Haug wants end to Schumacher bashing
4 August, 2010
Norbert Haug says Michael Schumacher deserves a break from the criticism he is attracting
Aug.4 (GMM) According to Mercedes chief Norbert Haug, a line should now be drawn underneath the recent criticisms of Michael Schumacher.
With his detractors already questioning his competitive struggles in 2010, the seven time world champion sparked a new line of attack with his aggressive driving against former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello in Hungary.
Michael Schumacher puts the squeeze on Rubens Barrichello
The condemnation was near-universal and stinging, and preceded a rare show of contrition by the 41-year-old German.
“Michael has apologised and accepted his penalty,” competition boss Haug is quoted by Der Tagespiegel. “It should now be accepted from everyone else and a final line be drawn under this topic,” added the German.
But for some, drawing that line will not come until the safety implications of the move are well documented.
“He’s a seven time world champion, he knew exactly what he was doing, he did it absolutely deliberately,” said Alex Wurz. “A collision could have been fatal.”
Norbert Haug with Michael Schumacher during the Mercedes GP launch
Joan Villadelprat, writing in El Pais newspaper, agreed: “Obviously he cannot argue from the angle of inexperience. What he did to Barrichello is intolerable. If it had gone wrong, the crash would have been at 300kph and could have ended in tragedy.”
And Ferrari test driver Marc Gene wrote in El Mundo newspaper: “I still have shivers after watching that move. It was unnecessary and very dangerous.”
Triple world champion and F1 safety pioneer Jackie Stewart said: “It was one of the most blatant abuses of another driver that I have seen. It is a terrible example from a man who has seven world titles — bully-boy tactics.”
Michael Schumacher's return to Formula 1 has been a flop so far
Another former driver John Watson added: “He’s a proud man and didn’t want to be overtaken but he reverted to an ugly animal instinct.”
Sebastien Buemi was unhappy with Schumacher after Hungary for a different reason.
“At the start he pushed me to the grass,” Blick newspaper quotes the 21-year-old as saying. “I had to brake or I would have hit him. I am disappointed; I would have expected more from him.”
UK bookmaker William Hill is taking bets that the German will retire before the Belgian grand prix (33/1), and that he will return to retirement at the end of the season (evens).