Stewart hits out at Schumacher

Jackie Stewart has criticised Michael Schumacher for crashing heavily on the first day of the season

Stewart hits out at Schumacher

The Ferrari ace topped the times in practice but was lucky not to hurt himself when he lost control of the car and hammered into the tyre wall at Stewart bend in the afternoon session.

One wheel was ripped off the car and team boss Jean Todt said it would not be repaired until raceday.

"There was no need for it," said Stewart

"It was entirely predictable. The way he was driving it could have happened on any one of several corners on the laps before it did.

"It was a big accident, a heavy impact and he could have hurt himself.

"When the track is this dusty the control is taken away from you.

"He went out at the start and on his first flying lap he was fastest in all three sections and I take my hat off to him. I'd give him an A for effort.

"But I can't understand why he was driving so hard on the first day. If he had been in my team I would not have been best pleased.

"I had warned my drivers to be careful because I saw more accidents on this day last year that any other in the entire season."

Rivals Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard were both caught out by the track conditions, as were new-boy Nick Heidfeld, Pedro Diniz and Ricardo Zonta.

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