Michael Schumacher insists that he would have no problem apologising to Rubens Barrichello in person, after it emerged that the German had addressed their Hungarian incident by text message ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Barrichello came within inches of making contact with the Hungaroring's concrete pit-wall as Schumacher attempted to resist a passing move in the closing stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix and was vocal in his condemnation of the German's tactics. Schumacher, who finished eleventh, one place behind his former Ferrari team-mate, was duly handed a ten-place grid penalty for this weekend's race at Spa-Francorchamps, but initially blamed Barrichello for creating the danger.
The seven-time world champion eventually issued an apology via his official website, admitting that the move had been a 'little harsh', but had not made personal redress to Barrichello until the SMS message flashed up on the Williams driver's cell phone ahead of the Spa weekend. Barrichello accepted the apology, but the method of communication still left paddock insiders scratching their heads, wondering why the two had not spoken.
"I have no problem speaking to Rubens, absolutely, but there were two reasons I sent him a text and one of the main reasons was that it's his 300th grand prix," Schumacher told journalists on the eve of Belgian GP practice, "We have quite a history together, so I thought it was appropriate to congratulate him and clarify the point.
"He sort of felt that I wanted to push him against the wall and, very clearly, this was not my ambition. I wanted to race very tightly, but without any wall contact and, to clarify this point, if he felt this was the case, then I was sorry for that."
While Barrichello approaches his 300th grand prix, at a circuit where he took his maiden pole position with the Jordan team, Schumacher appears unlikely to be a contender for a seventh Belgian GP victory after suffering the stewards' retribution in Hungary.
"I have often called [Spa] my 'living room', and there are lots of fantastic memories from the past - and even good ones to look forward to - but we have the ten place [penalty] which makes it extra special and exciting to try and move forward.
"We have mixed weather conditions predicted for this weekend, [and] that could help. We have worked on the car, so we will try to make it as good as possible, but I certainly look forward very much as this is one of my most loved tracks."