Between them they are among the most experienced drivers on the grid but Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard would get no further than the first corner of the United States Grand Prix after coming together.

Living up to the turn one chicane's reputation for eliminating the unwary, the incident was kicked off when Schumacher out-braked himself heading into the first turn and speared into the side of Coulthard, who in turn spun off into Barrichello.

All three chose to agree that it was an unfortunate racing incident, but at the same time each was disappointed not have made a longer impression on the race.

"That was a disappointing way to end my race after a pretty good qualifying," Schumacher said. "Obviously going into the first corner it was very crowded and everyone is on cold tyres. Going into the first corner I braked quite calmly but my tyres locked a bit. David came around from the outside and we crashed into each other.

"I think it was a racing incident. It is disappointing but these things can happen easily in that kind of situation at the start of a race when everyone is trying to gain positions."

Coulthard was especially frustrated as he had deliberately chosen a line on the outside of the turn to specifically avoid any such incidents, but instead found himself as a sitting duck when Schumacher was unable to stop his Toyota.

"That was a disappointing race, I only got to Turn one! I kept a steady line off the start into the first corner, making sure I left space on the inside to keep out of trouble. Watching the replay, it seems Ralf Schumacher came together with another car behind me. That rotated Ralf's car and he speared into the side of mine, which caused a lot of damage. It burst the oil cooler, so that was the end of my race."

Barrichello meanwhile was even more of a victim when Coulthard ricocheted into him, causing the Brazilian to also clip Honda team-mate Jenson Button in the process, putting him into retirement and compromising Button's race too.

"I think it was just an unlucky first corner racing incident today. I tried to avoid a spinning Ralf and unfortunately hit two cars, one of which was Jenson. The contact broke my front suspension and that was it for me today. Sadly Jenson's car was damaged as well. We have an important test next week in Jerez, so the team just has to look forward now and focus on improving our performance for the rest of the season."

 

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