There were one or two fingers of blame being pointed after the Malaysian Grand Prix as to who was at fault in certain incidents. The clash between Jaguar's Mark Webber and the Williams of Ralf Schumacher had the drivers blaming each other. Not to...
There were one or two fingers of blame being pointed after the Malaysian Grand Prix as to who was at fault in certain incidents. The clash between Jaguar's Mark Webber and the Williams of Ralf Schumacher had the drivers blaming each other. Not to be outdone, Schumacher's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya thinks Rubens Barrichello deliberately blocked him to prevent him catching race leader Michael Schumacher.
Webber had already passed Ralf but suffered a puncture when the German retaliated and overtook the Jaguar: "I think Ralf was pissed off because I overtook him," said Webber. "I just felt something at the back. It damaged the diffuser and it caused me to come into the pits because it cut the tyre."
Ralf's version of the incident is that Webber didn't leave him enough room. "Mark was very aggressive and I tried to avoid a collision but he didn't give me any space," said the Williams driver.
Montoya came out of his last pit stop to find Barrichello's Ferrari in front of him. "I think it was into turn four, I got a bit of a run on him and as soon as I moved he closed the door straight away and his pace backed off," said the Colombian. "If I hadn't had Rubens in the last stint, I think we could have been quite a bit closer."
Barrichello claimed he was being held up by a Minardi backmarker and doesn't think Montoya made an effort to get past. "I had Zsolt Baumgartner in front of me and we lost three seconds. Juan was behind me and so he lost time as well," he said. "Maybe that's why Juan is pissed off, because there was no way he made any attempt to overtake."
Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn conceded that they were not about to simply let Montoya pass, but denied any intentional delaying tactics. "There was no attempt by us to ask Rubens to deliberately hold up Montoya," he said. "The lap times during that period were pretty comparable. Juan was just frustrated and maybe a little emotional."
Renault's Jarno Trulli had contact with BAR's Jenson Button at the beginning of the race but in one case at least, someone was quick to accept the blame. "I got a very good start, but must apologise to Jenson: I touched his car on the way to the first corner," Trulli owned up.