Derek Daly – who acted as one of the FIA driver stewards for last weekend's Italian Grand Prix
at Monza – has conceded that Michael Schumacher 'should have been given a drive-through penalty' for his overly-aggressive defence of his position against Lewis Hamilton, reasoning that 'this style of driving is not what you want the future generation of drivers to perfect'.
Schumacher and Hamilton engaged in a lively and entertaining duel over third place during the early stages of the race around the celebrated Autodromo Nazionale, but many contend that the German – the most successful driver in the history of the sport, albeit one equally renowned for frequently courting controversy and pushing the limits – overstepped the mark on occasion in his blocking manoeuvres, particularly when he forced his McLaren-Mercedes adversary onto the grass on the approach to the first Lesmo on lap 20.
That elicited protests from Hamilton over his pit-to-car radio, whilst 'Schumi' was subsequently warned about his conduct by Mercedes GP team principal – and his long-time ally – Ross Brawn, with the Englishman likely fearing ramifications. Daly now admits that a penalty would have been totally justified – but explains that it was unfortunately not picked up on by stewards quickly enough.
“On lap 20, race director Charlie Whiting asked the stewards to look at an incident between [Felipe] Massa and [Jarno] Trulli at the second chicane,” revealed the former Tyrrell and Williams
ace. “While looking at the slo-mo video of this incident, I missed the Schumacher/Hamilton incident that happened at that moment.
“When I looked at it again at home, I believe that Schumacher should have been given a drive-through penalty. He was warned repeatedly, and this style of driving is not what you want the future generation of drivers to perfect. We as stewards probably let Charlie down with this one.”