists call it as a just reward for his patience, hard work.

        And even if Schumacher says that, he made a mistake, he is cheat, is that going to be the end of it??

        It is like saying USA will forgive Osama if Osama comes out with a video saying he is sorry for 9/11.

        1. I don’t mean to compare Michael to Osama!!! Just that, their situations against their respective foes are very similar.

          Osama is never going to win any hearts in USA whatever he does now, similarly Michael is never going to be loved by the British media whatever he does now.

  41. Schumacher hasn’t apoligised for anything before. And since he just got his first solid result this season in the bag, why would he start now, and compromise his veneer as the most hard edged competitor ever in Formula One?

  42. While this is just a case of media being the media, Schumacher rarely talks about past incidents – and even then, not in public presscons (his 1997 apology happened in a 1 on 1, IIRC). So I’d be surprised if the media were expecting any different today.

    If even Fernando Alonso (who, BTW, the press are not pestering about what he did in Hungary 2007) has forgiven him, surely it’s a sign that it’s time to move on?

    That said, THIS is why as much as a Schumi fan I am, he should’ve stayed retired. Getting beaten by Rosberg, staying stuck in midfield, getting hounded by the media – he doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t need this.

    1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
      13th May 2010, 16:33

      I would love for Schumacher to take a couple of further WDC titles, just to rub the Schumacher haters’ noses in it.

      1. As much as I’d love that to happen, I’m not too hopeful. He’s not getting any younger…

  43. He’s under no obligation to answer these silly questions about 2006. No surprise that it’s mainly the British press forcing these childish questions onto MS. The jealousy and envy is there for all to see. No British driver has ever come close to Schumacher. None ever will. Hating won’t change a thing.

  44. He`s not 7 times WDC an 5 times winner of Monaco for nothing;-)

  45. The mistake Schumacher made in 2006, once he’d chosen his path, was not crashing into the armco and losing his front wing or causing some other kind of damage to his car to make his “mistake” more believable.
    Furthermore, I don’t see the point in still trying to crucify him about the ruthless things he’s done in the sport, simply because he’s not the first driver to do do such acts, he won’t be the last, and he won’t be the last successful driver to do such acts.
    Ruthlessness has been a streak in a number of successful drivers in Formula One. Take Senna at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, crashing Prost out of the race to ensure the driver’s championship. While at Lotus, Senna ensured he wouldn’t have a teammate as competitive as himself. Prost had a clause in his contract for 1993 so Senna could not drive in the Williams team, which basically ensuring Prost the 1993 championship. Prost convincing stewarts to prematurely flag races when it suited him. Alonso giving testimony against Mclaren during Stepneygate in 2007, while he was still on the team, or the famous pit incident the same year when Alonso sat in the pit box to ensure Hamilton wouldn’t get another flaying lap. Piquet Jr in his role bringing the 2008 Singapore controversy to light after Renault fire him. Didier Pironi breaking a agreement between himself and Gilles Villeneuve at the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix. There is a clear pattern of ruthless behavior in F1 drivers. And then there are all the penalties against teams and tire manufacturers.
    Why is it that the all the a fore mentioned instances seem to get forgotten except for excerpts in F1 books, yet Schumacher’s forays cling to him like a bad smell and are reported as if they’re extra evil or something sinister?
    I’ve personally gained the impression over the years that people hate Schumacher because they think he somehow conspired the make sure Damon Hill wouldn’t win championships. Of course, this is the point where we begin to rant about Australia 1994. I’d like to point out that in 1994 Schumacher won 8 grand prixs to Hill’s 6. In fact had FIA not been so over eager on their new legality plank requlations in Spa, with Schumacher spinning across the kurb, Schumacher would have had that race win as well. In addition, 2 of Hill’s wins were at Monza and Estoril when Schumacher was under at two race suspension for ignoring a black flag. Again, we get the cries of treason and how Schumacher deserved the ban and is sinister man. Yes, he did deserve the ban but I recall a certain Nigel Mansell ignoring a black flag and taking Senna out of a race. There aren’t cries of foul play for Mansell constantly being throw around. Beyond all this I believe we all recall Schumacher putting a very big stamp on 1995 and Hill.
    So I don’t see why we can’t just leave Hill the 1 championship in his utterly dominant Williams FW18, and Schumacher to the fact that he’s no more sinister that many other drivers have been, and just get over it and watch the races.

  46. Mark in Florida
    14th May 2010, 0:33

    Ha,Ha,Ha.All this useless harping is a joke.It must be a slow week for the talking heads.F1 has become so sanitized and tidy that the thought that someone with an old school killer instinct is unfathomable.Sure Schumi was trying to prevent Alonso from getting his pole.Yes it was petty he still would have been in second but second was never a position that Michael ever went for.Schumi is a winner because first was all he ever drove for.All these claims of cheating his way to success is retarded.Look at all the unsuccessfull cheats it did`nt work in the long run for them.What about Alonso he`s not a cheat? He didn`t know anything about spygate and or the intentional crash in Singapore? Come on people every team dances on the gray line some do it better than others.Struggling teams go over that line and get caught.Michael is a great champion and always will be.Is he perfect? Absolutely not,but human nature is to tear down the great ones and bring them down to our level so that we can say,look he does the same crap that I do!But as the late great Dale Earnhart said “Love you or hate you,if their not talking about you your a nobody”.

    1. Nutritional
      14th May 2010, 9:26

      Good to know you can share your opinion without insulting people. . .

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