Vergne: Schumacher said sorry and that’s the end of it

23 September, 2012

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 23:  Michael Schumacher (R) of Germany and Mercedes GP crashes with Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 23, 2012 in Singapore.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

Michael Schumacher collides with Jean-Eric Vergne during the Singapore GP

Sep.23 (Reuters) Formula One rookie Jean-Eric Vergne found himself in the unusual position of accepting an apology from a seven-time world champion on Sunday after Michael Schumacher smashed into the back of his Toro Rosso at the Singapore Grand Prix.

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 23:  Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP crashes with Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 23, 2012 in Singapore.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)The spectacular crash on lap 38 took both drivers out of the race and saw debris scatter across the floodlit track, forcing the safety car out for a second time and FIA officials to take action against Schumacher.

Television pictures showed Vergne making a bee-line for the German after the crash but instead of a confrontation the Frenchman put a consoling arm around Schumacher as they walked back to the paddock.

“There is no sense in being angry about it, because these things happen in racing and even the most experienced driver on the grid can make mistakes,” said the philosophical Frenchman.

“He said sorry and that’s the end of it.”

Vergne, who had been racing wheel-to-wheel with Mexican Sergio Perez before being rear-ended by Schumacher, said he knew very little about what happened behind him.

Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix“I was focusing on catching Sergio Perez at that point, trying to brake late to catch him, so I am not too sure what happened exactly, but I assume Michael braked a bit too late and could not avoid running in to me,” he added.

Singapore has not been a happy hunting ground for Schumacher, who crashed here last year and was 13th in 2010.

Following his latest transgression, officials opted to hand the German a 10-place penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on Oct. 7.

“At one point I understood I couldn’t decelerate and then I just went straight on the brakes, very hard lock-up and everything,” the 43-year-old said.

“I tried to brake as much as it was somehow possible but the accident at that moment was not avoidable any more.

“I feel sorry for Jean-Eric that he had to retire for this one and for the guys and the team but we need to find out what happened.”

Called before the stewards, Schumacher admitted the error and thus will take a 10-place drop in Japan, the officials remarking that it was “the second similar offence by the driver this season”.

Subbed by AJN.

 


  • javalocco

    “the second similar offence by
    the driver this season”.
    Funny lol

  • Speedo

    Well said Vergne. I hope it stops any more articles being published on this issue. End Period

  • Hawk

    Yes. immediately saw it coming.. the penalty. Senna incident still fresh.

  • Andy – London

    As a Schumacher fan it baffles me to see him at his best level of his “comeback”, only to be beset by reliability problems, but making these mistakes.
    It’s not only been this year with Senna and Vergne – he’s driven into the back of quite a few drivers over three seasons, something that would have been virtually unheard of in his first career.

    So Lewis’s car lets him down, and Michael crashes for his team again. Could this be the turn of events that sends Lewis to Mercedes? I don’t believe that Michael will stay, and more importantly after yesterday, I’ll admit that he should bow out of the sport a proud man, having showed that he had the skill to be quicker than everyone else at Monaco despite being twice their age, but never really had the car.

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    I feel that the 10 place grid penalty is a little bit too harsh.. Michael couldn’t break enough to not crash.

  • sleek

    tapping on schumi’s back and letting it go was a really good gesture by Vergne..wouldn’t have been same if it was vettel or lewis.

  • tony sullivan

    some person in authority should put his arm around this German’s shoulder and say politely “Leave Formula One”

  • fools

    But if it was Grosjean or Maldonaldo they would of been banned.

    SMH

    Where is the consistency?

  • vicnsi

    should have gone to Specsavers, Schuey!

  • Hawk

    No. FIA did not want to embarass Schumi by giving him a race ban.
    ofcourse can’t be the same if it was Vettel or Lewis bse they are contenders, but before that MSC would tiptoe around them; and still if it happened to any of them he would sure get a race ban.
    Grosjean’s undoing was taking Alonso out.

  • Mohammed Emaaduddin

    @Sleek..
    “tapping on schumi’s back and letting it go was a really good gesture by Vergne..wouldn’t have been same if it was vettel or lewis..”

    Yes, would not have been the same because Lewis and Vettel are championship contenders unlike Vergne.

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