• European Grand Prix

Schumacher seeks rules clarification

ESPNF1 Staff
June 27, 2010 « Barrichello targets turnaround | »
Michael Schumacher wants a clarification of the safety car regulations © Getty Images

Michael Schumacher has called for clarification of the safety car rules after the seven-time world champion completed his worst ever race finish in 259 grand prix starts.

Schumacher, who eventually finished well down in 16th position, says his strategy was compromised by the safety car period in Sunday's European Grand Prix.

The German was running a strong third after his rivals pitted after Mark Webber's crash, but when he completed his pitstop he was forced to wait at the end of the pitlane due to a red light and he rejoined at the back of the field.

"What a race. We would like to have clarification about the safety car situation as the red light on the exit from my first pitstop destroyed a race which otherwise would have offered us very good possibilities," said Schumacher. "Our point of view is that as the safety car had passed the pits without having the cars lined up behind it, there should not have been a red light. There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again. We believe that this was not correct.

"Our strategy was right in that context as we took the opportunity which could have given us a finish even close to the podium."

Team boss Ross Brawn echoed his driver's sentiments, saying that the exit light should not have gone red until a line of cars has formed behind the safety car.

"With Michael, we were looking to benefit strongly from the safety car," said Brawn. "As the leaders had not been picked up, Michael was waved through and that gave us a golden opportunity to make his pit stop as our predictions were that the option tyre would hold up for the remainder of the race. However, when Michael came to exit the pits, the red light was showing which cost him a significant amount of time.

"In our view, the regulations are clear that the exit light should not go red until the line of cars has formed behind the safety car, and we would like the FIA to look into this. There was no line formed and over 18 seconds between Hamilton and Kobayashi when Michael came in. It was a good effort from Michael to try and recover from there but ultimately a very frustrating afternoon."