Senna and Schumacher differ over collision

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Bruno Senna, Renault, Interlagos, 2011

Bruno Senna said he was “absolutely surprised” to get a penalty for his collision with Michael Schumacher during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Senna said: “We went already upstairs to the stewards to understand why the decision was taken that way. I think it was very close one way or another and I got the short stick this time so that’s it.”

He explained the stewards’ reasoning for the penalty:

“They gave me the penalty for the first touch, not the second. Not for when Michael got a puncture. I think he was trying to squeeze me a little bit. We normally turn in much, much later than that. And I had nowhere to go, so unfortunately that’s what happened.”

Schumacher blamed Senna and compared the incident to his collision with Giancarlo Fisichella in 2006:

“It had quite a few memories to 2006, my last race that I did before my retirement. Exactly the same circumstance again, somebody that seemed to have a problem to take the normal trajectory of corners and run into me.”

Senna added that drivers had suggested leaving decision on some penalties until after the race when it is hard to ascertain who is at fault:

“We think it’s very important that the race drivers are part of the stewards because they know how it feels inside the car. We were at the limit of our braking abilities there when we touched. For us the important thing is there is consistency in decisions, that we know what we can do and what we cannot do.

“We’ve been talking to [FIA race director] Charlie [Whiting] about that. Last time when there was a bit of a problem with Felipe [Massa] and Lewis [Hamilton] in India, everybody thought that was a racing incident but Massa got the penalty.

“So when we discussed that with Charlie we said that we cannot agree that when there’s a very difficult situation to judge it’s best to leave it for after the race or leave it as a racing incident. So this time I got the penalty unfortunately.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    66 comments on “Senna and Schumacher differ over collision”

    1. It was slightly Schumacher’s fault/racing incident. I can’t understand why did Senna get the penalty. Not giving penalties to neither of the drivers would have been correct judgement IMO.

      1. It was Senna fault due to his lack of experience. If it was Alonso or Button it woudn’t end like that.

      2. It was slightly Schumacher’s fault/racing incident

        Well then you din’t look hard enough. try again.

      3. Senna’s fault.

        1. Can’t see how even in theory it could be Senna’s fault. He had no space where to go there.

          1. Really?? Then you must watch it again. There was plenty of space for Senna’s car on left side, may be for 1 more car too.

            1. In 2nd collision yeah, but he said the penalty was given from 1st collision?

            2. senna was looking at the apex, if a driver chooses to go around the outside its up to them not to hit the car on the inside unless the car on the inside crowds the other car off the track which senna didnt do….simples

            3. Yet Senna moved towards Schumacher’s car, and caused the contact. Simples.

            4. senna didnt move towards schumachers car? senna kept a straight line he was steering straight (the track curves to the left before the corner so gives the impression senna moved right) which he is more than entitled to do as long has he leaves enough room for the other car which he did.

            5. Schumacher left easily enough room for Senna. Problem is, Bruno got it wrong under braking, and slid out towards MS’s car as Michael was taking the normal line into the corner. Bruno should have been turning in, and if he did, he wouldn’t have made contact with MS once, let alone twice.

          2. He could always brake earlier & not run into the car that was already passed him… did you notice he ran into the BACK of Schumacher’s car? I.e because Schumacher was already past him at that point. But he chose to keep fighting & ended up making contact & getting a penalty.

            Lesson learned, hopefully.

            1. its this (taking the normal racing line) malarkey again, you cant take the normal racing line if theres a car there, you never have a right to turn in on a car never.

      4. Not only did Senna swerve right, into Schumacher, he also ruined his race by damaging his car. Deserved penalty.

        1. when did senna move right? are we all watching the same video? he never went right at all he kept going straight granted the track went to the left which LOOKED like he went right but he didnt and he left schumacher plenty of room.

          1. “The track went to the left” – i.e. Senna should have been turning left and taking the corner.

