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Schumacher admits blame for Petrov clash

Michael Schumacher takes the blame for mid-race clash with Vitaly Petrov in Valencia
Michael Schumacher insisted he was to blame for the incident with Vitaly Petrov that ended his hopes of scoring points in the European Grand Prix.

The German had been running inside the top ten before pitting to make his first tyre change at the end of lap 14. However, on exiting the pits, Schumacher slid into the Renault of Vitaly Petrov going into turn two and damaged the nose on his car, which forced him to return to the pits and saw him drop down outside the top 20.

From there onwards, Schumacher was unable to make much of an impression on the race as he trailed in down in 17th place and the seven-time champion admitted that his mistake had ended any hopes of scoring points.

"Not a very satisfying race for me today,” the Mercedes man said. “The outcome was decided after lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved. Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident.

“I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake. From then onwards, the race was done and I just had to drive the car over the finish line. We will now look ahead to Silverstone which is one of our home races."

Following the contact, Petrov could only finish two places higher than Schumacher in 15th place but the Renault driver insisted there were other reasons why he had been off the pace.

“Of course I am disappointed with today's race,” he said. “I was very surprised that the tyres did not last very well for us, as some of our competitors were able to do a two-stop race whereas we needed three. We know that our car's pace was not fantastic here and the race has strongly highlighted that we have work to do because we should finishing easily in the top ten.

“The incident with Schumacher did not cause a puncture. He seemed to exit the pits very quickly and did not seem to be able to stop his car coming into the first corner. Luckily, I saw him in my mirror but there was still some contact. We need to sit down now and carefully analyse where and why we are losing pace so we can have a better race at Silverstone.”

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June 26, 2011 10:04 PM
Last Edited 2065 days ago

Richard, yeah he surely has lost a little bit, at 42 years of age. But his fans, such as I, believe that, because he was so much better than the field in his prime, age has only brought him closer to the pack. He is not as consistent as he used to be, but he still shows glimpses of that brilliance he possesses. It is quite amazing to think about the fact that he holds his own and often beats competitors 10-15 years his junior. Not many people could drive a F1 car as well as he does at the age of 42. Its a special thing watching one of the best, if not the best of all time, driving and competing. Canada showed he certainly shouldn't retire, I just wish Merc would build him a competitive car, because I am sure he's still good enough to win races.

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