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Barrichello furious at Schumacher move

NEWS STORY
01/08/2010

Mat Coch writes:

A furious Barrichello was thankful today's race didn't end in disaster, saying after the event: "I couldn't move any more to the right because the wall was there, and if you take a photograph of the wall and us there is not a hair in there. It is unbelievable."

He was referring to the incident late in the race which was to cost his former teammate, Michael Schumacher, a 10-place grid penalty for the next race.

Defending tenth place against Barrichello's charging Williams, Schumacher was clearly struggling on worn tyres. As the pair entered the main straight the Brazilian swept out of the slipstream of the Mercedes driver, drawing alongside as the German moved towards the pit wall, leaving the Williams driver barely enough room to get by. In addition to costing the seven-time world champion a penalty in Belgium, it has resulted in worldwide condemnation among fans, the media and fellow racers.

"You can see that I had to move it back because I went through the grass and so on," said Barrichello." I am very glad and very lucky that we are here to talk, honestly."

The former world champion, defending his move, insists he left Barrichello ample room on the outside. "As a driver, you have the ability to change the line once," he said. "That's what I was driving to. Obviously there was space enough to go though. We didn't touch, so I guess I just left enough space for him to come through.

"I'm known not to give presents on the track. If you want to pass me you have to fight for it, and so it was," he added.

Fast approaching his 300th Grand Prix, Barrichello was critical that a driver of Schumachers' experience had been involved in such a move. "You would expect someone with 10 races to do that kind of thing. But for him, who has been through so many things... He is carrying something from the past that is just not necessary today."

"I knew that he was coming so, from my point of view, I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him 'go on the other side, there's more space for you'," said a defiant Schumacher. "He didn't, so it got a bit tight."

Stewards, who included former racer Derek Warwick, sided with the Williams driver, handed the German the penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix, citing Schumacher as having contravened article 16.1 of the Sporting Regulations.

It capped a difficult weekend for Mercedes as the team was also handed a $50,000 fine after Nico Rosberg's rear wheel became detached from the car during a frantic pit stop period under the safety car.

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