            1. I agree with David, when u have a left u move to left or brake rather than moving straight

            2. i still believe its 6 of one half a dozen of the other and they both had plenty of room to leave but my point is ms and bs were looking left for the corner so schumacher was in a much better place to avoid the contact but i suppose were always going to dissagree

            3. Agreed DavidA…unless I’m talked out of a rare moment defending MS, I really don’t see that he did anything wrong there. All Senna, as far as I am concerned. You said it well that if the first contact hadn’t happened nor would the second one have.

              The only thing MS was guilty of was not qualifying high enough such that he found himself playing with a car he should have put past him on Saturday. This is one of the times it bit MS in the butt to lag on Saturday. No doubt something they will concentrate on hugely in the off-season.

    2. Putting aside the blame of the initial contact – I would penalise Senna immediately for putting up his hand, before the second contact. He deliberately put himself out of complete control and the outcome was a front wing mishap for him and a puncture for Schumacher.

      I admit that I thought it was 50:50 on the initial collision though.

      1. It would be nice to know what contact they a penalising, I presume the second one in which case you are probably right.

        I hate to see them give out penalties, but watching the replays Senna is driving one handed into his uncle’s ‘S’ which means he’s not in complete control. Perhaps that’s what the stewards saw, but it would be nice to know what they did see. Where’s Johnny Herbet when you need him?!

        1. In the article Senna says it was for the first one.

          1. It was for the overall incident and the end result, dude. That is how the penalties are awarded.

            If I slap you in the face (which effectively does minor damage to you) but you stumble and fall over and crack your head on the concrete and effectively end up in the wheel chair – then I would probably end up in jail for grievous bodily harm. But if you punish me for the initial slap, then I would be a free man.

            1. That analogy only really works if they made contact once and that contact sent Schumacher off and into the wall.

            2. @matt90

              No it doesn’t, you are forgetting the “stumble” component.

              Sending Shumacher into the wall would be a situation that is completely unavoidable by the defender. A person stumbling indicates? -> What? Look the word in dictonary. To fall, to make an error or blunder.

              The analogy, as you call it, is there to explain that penalties are not given for only one component of the incident but for the overall incident. The start, middle and the end.

            3. No it doesn’t work because in your analogy there is one bit of contact, whereas in the actual incident there were two, and one didn’t necessarily cause the other, as after the first one the second could probably still have been avoided.

            4. ok, lets have it your way. But regarding the incident – I still think the penalty was awarded for the whole thing. It is a bit hard to separate the two. I am pretty sure if the first incident didn’t happen nor would have the 2nd one.

              I still think Stewards looked at both situations and decided on the penalty. What they explained to Bruno is a bit strange but I would like to see the Stewards report.

    3. I’d say it was more Schumacher who was at fault for the initial contact as watching the replay he turned into the corner a lot earlier than he or anyone else did at any other point during the race.

      I also fail to see why it was worthy of a penalty?
      You could make an argument with the 2nd contact that punctured Michaels tyre but I fail to see any need for a penalty for the 1st little bump?

      1. The Stewards investigate and seen it from various angles. They are experience drivers and critics of MSC and they found out Brunno’s fault. I don’t think your opinion is better than them.

        1. @Yamashita I do, MSC fault but nevermind they can’t get everything right.

    4. I’d lay the blame slightly more at Bruno’s door, but it’s clearly just an unfortunate racing incident.

    5. Mr schumacher fault and that is it!! no doubt!! and Mr schumi should retire of F1 and let young drivers have their oportunity, specially after a entire season behind Nico rosberg on Pts!!

      1. It’s a young driver having his opportunity that caused the second contact. Racing incident, with the blame closer to Bruno’s door.

      2. Rosberg is a qualifying glory boy, he fades every race compared to MS. At some tracks such as Monaco this year before schumacher retired with a car failure the difference in race pace was massive. I think its a safe bet to say MS’s race pace over the course of the season has been on average consistently faster than Rosberg’s, however a couple of mechanical retirements & some incidents of contact between MS & other drivers leave Rosberg in front on points this year.

