- May 30, 2006
The Spanish steward Joaquin Verdegay has said that the decision was very difficult, as the reputation of Schumi was at stake, but after looking at all the data it was all that they could do.
“It was a difficult decision because we couldn’t afford to make a mistake when the reputation of a driver is at stake,” Verdigay told the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. “We do not know if the whole manoeuvre was deliberate but it is certain that at that point of the track he had never done anything of that sort all weekend.”
Joaquin also said that the evidence pointed to the fact that the incident could have been avoided, saying “He braked 50% harder than he had on the other laps and made a counter-steer movement which was absolutely not necessary, which lasted for five metres, to the point at which it was no longer possible for him to correctly turn the corner, He lost control of the car when he was travelling at 10mph, which is absolutely unjustifiable and the engine stalled because he wanted it to, losing the time necessary for engaging the clutch.”
He did however mention that if Schumi had taken the 'opportunity' to crash the car, even at slow speed into the barrier then the stewards would probably have never had investigated the incident.
What does this then bring to the sport and Michael? Well Michael will now know to crash it if h has the chance next time as he will not be investigated, and that the stewards do have teeth, and will punish people that break the rules.
This is good for the sport, never before have Ferrari been given a slap on the wrist like this, the FIA have usually stepped in to help them out.