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Schumacher accuses F1 of hypocrisy

Alan Baldwin | August 01, 2003 12:13 IST

Michael Schumacher has accused Formula One officials of double standards for slamming Ferrari for using now-banned 'team orders' while ignoring similar behaviour by others.

The five times world champion suggested McLaren's David Coulthard had let team mate Kimi Raikkonen, Schumacher's closest title rival, past him at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone two weeks ago.

The Finn's third place finish cut Schumacher's overall lead to seven points with five races left.

"If the same would have happened with Ferrari there would have been a big casino, a big story about it, yet it has happened with McLaren but nobody has talked about it," he told BBC radio at the German Grand Prix.

"I am totally surprised there has been no speculation how easily Kimi was able to overtake David as the situation for me was very clear and very normal."

Schumacher, fined with Ferrari last season after the team created worldwide outrage by ordering Rubens Barrichello to let his German team mate win the Austrian Grand Prix, said Coulthard allowed Raikkonen past very easily.

"I am not concerned about team orders. It is totally right in this circumstance what they are doing," he said.

"But what I am complaining about is this completely different attitude if we do it than if somebody else does."

Obvious team orders are now banned but the situation was far from clear-cut at Silverstone this month where the race was thrown into confusion by a protestor running on to the track.

Coulthard said on Wednesday that instructions issued by the team were a private matter while McLaren boss Ron Dennis has denied giving any such orders.

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