The televised hearing of Williams' appeal against Ralf Schumacher's penalty, awarded after the Hockenheim accident, went ahead in Paris today. At the FIA court of appeal, Williams argued that Schumacher was not to blame for the accident as the...
The televised hearing of Williams' appeal against Ralf Schumacher's penalty, awarded after the Hockenheim accident, went ahead in Paris today. At the FIA court of appeal, Williams argued that Schumacher was not to blame for the accident as the other two drivers involved, Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen, were in his blind spot and he did not know Raikkonen was on the outside of the Ferrari.
Stewards had awarded Ralf the penalty, a ten place demotion on the gird at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, saying he had admitted during an investigation after the race to not paying enough attention to what others were doing -- which they say means the accident could have been avoidable.
Schumacher told the hearing he felt he had been punished enough by the accident as it had cost him valuable points and has damaged his chances of winning the championship.
Barrichello said he had seen the crash coming but couldn't avoid it as he had nowhere to go, with Schumacher on one side and Raikkonen on the other. The Brazilian said the Williams had hit him, not the other way round: "I tried to take avoiding action, I braked and moved a little bit. I didn't drive into Ralf. He hit me."
Williams suggested Raikkonen could have avoided the crash by moving over the white line onto the shoulder of the track but the Finn said he was sticking to the track: "I didn't want to drive off the course because that is not the best route."
If Schumacher's penalty is upheld, it will mean he won't start the Hungarian GP in the top ten on the grid. When Felipe Massa was awarded the same penalty last year, Sauber decided to replace him with Heinz-Harald Frentzen for one race to avoid the grid demotion but whether Williams will opt to replace Ralf is yet to be seen. The outcome of the hearing will be announced tomorrow.