DC: Schumacher Push Request Risky

Michael Schumacher's request for a push after being shunted off at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix could have put marshals and drivers at risk, David Coulthard said on Thursday

DC: Schumacher Push Request Risky

Seven-time World Champion Schumacher beckoned marshals in Melbourne for a push after a collision with fellow German Nick Heidfeld's Williams forced him off in the March 6 race.

Schumacher's Ferrari was pushed back onto the track but soon afterwards he went into the pits and retired. The incident took place at the same corner where a marshal was killed in 2001.

"There were about four or five marshals running from where several years ago a marshal was killed to give him (Schumacher) a push - for a privileged service," said Coulthard, who finished fourth on his debut for newcomers Red Bull.

Race marshal Graham Beveridge died four years ago after being hit by a flying wheel following a collision between Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve.

"(Michael) Schumacher had obviously paid his valet parking ticket beforehand. I'm not saying you don't want cars on the track...but I know how difficult that corner is," complained Coulthard. "If a driver did make a mistake, you could, even with a yellow flag...end up sliding off into somewhere."

Schumacher said the Scotsman's accusation made no sense.

"I don't think it's valid because I think the marshals are there in order to let the race go on," he shrugged. "It's within the rules. I would think it rather stupid if it's not possible for drivers to see (the yellow flags)."

Coulthard, who needs only three points at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix to overtake Nigel Mansell and become the top British points scorer in Formula One history, also blamed Schumacher for his clash with Heidfeld.

"He (did) appear to squeeze, once Nick had already put himself towards the inside," said Coulthard. "Once Nick is on the grass there is only one way he's going and that's into the side of Michael."

 

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