'Ruthless' Schumi blasted
Mon, 19 Jun 2006
Michael Schumacher's controversial actions during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix continue to haunt him, with Williams engineering head Patrick Head adding fuel to the fire.
In an interview with F1 Racing, Head pointed out that the most recent incident merely confirmed what had been obvious about Schumacher's character.
“The Monaco stewards’ verdict indicates that they and the FIA believed Michael was guilty of foul play,” Head told the magazine.
“And, in a sense, I suppose you’d have to say that if a man is capable of foul play once then he’s potentially capable of foul play any number of times.
Schumacher won the 1994 World Championship after a collision with Damon Hill's Williams at the season finale Australian Grand Prix ended the Briton's challenge for the title.
At the time it was suggested that Schumacher purposely collided with Hill after the German had damaged his Benetton car on clipping the wall.
Schumacher denied any wrongdoing and claimed his first world title.
“But, as far as Australia 1994 is concerned, Monaco 2006 doesn’t really make any difference," said Head.
“And that’s because, that day in Adelaide, we at Williams were already 100% certain that Michael was guilty of foul play.
“It was so blatant.
“He was about to drive his stricken Benetton up the slip-road when he spotted Damon’s Williams about to pass him and abruptly veered across the track to prevent that happening.”
Head claims Williams didn’t protest Schumacher's title because the team was still dealing with the death earlier in the season of their driver Ayrton Senna.
“We seriously considered lodging a formal protest there and then, on the grounds that it had been so blatant, but decided against it simply because of what had happened earlier in the year.”
“Because 1994 was the terrible year it was — in other words, because Ayrton Senna had been killed in one of our cars at Imola — we didn’t really think it would have been right for Damon to win the world championship that year, especially if he’d done so in court, so we didn’t protest.
“But had it been any other year — or had Ayrton not been killed in one of our cars — then most certainly we’d have lodged a formal protest on the very grounds on which Michael was found guilty at Monaco in ’06.”
Head added that Schumacher has always had a ruthless will to succeed.
“I’m not one of the extreme ones calling for him to be kicked out of F1, but what this episode proves — just as it did at Adelaide 1994 and on a number of other occasions — is that he isn’t a sportsman in the sporting sense of the word.
“He has an overwhelming urge to win and it seems quite clear that he doesn’t care how he achieves that aim.
“But I’m just amazed that people are surprised that he does these things, given the track record.
“This sort of behaviour is clearly just part of Michael’s persona.”