Formula 1 News

Schumacher receives penalty for crash

The German rammed into Jean Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso on lap 39 of the Singapore Grand Prix won by Sebastian Vettel. | Updated |
Sunday, September 23, 2012

SINGAPORE, Sept 23, 2012 (AFP) - Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher Sunday said he was determined to get to the bottom of a brake failure that caused a dramatic crash and put him out of the Singapore Grand Prix.

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As a consequence of his crash, the German was hit with a 10-place grid penalty Sunday after admitting blame over a spectacular collision during the Singapore Grand Prix. The punishment will be served at next month's race in Japan.

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The Mercedes driver said despite pumping hard on the brakes, he was unable to prevent himself from ploughing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso in a smash that left his car partially airborne.

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"At one point I couldn't accelerate and then I went hard on the brakes and tried to brake as hard as was possible, but the accident wasn't recoverable," Schumacher said.

Officials said Schumacher, 43, had admitted failing to take into account his lower braking power after the safety car, which allowed his tyres to cool and lose grip.

"The driver admitted the collision was his error," race organisers said in an announcement.

The Mercedes driver had earlier appeared mystified by the high-speed crash, which smashed up his front wheels and left his car partially airborne.

"At one point I couldn't accelerate and then I went hard on the brakes and tried to brake as hard as was possible, but the accident wasn't recoverable," Schumacher said.

Obviously I feel sorry for Jean-Eric... but we need to find out what happened."

The incident may raise pressure Schumacher, whose place at Mercedes is reportedly under pressure following speculation that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is considering a move to the German marque.

Vergne sportingly put his arm around Schumacher after the crash and refused to be angry with the celebrated German.

"I was pretty focused on overtaking (Sauber's Sergio) Perez. I had a good move on him and at the end, braking, I just got hit by Michael," he said.

"It's done, I have nothing to say. It's just a shame. It doesn't make any sense to be pissed off about it."

The grand prix was preceded by a sombre minute's silence for Formula One doctor Sid Watkins, who died this month and was credited with vastly improving safety standards in the high-speed sport.

Schumacher just at the moment of impact (Charles Coates / LAT Photo)

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