New 'Schumi Chicane' Raises Ire at Nurburgring

A new Z-shaped chicane built into the Nurburgring's at the request of Michael Schumacher has applied a brake on speeds, but it sparked a lot of driver criticism at Friday's qualifying session.

New 'Schumi Chicane' Raises Ire at Nurburgring

A new Z-shaped chicane built into the Nurburgring's at the request of Michael Schumacher has applied a brake on speeds, but it sparked a lot of driver criticism at Friday's qualifying session.

Dubbed the "Schumi Chicane" by Germany's Bild newspaper, the circuit had its modifications pushed and partially financed by Formula One World Champion Schumacher, who grew up nearby.

"I preferred the old chicane as I think it was more exciting," said Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams, who finished third in Friday's first qualifying session for Sunday's European Grand Prix, just 0.025 seconds behind Schumacher.

"It's not a good solution," said Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher's Ferrari teammate.

But Schumacher, looking for his 69th career win this week, said changing the S-shaped chicane, that had allowed cars to rip through at high speeds into a sharp left turn and then a tight right turn that cuts speed, had been a great improvement.

"In my eyes, the changes are better," said Schumacher, shrugging off newspaper reports that other drivers were disparaging it as the "Schiki-Micki-Kurve".

"The modifications to the chicane seem to work well."

Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said the five-times World Champion had agreed to help finance the 200,000 euros ($228,200) needed to pay for the roadwork, but that he was not the only driver who wanted changes to the old S-curve.

"A lot of drivers complained for years about damage caused from driving over those kerbs," she said.

Chance Meeting

"When Michael had a chance meeting with the Nurburgring's operators, he asked them about it and they said they didn't have any money. They made him a deal to do a PR day to raise the money, and he agreed."

Schumacher, who grew up in a small town not far from the track, has agreed to help raise the money by donating his time for a "Michael Fan Day" at the track on September 7 - for which fans will be charged 29 euros.

"I've never seen such nonsense in my life," said Hans-Joachim Stuck, a former German Formula One driver and Bild columnist. "The changes are the most senseless changes to a circuit ever made. They kill the action."

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who was first in Friday's qualifying, also expressed bewilderment.

"I certainly can think of better things to do in my free time than to sacrifice a day off to finance changes like that."

Friday's session was interrupted when Germany's Nick Heidfeld tore the front wing off his Sauber as he hit a kerb at the chicane and left debris across the track.

"It's not a very lovely sight to bang into the kerbs," Heidfeld said. "They should at least get rid of the kerbs. If it were up to me, I wouldn't have changed the course."

But Schumacher, who has won three Grands Prix at the Nurburgring's in his career, was unperturbed by the criticism.

"You can never make everyone happy," he said.

shares
comments
Stoddart looks to buy Concorde!
Previous article

Stoddart looks to buy Concorde!

Next article

Haug highlights qualifying problem

Haug highlights qualifying problem
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022