Schumacher sorry but upholds innocence
|By Damien Smith||Sunday, May 28th 2006, 15:56 GMT|
Michael Schumacher has apologised for spoiling Fernando Alonso's qualifying efforts yesterday, but the German remains adamant that it was not his intention and said he was still 'shocked' by the penalty handed to him last night.
Schumacher was forced to start from the back of the grid after the race stewards believed he had deliberately stopped his car on the track to try and stop his rivals from beating him to pole position.
Despite recovering brilliantly to charge through the field and claim four points for fifth place, Schumacher has said he is still unhappy about what happened to him.
"During the race obviously I didn't have time to think about it, and also from a certain point you have to push away these things and prepare for the race," said Schumacher.
"But I have to admit that the disappointment from yesterday is still there, especially when we see what could have been possible today. The harshness of the penalty has left us all shocked."
When told that 74% of the Premiere TV viewers in Germany thought his penalty was too harsh, Schumacher added: "It would have been nice to know that before the race."
But he remains adamant that he did not stop his car deliberately on the track in qualifying - which has left him unimpressed at the wave of criticism that has come his way.
"To a certain point I am used to living with criticism, but nobody else but me was sitting inside the car, and without all the information which we had and in terms of what feeling I had in the car you cannot make a proper judgement," he explained.
"But I have to admit that some of it looks quite strange from the outside. But there are reasons for all of this. For those who are thinking I tried to destroy Fernando's lap on purpose, I have to disappoint them.
"I can only apologise that it happened, but it was not my intention. I did not know where Alonso was at this point, I did not have radio contact to say exactly where he was.
"But I have learnt very often that the past does get turned up. But I think everybody has black dots on their white jacket.
"I have been in F1 for 15 or 16 years and I think I can say there are not too many black dots on my jacket. In a way, I can live with it that people argue about these black dots."
Schumacher said, however, that he was not surprised by the reaction of some of his fellow drivers. "There are some who speak to the press and don't speak to me, and there are others who don't go to the press and do speak to me," the German said.
"That is life. You cannot always have friends, you also have rivals and people who don't get on with you very well. Why should that be different in F1 as it is in normal life?"
Schumacher's failure to beat Alonso in Monaco has allowed his Renault rival to now open up a 21 points gap in the title chase. But despite that, Schumacher has said there is no point in giving up on the title fight just yet.
"We will never think he is unbeatable for the championship," he said. "We are now at the seventh race so there are still points to get, everything is open and a lot can happen. Those who know me and saw the race today can see that giving up is not my style."