Formula 1 News

Schumacher takes blame for Kobayashi shunt

The apologetic seven times champion is not happy with his race. Mixed fortunes have been the norm this year for the German.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom, July, 2011 (AFP) - Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher admitted that it was his mistake that caused the accident that led to Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi retiring from the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Mercedes driver collided with Kobayashi's Sauber on lap nine and was given a stop and go penalty, going on to finish ninth.

But Kobayashi, who qualified eighth, was forced to retire from the race owing to an oil leak. Schumacher put the blame squarely on his drag reduction system (DRS). "Having used DRS for the first time in the race, I was arriving at the corner with over-run," he said. "Underestimating the effect, my braking was not good and this is how the collision happened."

Kobayashi battled on before retiring on lap 24 with smoke pouring from his engine. "It is a real shame because our overall performance was good this weekend," he said.

"In today's race I was very unlucky. I think there is not a lot for me to say about the accident with Michael (Schumacher). We were not side by side, and he obviously hit the rear of my car. From then on I had to drive with a damaged car.

"Then I had bad luck with the pitstop, was given a stop and go penalty (for a pit lane incident when he was released too early), and finally had to stop because I was told on the radio there was an oil leak and I should pull off the track." 

Schumacher was also disappointed with his performance believing that he should have been challenging for the top six.
"My result is a bit of a shame, and of course I am not happy about it," said the German who won here in 1998, 2002 and 2004.

"I think fifth or even fourth place would not have been out of question. I would so much have wished to bring them some decent points this evening when we go back to the factory for a barbeque with their families. But unfortunately, and due to my fault, I cannot.

He added that he felt the stop-go penalty was too harsh but was encouraged by the improved performance of his car. "It was right to get a penalty but why it had to be a stop-go, and not a drive-through penalty, I would like to understand better as I felt it was too hard.

"Anyway, the good thing is that step-by-step, the hard work of our team is paying off more and more, and this is a good feeling heading towards our next home race."

His team-mate and German compatriot Nico Rosberg said he was satisfied after finishing sixth. "I'm pretty pleased with our result this weekend," he said. "First of all because in qualifying we had the potential to be in the top five, and secondly we had a really good strategy in the race.

"My start was not good, so being able to eventually finish in sixth place is a nice result for us. "And hopefully it's the start of an upward trend, before our next home race in Germany, so I'm looking forward to confirming our performance at the Nurburgring."  

Schumacher racing at Silverstone.

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