        Solid effort I guess, yawn.

    6. I think the first one was a racing incident. Schumacher wanted to make sure Senna wouldn’t try to outbrake him, so he squeezed him a bit but not too much (there was plenty of room), and Senna didn’t lift, so they touched.

      then the second, I guess it was a bit more Senna’s fault, as Schumy was already far ahead and there was no way Bruno could get him anyway. He was barely in control of the car.

      But the penalty was too harsh. As Mark Webber said, it’d be good if they let them race a bit, instead of giving penalties to everyone for whatever they do.

    7. Bruno went in with too much speed. Schumi didn’t do anything wrong in this situation..

    8. The definition of a racing incident in my mind.

      The Stewards are more trigger happy these days than Trigger Happy TV.

      1. I agree @mouse_nightshirt, pretty much a racing incident.

        Didn’t see it live, but I watched the video several times after the race. I guess its seen as if Senna moves towards Schu a bit in that first move, and then the second one more or less results from that as well.

    9. i absolutely agree with Senna. it should have been investigated after the race, no way was that a drive-thru penalty.

      we’re seeing far too many penalties now. i like the ambiguity and general blame game side that we used to get (eg. Schumacher and Coulthard in argentian 1998 – no penalites given but lots of pent up agression, tension for the next few races and years. now, we don’t get that)

      1. Would it really have helped to investigate it after the race? The stewards already had all the camera angles, and as much time as they wanted. Sure they could have asked the drivers, but of course they both thought they didn’t do anything wrong – what else were they going to say?

        I happen to disagree with the stewards’ decision, at least based on what I saw – I thought it was a racing incident. But I’m still happier to see drive-through penalties on track, then to get to the end of the race and think “I wonder if someone’s going to get a 30-second penalty.”

        1. I think it would make more sense to get all the teams and drivers (or their representatives to keep it managable) to have a look at all desicions this year and pick out the ones that cought everyone supprised.

          Then they could look at all the evidence the stewards used, maybe ask questions of the stewards, talk with the drivers/teams involved and possibly formulate better guidelines or clearer rules on some issues for the future.

      2. That is exactly what used to happen and it was terrible.

        Having them change results hours after the race has finished.
        Ugh… No thanks.

    10. It upsets me that when an incident like this happens the immediate question is ‘who can we penalise’ did it rather than accepting it happens. I’m not saying Senna wasn’t in the wrong, but no one wants to deliberately run into someone and for the cars to merely kiss resulting in a drive through penalty when the rest of Senna’s race was absolutely fine is a little extreme in my eyes. Both drivers went into the corner, both drivers had a go and could have given some room, but they didn’t – they fought on, knowing it could result in damage and that’s the kind of DRS-less battling I want to see.

      I guess Senna should have simply moved out of the way and let him drive past. Which if anything is worse than DRS.

      1. Oh but if he let MSC past they would find a way to penalise him for it.

        1. Yeah, the point I’m making stands either way.

      1. Brilliant! Know if anyone got a penalty?!
        Senna’s hand-on-the-shoulder calm ‘explanation’ to a scarily young and nervy Michael, Senna continually shoving away the microphones… where would you see that now?

        btw. also a good point that in both cases, the inexperienced younger driver basically failed to yield. Though today I thought the Bruno was trying his luck too much: Schumacher was basically past and catching him was ‘clumsy’ at best. Then he did lose control of the car/situation for the second contact. Given the incident led to Shumacher’s race being compromised, a penalty was at least consistent from the stewards.

    11. If the penalty came from the first contact, then it was completely unnecessary. It was just a slight tap, and neither car suffered. Totally a racing incident.

    12. Isn’t it about time F1 had the same stewards at every race? Whether or not they would get more decisions correct, at least they would be consistent.

