F1PICTURENET - NEWS - SCHUMACHER FREE!
Michael Schumacher is free to race in the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship having escaped a ban at the FIA hearing in London today (11/11/97) However, the sport's governing body did think his actions at Jerez, where he collided with Jacques Villeneuve, were deliberate and decided to wipe out his entire 1997 tally of points and therefore his second place finish in this years championship. Therefore Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the Williams now finishes second in the FIA Formula One world Championship.
Schumacher had been expected to be fined at the very least after the clash at Jerez, however FIA President Max Mosley said banning Schumacher for next year would not have been appropriate, (It would not have been a deterrent to ban Schumacher. It is still a very serious matter and is a major penalty that we have imposed. He did the wrong thing but the evidence points to him reacting instinctively.)
Michael Schumacher accepted his punishment from the FIA and said, (I admit that I made a mistake and I accept the penalty. It is a tough decision for me to lose a second place in the championship as it is for Ferrari. The last couple of weeks have been very difficult as I had been confident of winning the title going into the last race and to miss out is not easy to take.)
WILLIAMS & McLAREN CLEARED.
The Williams and McLaren Grand Prix teams have been cleared of the allegations of fixing the result of the European Grand Prix in Jerez. Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams seemed to allow the two McLaren cars of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard through on the final lap. It had been alleged this was a reward for McLaren keeping out of the way of the championship battle between Michael Schumacher and Villeneuve. Max Mosley said that he was satisfied there was no collusion between the two teams.