Neither of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's drivers saw the chequered flag for today's US Grand Prix. Right before the end of lap ten Ralf Schumacher had a left rear tyre puncture and crashed heavily backwards into the wall at the banked final turn of...
Neither of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's drivers saw the chequered flag for today's US Grand Prix. Right before the end of lap ten Ralf Schumacher had a left rear tyre puncture and crashed heavily backwards into the wall at the banked final turn of the Indianapolis speedway. He was brought first to the Speedway's Medical Centre and then to an Indianapolis Hospital to undergo further medical checks. Fortunately Ralf appears to have come away from the accident with just bruising. He will spend the night in the hospital under observation as a precaution.
Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya was excluded from the race by the FIA Stewards after 57 laps as a result of not leaving the grid within the requisite 15 seconds prior to the start of the formation lap after his intended race car could not be started on the grid and the team decided to let him start in the spare car from pit lane. After 56 laps he was in third position just prior to his second pit stop and the subsequent exclusion.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I've heard that Ralf is basically OK and I am glad to know that but I feel disappointed about my race. I had a problem at the start, which forced me to run to the spare car, which was set for me anyway. I started from the pit-lane and had a tough race having to climb up the field. I managed to run as high as second, at one point, but realistically we were on for a strong top four position but then I got the black flag. Again a bad outcome to what seemed to be a reasonably good weekend. The only comfort is that the car was quick today, which allowed me to catch up with the frontrunners from the back of the field."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"Thankfully Ralf will be ok. He had a puncture, which caused him to crash. The reason for Juan Pablo's black flag is that when we tried to start the engine on the grid, the starter would not engage into the back of the car and we decided therefore that Juan Pablo should get into the T-car. However, according to the FIA's article No.85 Juan Pablo would need to have left the grid within 15 seconds before the start of the formation lap and we were a few seconds too late. Obviously two disappointing results in a row is not good. However we are fighter and intend to come back strongly."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"Of course our race was over-shadowed by Ralf's accident. I visited him in the medical centre during the race, where he was undergoing a first check. I could even speak with him shortly. We all hope now that Ralf recovers quickly. After Juan Pablo had his problem at the start, he fought hard and managed to get into the points but was excluded with 16 laps to go to the end of the race."