    13. Penalty was correctly given. Schumacher left Senna enough room. Senna went a bit wide under braking – probably fired up from being at his home GP – I wouldn’t expect any less from his skills. None was significantly to blame for the first hit – but I still agree with Schu view that it was “lack of experience on Brunos part”; but the END result was that one driver lost significant number of positions and effectively their race was ruined. The penalties are awarded based on the overall incident and not just the first half of the incident or one component of the incident. Stewards look at everything.

    14. I am shocked like nothing to hear the reason of it! I thought that the penalty was served for the second collision as when that happened Senna had enough space on his left he could have gone on the kerbs to avoid the collision,so if that’s given on the first collision then I think that is wrong as it was Schumacher’s fault then,but I think in the end of the day it was a racing incident may have compromise Schumacher’s race but you got to let those things go away.

    15. if schumi didnt get the puncture..may be stewards would have considered it as a racing incident..

      1. I agree – I was surprised by the decision to penalise Senna for what looked like a racing incident, but it seems likely that the stewards wanted to equalise the penalties. As you say, MSC suffered damage from the collision so perhaps the logic was to equally disadvantage Senna.
        I see this as the stewards saying “you were both to blame”.

    16. No penalties required.

    17. I really wish they would allow for more “racing incidents” than always pinning blame on someone.

      1. I agree, and I hope the drivers manage to convince the stewards that next year hard to decide incidents are called racing incidents and left at that.

    18. harish kakkilaya
      28th November 2011, 6:57

      senna lost control at late braking and slid into Schumachers car. At the time of contact Michaels rear wheel was ahead of senna. The car was destabilised and you could see from the onboard cam that michael was trying to catch the car on countersteer. To expect him to even concentrate at the same time to provide more space for senna to his left, which senna had already, enough to avoid the contact would be a bit high.
      Regarding the penalty. i guess i d ve put it to racing incident. but considering schumacher had got penalty for a similar incident with kobayashi i guess i can be justified.

      what was outrageous was , the commentators on star sports- steve slater and gary anderson instantenously at the point of contact started blaming schumacher that he turned in too early leaving senna no space and deserved a penalty. the front cam then showed the space michael had give at the time of first contact. Slater then says oh senna lost control under braking and so it is a racing incident. Thats not how they should behave live on tv.
      Gary anderson s opinion was schumacher should ve waited till next corner for DRS pass . I guess thats why schumacher is 7 times champion, not waiting till next corner for the move and take it at the first oppurtunity.

      A little more balanced opinion on tv would be better.

    19. Well, it WAS your fault Senna, just do what any self-respecting driver would do and move on, you’ve got a few months until the next race and I’m sure everyone would like you to be on top form going into 2012.

      Everyone has incidents they’d rather avoid, just ask Schumi himself!

    20. It was Senna´s fault, Michael overtook him and he had the right to decide how to do the corner, the braziilan driver made a strange movement to defend a position which was already lost. A clear mistake and he runied the race of the german driver.

    21. Yet again, if anyone deserved a penalty it was Senna. I don’t think I would have handed it out.

      A bit harsh but at least they’re consistent with their inconsistency ;)

    22. Its so clear Senna braked initially knowing schumi is ahead of him and then he hits him, I think he should either race with the right spirit or just be a spectator. Senna you just spoiled a good race….

    23. If we had Ayrton instead of Schumy Bruno would received a good spanking. For all the nerds making comments here, Schumy was first into the corner. The first one chooses the trajectory. The second one

    24. If we had Ayrton instead of Schumy Bruno would received a good spanking. For all the nerds making comments here, Schumy was first into the corner. The first one chooses the trajectory. The second one MUST avoid accident. It’s not how you think it is logic it is the way it is done. Massa fault in India is that he deliberatly collided with Lewis. But I think all brazilian drivers have this in the blood and the “big legend” was expert on this. But the same people who loves A. Senna (I don’t how many of them saw 3 complete races and how many loves him from hates Schumy for doing SOME of his “mistakes”. It’s hard to be human in this days!

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