There were a few grumps and gripes after the Chinese Grand Prix but perhaps the most unusual was the normally mild-mannered Nick Heidfeld giving a rude ear-bashing to Sakon Yamamoto. The BMW Sauber driver claimed he had been blocked by a Super...
There were a few grumps and gripes after the Chinese Grand Prix but perhaps the most unusual was the normally mild-mannered Nick Heidfeld giving a rude ear-bashing to Sakon Yamamoto. The BMW Sauber driver claimed he had been blocked by a Super Aguri and subsequently marched down the Shanghai paddock to give Yamamoto a verbal onslaught.
Yamamoto was understandably bemused as it was his teammate Takuma Sato who had been involved in the incident and was later disqualified by the stewards. Heidfeld, now calmed down after his irate outburst, made amends at Suzuka by apologising to Yamamoto.
"I was not that polite," Heidfeld admitted, according to Reuters. "I don't remember what I said. I was very angry, nothing you could put in writing or on TV. He didn't have a lot of time to respond because I was just furious, I think once or twice he tried to say something but I just didn't let him speak."
"He acted like he didn't know, which obviously he didn't, and that just made me even more angry. So I just went to him and apologised today. I said I thought it was him, obviously, and was very upset after my race because I lost fourth position for nothing basically, for two backmarkers who did big mistakes."
Christijan Albers was the other driver also given a 25 second penalty for ignoring blue flags, although in the end it was actually the Honda of Rubens Barrichello that shunted Heidfeld. Apparently Sato's disqualification was merited as he had already been warned for not heeding the blue flags earlier in the season.
However, Sato was unrepentant. "I don't think I did a wrong thing," he remarked in Thursday's FIA press conference at Suzuka. "The facts were that three laps before I let Nick past because he obviously caught me up in the normal way and I let him go. But obviously after we had the rain and under those circumstances I was quicker and I caught him and then he simply ran wide into turn one and I overtook him."
"Afterwards, I saw that we had very similar pace and there was a blue flag situation. So then we went into the last corner, unfortunately six cars just all coming together. That was a really unfortunate moment, but I do really strongly think I did everything right."