Ferrari slam stewards' decision
|Saturday, May 27th 2006, 23:11 GMT|
The Ferrari team have reacted with harsh criticism to the Monaco Grand Prix stewards' decision to send Michael Schumacher to the back of the grid.
The stewards said the German was found to have deliberately stopped on track in order to impede his rivals and retain his pole position.
In a statement issued following the decision, Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt said: "Ferrari note with great displeasure the decision of the race stewards, which is to delete the times set by Michael Schumacher in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
"We totally disagree with it.
"Such a decision creates a very serious precedent, ruling out the possibility of driver error.
"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."
The stewards elected to penalise Schumacher under Article 112 of the 2006 Formula One Sporting Regulations, which allows the stewards to delete the driver's time from qualifying without allowing the team to appeal the decision.
With Schumacher's penalty and Felipe Massa's accident in the first part of qualifying, Ferrari will have both their cars starting from the back row of the grid - an unprecedented situation for the Italian marque.