Schumacher Takes Controversial Monaco Pole

Schumacher Takes Controversial Monaco Pole

Schumacher Crashes Into Monaco PoleMichael Schumacher has taken pole position for tomorrows Monaco Grand Prix. In an exciting session which saw some drivers being held up by traffic (but not as bad as expected), the Monaco Master set an early lap in the dying minutes which remained unbeaten to the chequered flag. However, Schumacher had an accident at La Rascasse corner in the last few seconds of the session that spoiled the flying laps of Fisichella and Alonso, the reigning world champion on a lap that would have surely taken pole position from the German.

Schumacher ended up parking his car on the outside of La Rascasse corner, but as Flavio Briatore stated to Ted Kravitz on UK ITV, “He didn’t hit a wall, nothing”. And my particular favourite from the Italian team boss:

He’s not touching the barrier, he’s just parking the car. This is the way Ferrari manage you know.

Currently, Pat Symonds (Renault Technical Bod) is with race director Charlie Whiting to discuss what should happen as they pour over the data from Schumacher’s Ferrari to decide if it was intentional or not. Schumacher has been guilty of these sort of tactics in the past, and his demeanour in the press conference was a little shakey. Michael didn’t appear to be as confident as normal and made a couple of slip-ups as he gave his account of the qualifying session. Fernando Alonso remained relatively calm, although it was clear from his face that he is one unhappy Spaniard.

This story will undoubtedly run into tomorrow as Renault attempt to convince the FIA to cancel Schumacher’s fastest lap. But Alonso is second, and with Renault‘s excellent starting procedure, I wouldn’t bet against Fernando getting past the Ferrari into the first corner on lap one should Micahel keep his pole.

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12 comments

  • I’m willing to bet that if it had been Alonso who had the accident, no one would have batted an eyelid. People are always quick to stick the boot in where Schumi is concerned. If it had been obvious to me that he did it on purpose I wouldn’t be defending him like this. It seemed pretty clear cut to me that it was a accident.

    I am a huge Schumacher fan but I am pretty sure that he wouldn’t stoop that low, not now after already winning 7 titles. I understand the other teams being frustrated, but surely by throwing around accusations they are just creating more bad feeling and tension in F1.

  • I just don’t see how he didn’t manage the corner. It looked to me (albeit sitting on my sofa) that he could have taken the corner, just. But instead he opted to park it.

    I am also a Schumacher fan, but sometimes it looks all too clear, especially after hearing him in the press conference. I don’t think it was completely malicious. Michael probably went for the corner, felt the car get a bit unsteady, and opted to park it up.

    I don’t understand the point about ‘not stooping that low after winning 7 titles’. Schumacher is just as competitive as he was back in 1994. If he can snatch an advantage from a disadvantaged situation, he will.

  • bocakey, you are right — if it was Alonso, nobody would be pointing the finger. But that’s because he hasn’t got a track record like MS and Ferrari: Adelaide 94, Jerez 97, Silverstone 98, Austria 02, Indy 02…

  • When I said that he “wouldn’t stoop that low” I just meant that surely after everything he has won, all the records he has broken, he surely wouldn’t do something like what he is being accused of today. He just doesn’t need to win THAT badly, he has nothing left to prove.

    I see that Fisichella has been penalised and has dropped to tenth on the grid for blocking Coulthard. Everyone and his dog seems to think that Schumi will get some sort of penalty too. I would be so disappointed if that’s the case.

    I’m sure I will comment again when we hear news about whether or not he gets penalised!

  • From all the vaious replay angles it’s clear MS had room to get aound the corner. I think he locked up realised he’d screwed up his lap so decided to park it. He clearly turned to the left for no reason – the car was not sliding at that stage.

    The reason nobosy would have been so bothered had it been Alonso is he doesn’t have a history of questionable moves behind him.

  • […] We are still waiting to see what (if any) punishment Schumi gets and I will be utterly disgusted and disappointed if he gets any kind of penalty. I have commented on another blog that if it had been Alonso who had committed this terrible crime, then no one would have batted an eyelid! […]

  • Bocakey has posted a video of the incident involving Schumacher. Click on the link in the comment just above this one (8) to be taken to the post. I haven’t seen it myself yet (as I’m on dial-up) but I’m sure it is good.

  • In case anyone hasn’t heard, Schumacher has been stripped of Pole and must start last.

    I’m not very impressed by it at all!

  • […] I’m sure everyone has heard of the incident by now, and you can read more about it here (particularly in the comments). This news obviously promotes Fernando Alonso to 1st and effectively ruins Schumacher’s chances of equaling Ayrten Senna’s record of six wins on the Monte Carlo streets. The other winner from all this is Mark Webber, who sensationally put his car in 3rd before the Schumacher ruling, and now is second only to the reigning world champion. […]

  • Having compared all relevant data, the stewards can find no justifiable reason for the driver to have braked with such undue, excessive and unusual pressure at this part of the circuit, and are therefore left with no alternatives but to conclude that the driver deliberately stopped his car on the circuit in the last few minutes of qualifying, at a time at which he had thus far set the fastest lap time.”

    http://sugiero.blogspot.com/2006/05/formula-one-seven-times-champion.html

    He cheated…

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