Schumacher/Barrichello – Hungary 2010

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    Ben Needham

    After yesterday’s Grand Prix, my usual YouTube browsing brought me on to re-watching the controversial Rubens Barrichello overtake on Michael Schumacher at the 2010 Hungarian GP. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXjf5uxMOD0)

    For years I’ve been of the opinion that this was dirty driving from Schumacher, but having watched the video above I think I’ve changed my mind and I’m curious to get your thoughts.

    Schumacher pulls off the final turn with a bad exit and immediately starts to defend with a consistent drift to the right. Rubens gets into his slipstream, all the while with Michael drifting right and Rubens then chooses to go right anyway. Schumacher then continues with the line he has chosen and (certainly from this view) doesn’t make any sudden chop and leaves a cars width.

    To my mind, Schumacher dictated the terms and Barrichello accepted them… even if it was a little tight at the end!

    What are your thoughts on this? Are there any other moves from Formula One history that you’ve changed your mind on recently?


    No, I still think that Michael went a bit overboard with this defending at the time, and regarding your final question: No, there aren’t any other incidents that I’ve changed my mind on recently either.


    I have to agree with @ben-n. I saw the video again and I also thought it wasn’t quite as bad as I recall it being, particularly from the on board shots.

    These days, running a driver wide has become the norm and, until the Magnussen/Hulkenberg incident on Sunday, has gone unpunished as far as I can remember. Hamilton’s tactics at the start in Austin 2015 and Canada 2016 (and, come to think of it, Rosberg’s defending at Barcelona in 2016) were all variations of the same theme: pick your line and leave it up to the guy on the outside to make the decision, albeit at lower speed in the Austin/Canada situations.


    @ben-n I think you’ve made a good point about giving a different judgement on incidents after time has passed.

    For example, I’ve totally changed my mind about Hamilton re-passing Kimi at Spa 2008 and being penalised for it and losing his win. At the time I was absolutely livid, I thought it was a complete travesty and couldn’t understand what the stewards were thinking.

    Now, however I watch Hamilton let Kimi back pass (as he had to) and then immediately re-take him. ‘You can’t do that!!’ is now my reaction to Hamilton’s move.

    I’m sure there are some other examples if I really thought about it.

    Ben Needham

    @unicron2002 – that’s an interesting one to revisit. I think what frustrated me most re: Belgium 2008 was that the outcome of the penalty left him behind Massa and Heidfeld, both of whom had been nowhere near all race. We’d witnessed a great battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen and it had now been won by neither of them.

    The rules were (and still are) a little sketchy in terms of what is acceptable. If you gain a position by going off track, you have to give it back… which Hamilton did… briefly! He then had to make a whole new move to get back past. To be honest, I think I would have reprimanded him and issued a clarification on the rules.


    @ben-n I’m with you there. When viewed as a stand-alone clip I have that reaction now. What you don’t realise with that however is the build up. 95% of the race was a tedious non-essential up front with Hammy unable to catch Kimi. Then 2 or 3 laps from the end it starts spitting, Hamilton comes alive, drags himself up to Kimi and it’s clear he’s going to win. And then the contentious move happens, Kimi bins it and Massa wins after not having led a single lap. Shame for Hamilton, definitely.

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