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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Schumacher penalty a scandal, says Weber

Alan Baldwin | May 28, 2006 18:55 IST

Michael Schumacher's manager Willi Weber slammed Formula One stewards and "paddock enemies" on Sunday for stripping the Ferrari ace of pole position in the Monaco Grand Prix.

The stewards ruled on Saturday that the seven times champion deliberately stopped his car at the slow penultimate corner of the track in the dying seconds of qualifying to prevent rivals from beating his time.

While Ferrari issued a statement defending the German, Weber blamed what he said were the driver's many enemies in the paddock for stirring up trouble.

"I think it's a scandal what has happened," Weber told reporters.

"In my opinion it was a driver's mistake in qualifying and I think this could happen to anybody... For me it's too hard and I cannot understand why the stewards found this decision.

"Michael is not amused," he added. "If you know Michael, he's not an emotional man. It takes a little while and he will speak and say something after the race."

Weber said what had happened would have no bearing on Schumacher's future in the sport, with the 37-year-old yet to decide whether to carry on racing after the end of the season or call it a day.

"We had something like this in the past already and we know the enemies and we know how they react against Michael. I think this time they went too far, it was too much," he said.

"Yesterday there was so much emotion and it was planned by our enemies in the paddock," Weber added. "They don't like him."

WARNING FLAGS

Weber said Schumacher did not even know where Renault's defending world champion Fernando Alonso was on the track at the time of the incident.

The Spanish championship leader said afterwards that he would have taken pole had the German not brought out the warning flags which forced him to slow.

Fifteen points clear of Schumacher, Alonso takes over the pole position on a track where overtaking is almost impossible.

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Schumacher's claims that he had simply made a mistake drew outraged reaction in the paddock, and stewards deleted his times and ordered him to start the glamour highlight of the Formula One season from the back of the grid.

Ferrari boss Jean Todt joined Weber in defending Schumacher.

"Ferrari notes with great displeasure the decision of the race stewards," he said in a statement.

"We totally disagree with it.

"Such a decision creates a very serious precedent, ruling out the possibility of driver error," the Frenchman added.

"Michael was on his final timed lap and he was trying to put his first place beyond doubt, as could be seen from the fact that his first split time was the best and could have seen him do another very good lap.

"With no real evidence, the stewards have assumed he is guilty."

© Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage

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Sub: What a shame!

What a disgrace! If indeed it was a mistake, Schumacher should just retire and go home. His mistake makes Ide look like a hero! If ...


Posted by Mathew J




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