Schumacher expecting no penalty
|By Geoff Creighton and Pablo Elizalde||Sunday, May 16th 2010, 14:56 GMT|
Michael Schumacher believes there is no reason to be penalised for his incident with Fernando Alonso in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Schumacher overtook Alonso on the final corner of the final lap to take sixth position away from the Spaniard, but the incident is under investigation as the safety car had just left the track.
"No, not really, no," said Schumacher when asked if he expected a penalty.
"I think there is either this message, or there is the message 'track clear' and 'safety car in' and that was the message that was given to all of us and when this message is out it means track clear and back to racing. The cars were removed. There was no further need [for the safety car] so I took my opportunity."
He is also expecting former rival Damon Hill, acting as an advisor for the race stewards this weekend, to understand the situation.
"It will be interesting. He is a good guy so I'm sure he will understand the situation and it's normal that the other team has a different opinion but we have to see. Maybe we missed something that we are not aware of."
The sporting rules state that, "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."
The argument, however is whether the race finished under the safety car or this came into the pits as it would normally do after a period controlling the race.
Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn reckons the race finished as normal, and therefore there should be no penalty for Schumacher.
"There's a regulation which is new this year that says you can race between safety car line one and the start/finish line," Brawn told the BBC. "The race used to finish on the start/finish line. Now I think the point Stefano [Domenicali] is raising is it says that if the race finishes under the safety car you are not allowed to do that.
"But we were advised before the end of the race that the safety car was coming in. There was no instruction that the race was going to finish under the safety car, so for us as soon as we got the instruction 'safety car in this lap' at 15:51 we considered the race was now on again.
"At 15:52 we were told the track was clear and and at 15:53 was the chequered flag. So, from the instructions we have from the FIA, the safety car was coming in on the final lap but the race wasn't finishing under the safety car and it's a very important distinction so we advised our drivers that they could still race between safety car line one and the start/finish line.
"And I think you saw the reaction of all the other drivers. If what Stefano has said was true, they would just cruise to the start/finish line because they knew they couldn't be overtaken, but everyone went for it and I'm afraid Fernando was a little asleep and we took advantage."