Despite suggestions that he may be docked places on the grid ahead of Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has escaped with a mere reprimand for badly blocking Rubens Barrichello in qualifying.

The German appeared to hold up his former Ferrari colleague for several corners in the closing moments of phase two of the knock-out session, but the stewards deemed that Barrichello was not on a fast enough lap to have improved his own standing and, despite acknowledging that he had been impeded between turns ten and 14, let Schumacher off with a warning rather than the now-familiar five-place penalty.

"The stewards note that, irrespective of the team's opinion that car 9 (Barrichello) was not on a 'fast lap', it is ultimately the drivers responsibility to be conscious of closing cars via the use of mirrors and blue flags/lights," an official FIA statement announced, once all available video and telemetry evidence had been checked.

In what was otherwise a successful day for Mercedes, the team's other driver, Nico Rosberg, also escaped censure for hampering Ferrari's Fernando Alonso during the morning's third and final practice session. Alonso showed his displeasure at being baulked by slowing in front of his rival amid much Latin gesturing.

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