Drivers critical of Schumacher's Austrian reaction

Drivers critical of Schumacher's Austrian reaction

David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve have both criticized Michael Schumacher for his reactions after Ferari team-mate Rubens Barrichello gifted him victory at the Austrian Grand Prix. McLaren's Coulthard thinks Schumacher was pretending when he...

David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve have both criticized Michael Schumacher for his reactions after Ferari team-mate Rubens Barrichello gifted him victory at the Austrian Grand Prix. McLaren's Coulthard thinks Schumacher was pretending when he said team orders were not his decision.

David Coulthard.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"Michael's reaction after the race was interesting," said the Scot. "Saying after the race it was (Luca di) Montezemolo's decision or Jean Todt's is pretending. Michael knows what his contract says. He has asked for a contract where he has priority in the team, priority use of the T-car and other things. If that's the contract he has asked for and that's the contract he has got then he cannot then say it is someone else's decision."

"But this is a case where there is room for a lot of opinions. It's a bit like a front wing being too large, that is quite clearly outside the rules. That is black and white. There is no grey area there. Here there is a massive grey area because of the contractual issues between the team and the driver. We have had team orders in the sport for a long time.

"Peter Collins had to hand over his car to (Juan Manuel) Fangio to win a race or the world championship. He had to actually get out of the car after 30 laps or something and say 'there you go'"It was there in the good days and you could say nothing has really changed. The biggest thing that needs to be done is to educate the fans as to the details of the rules."

"I genuinely do respect Michael as an individual. I've had differences of opinion with him in terms of the sport, I still maintain my position on that, not because I am being hard edged. I was a bit shocked, and I was involved in a scenario like it only a few years before."

BAR's Villeneuve said that it wasn't the team orders that he had a problem with, it was Schumacher's actions on the podium. The German insisted Barrichello take the winner's step and also handed him the winner's trophy. Villeneuve thinks Schumacher should have 'acted like a man' and taken the trophy himself.

Jacques Villeneuve.
Photo by British American Racing.
"I don't really have a problem with team orders at the racetrack," he said. "The only thing that I felt was unacceptable was the podium situation. If you win a race, even if its in a way that you didn't like, be a man and step on the top step and just take your trophy, even if you are embarrassed because everybody is booing at you. You accepted taking the win, you didn't slow down, you felt good about it, you raised your hand on the last lap until you heard people booing at you. Step up there, take the trophy and be a man."

"You would be stupid not to take anything you are given, so if you are given a win you might as well take it," Villeneuve added. "But then stick with it, don't fake embarrassment and feeling bad about it and stuff like that."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Jacques Villeneuve , Peter Collins , Jean Todt
Teams McLaren , British American Racing