• Mercedes news

Haug calls for an end to Schumacher criticism

ESPNF1 Staff
August 4, 2010 « Title still wide open - Alonso | »

Mercedes chief Norbert Haug has told the media to draw a line under its criticism of Michael Schumacher.

With his detractors already questioning his competitive struggles in 2010, the seven-time world champion sparked a new line of attack with his aggressive driving against former Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello in Hungary. The condemnation was near-universal and preceded a rare show of contrition by Schumacher.

"Michael has apologised and accepted his penalty," Haug is quoted by Der Tagespiegel. "It should now be accepted from everyone else and a final line be drawn under this topic."

But for some, drawing that line will not come until the safety implications of the move are well documented.

"He's a seven-time world champion, he knew exactly what he was doing, he did it absolutely deliberately," said Alex Wurz. "A collision could have been fatal."

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene wrote in El Mundo newspaper: "I still have shivers after watching that move. It was unnecessary and very dangerous."

Triple world champion and F1 safety pioneer Jackie Stewart told The Sun: "It was one of the most blatant abuses of another driver that I have seen. It is a terrible example from a man who has seven world titles - bully-boy tactics."

UK bookmaker William Hill is taking bets that the German will retire before the Belgian Grand Prix (33/1), and that he will return to retirement at the end of the season (evens).