Ralf keeps tight-lipped over brotherly tiff

Ralf Schumacher dodged questions about a possible bust-up with brother Michael in the wake of the European Grand Prix, but admits he was extremely disappointed about the outcome of Sunday's race

Ralf keeps tight-lipped over brotherly tiff

Schumacher Jr finished fourth at the Nurburgring while Michael took his fifth win of the season. Ralf is thought to have been angered by the way his elder brother cut in front of him at the start of the race, forcing him towards the pit wall on the run to the first corner.

Ralf confronted Michael immediately after the race had finished, a discussion which was witnessed by David Coulthard as they were heading for the podium. The McLaren-Mercedes driver, who saw his title hopes suffer another blow as he finished third while Schumacher Sr triumphed for the fifth time this season, criticised the world champion's actions even though they are not against the rules.

"It was nice to see Ralf having a chat with him after the race and clearly not happy," said Coulthard. "But Michael wouldn't have been happy if it went the other way."

The Williams-BMW driver's chance of victory disappeared a few laps later when he was given a 10 second stop-go penalty for illegally crossing the white line which marks the exit border at the end of the pit-lane.

Ralf dodged hundreds of journalists after the race and refused to discuss the clash with his brother: "I don't want to say anything I might later regret," was his only comment.

Instead, he issued a short statement through a spokesman after the dust had settled.

"It is a pity what happened today," said Schumacher. "I am extremely disappointed about the outcome of the race. I had a very good and quick car and I think I may have been able to win this race in front of my home crowd if I had not been penalised for crossing the white line.

"I was penalised because I was watching the traffic coming out from the straight. I was obviously concentrating more on that, than the line. Under the circumstances, I have to be happy with fourth and I am happy to collect the some points."

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