Todt defends Schumacher in Montoya incident

Todt defends Schumacher in Montoya incident

Juan Pablo Montoya was most peeved with Michael Schumacher after the pair scrapped for position at the start of the San Marino Grand Prix, and believed his rival should have been penalized. Montoya almost beat the Ferrari through the first corners...

Juan Pablo Montoya was most peeved with Michael Schumacher after the pair scrapped for position at the start of the San Marino Grand Prix, and believed his rival should have been penalized. Montoya almost beat the Ferrari through the first corners but Schumacher defended his position and the Williams had to take to the grass.

Press conference: a happy Michael Schumacher and a not so happy Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

In the post race press conference Montoya said Schumacher "hit me hard enough to put me in the grass" and wanted the FIA to take action. The Colombian claimed that Schumacher gets away with things that other drivers would be punished for. In this case the FIA saw no reason to give Michael a penalty.

Ferrari team boss Jean Todt thinks Montoya should take a little time to consider what happened before sounding off. "He needs to have a few minutes to reflect on what he's saying before making such comments," Todt said. "We all know that it's difficult being a driver, very demanding and sometimes it's important to wait a while before making such comments. Between climbing out of his car and speaking to the press, there hasn't really been enough time for him to think about the incident."

Todt's opinion of the incident was that Schumacher was simply defending his position: "But there's a dilemma, because on the one hand that there isn't enough spectacle in Formula One, enough overtaking manoeuvres and when there are, we talk of incidents. Quite simply, Michael defended his position and I think that if one day Michael or someone else didn't defend their position, they should find another job."

"If it was the other way round, do you think Montoya would just put his arm out of the car to let Michael pass? No way. It's racing. I can understand that a driver is defending his position."

Montoya's team boss Frank Williams thought it was natural for Juan Pablo to try and take advantage when a chance presented itself but doesn't believe Schumacher was in the wrong. "As I saw it, Michael was in trouble trying to get grip from his tyres and Juan must have known straight away that this was his chance to get ahead of him," he commented. "Ten out of ten for trying, and I'm glad he got away with it, but it's not fair to say that it was all Michael. You take a risk when you go round the outside."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams