• German Grand Prix

Schumacher sympathises with Ferrari

ESPNF1 Staff
July 26, 2010 « Force India draws a line under Hockenheim | »
Michael Schumacher: "I fully accept and agree with what has gone on" © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher has sympathised with Ferrari's decision to implement team orders at the German Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa let Fernando Alonso win Sunday's race after he was told by Ferrari that the Spaniard was faster than him. Team orders were banned in Formula One following the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Ferrari told Rubens Barrichello to let Schumacher past for victory. The seven-times world champion said such situations were uncomfortable but, in some circumstances, necessary.

"I can see that in the years when we did it, we were leading by so much and people thought it was unnecessary," he told reporters after the race and before the stewards' penalty. "I can agree on that one in one way, but in principle, I cannot. In principle, I fully accept and agree with what has gone on. You have to do it in a way that is maybe nice and not too obvious. Make it a nice fight but there is only one target, and that is winning the championship."

He said that questions would also be asked of Ferrari if Alonso ended up losing the championship by less than seven points - the difference between first and second.

"I have been criticised in the past for exactly that," he said. "I have to say that I understand 100% and I would do exactly the same if I was in their situation. At the end of the day, what are we here for? We are fighting for a championship and there is only one driver that can win the championship. At the end of the year, if you think you have lost the championship for that point, you will ask yourself - and not only yourself but the fans, the TV and the journalists - why didn't you do it.

"If you go back to other years in other teams in other situations, in the last race for example, there has been clear team orders - and everyone accepts that. It's the last race, it's normal and so on. Whether it is the last race, the second-to-last race or even earlier, what is the point in criticising?"