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Warwick: Schumacher almost black-flagged

3 August 2010

Derek Warwick has revealed that Michael Schumacher came close to being black-flagged and excluded from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Warwick was part of the stewards' panel for the second time this season at the Hungaroring to help with decisions during the race, with the FIA having decided at the start of the season to have former drivers as part of the decision making process.

The former F1 racer was therefore involved with decided if a penalty should be given to Schumacher for the way in which he attempted to defend position when Rubens Barrichello made a move for position in the closing stages of the race.

Schumacher was ultimately given a ten-place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix for illegitimately impeding his former team-mate but Warwick said that disqualification would have been a real option if the stewards had had more time to look at the footage of the incident.

"Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers," he told Radio 5 Live. "But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively.

"If we had enough laps [we could have disqualified him] but you have to have video evidence and make sure all four stewards are in agreement."

Warwick added that the stewards had deemed that a ten-place drop on the grid at Spa was a worthy penalty as it will effectively rule Schumacher 'out of the race' in Belgium.

"We interviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty," he said. "You have to view the evidence you have and you could disqualify him from the next Grand Prix, or two Grands Prix.

"But we felt a 10-place penalty is a big penalty to carry for Spa. It kind of puts him out of the race at Spa, and hopefully he will learn from that and remember that the new stewards will not tolerate that driving."


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