Record breaking multiple F1 world champion Michael Schumacher has been given a ten place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix after he 'illegitimately impeded' Rubens Barrichello in Hungary today.
The incident occurred in the closely stages of the race, when the two former Ferrari team-mates were battling for P10 and the final point. Although Barrichello did eventually get by in his Williams, passing the German on the start-finish straight, Schumacher did not make it easy, and almost put the Brazilian into the wall.
A statement from the FIA read:
From: The FIA Stewards of the Meeting
To: The Team Manager Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
Date: 01 August 2010
The Stewards, having received a report from the Race Director, have considered the following matter, determine a breach of the regulations has been committed by the competitor named below and impose the penalty referred to.
No / Driver 3: Michael Schumacher
Team: Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
Fact: Illegitimately impeded Car 9 during an overtaking manoeuvre.
Offence: Involved in an incident as defined by Article 16.1 of the 2010 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations
Penalty: Drop of 10 grid positions at the drivers' next event.
Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Mercedes and Renault were both fined $50,000 for 'unsafe releases', with Nico Rosberg exiting his pit box on three wheels, after one of his rear tyres worked loose, while Robert Kubica pulled out in his R30 and crashed into Adrian Sutil.
"I was driving into my area when suddenly the Renault came out in front of me," Sutil recalled. "There wasn't anything I could do, they released him into my path and I just crashed into him and my car was damaged too badly to continue. It was definitely unsafe from their part. A real shame it's my first DNF since Australia and it's even more disappointing as it for sure wasn't our issue.
"Things were going pretty well prior to that and I had made up two positions at the start and was running behind the Sauber of [Pedro] de la Rosa [who finished in P7]. I was actually quicker than him but just couldn't find a way past as making an opportunity is very hard on this track. Then the safety car came out and I got called into the pits..."