- Italian Grand Prix
FIA steward Daly thinks Schumacher deserved penalty
The FIA driver steward at the Italian Grand Prix, Derek Daly, has revealed that he thinks Michael Schumacher should have been penalised for the way he defended his position from Lewis Hamilton at Monza last weekend.
Schumacher and Hamilton were engaged in a battle for position from lap three to lap 26, during which the Mercedes driver defended his position robustly in the braking zones. His actions heading into the Ascari chicane attracted particular attention as he closed Hamilton off on the inside but then returned to the outside of the track to take the racing line for the corner. On lap 16 he forced Hamilton onto the grass heading into the Curva Grande and on lap 20 he made an even more pronounced weave entering the first Lesmo corner.
Article 20.2 of the sporting regulations states: "Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted."
Schumacher received warnings from his team boss Ross Brawn but was not investigated by the stewards. Now, having watched the footage back on TV, Daly has issued a statement saying Schumacher should have been penalised.
"On lap 20, race director Charlie Whiting asked the stewards to look at an incident between Massa and Trulli at the second chicane," he said. "While looking at the slow-mo video of this incident, I missed the Schumacher/Hamilton incident that happened at that moment.
"When I looked at it again at home, I believe that Schumacher should have been given a drive-through penalty. He was warned repeatedly, and this style of driving is not what you want the future generation of drivers to perfect. We as stewards probably let Charlie down with this one."
Red Bull driver Mark Webber also felt Schumacher's move on lap 20 was in breach of the rules.
"It was a unique fight between Michael and Lewis because the McLaren was running up against the rev limiter, so Michael had a speed advantage on the straights," he said in his BBC column. "He could position his car very cutely to try to keep him out.
"There were a few times when Michael returned to the normal line having defended. That's the point of interest because it's not what most drivers understand to be acceptable. One incident in particular stood out - out of the second chicane and into Lesmo, when Lewis had a clear run and Michael went across to defend and then came back again. Moving that many times was pushing the boundaries."