Ralf Schumacher has been penalised 10 places on the grid for the next F1 race after officials ruled he caused the accident that eliminated himself, Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen from the German Grand Prix.

Ralf Schumacher has been penalised 10 places on the grid for the next F1 race after officials ruled he caused the accident that eliminated himself, Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen from the German Grand Prix.


The penalty effectively kills any slim championship hopes Ralf might have harboured after the German non-finish. Moreover, Williams-BMW will have slim hopes of seeing the German help his team-mate, Juan-Pablo Montoya, gain the lead of the world championship in the fourth-last event of the season.


A bulletin from the race stewards stated: "The stewards received a report from the Race Director which stated that Ralf Schumacher caused an avoidable collision, contrary to Article 53 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and the drivers of car numbers 2, 4 and 6 and respective team manages, were summoned.


"Having heard the explanation of each driver and having seen the different camera views of the incident, the Stewards conclude that Ralf Schumacher began to move left to obtain a better racing line for the first corner. Ralf Schumacher admitted paying no attention to the position of the other cars during this manoeuvre.


"The stewards note that it is absolutely clear that Ralf Schumacher car made contact with Barrichello's car, which in turn made contact with Raikkonen. Both drivers were caught in a set of circumstances over which they had no control," the document stated.


In response, team principal Frank Williams said the team would appeal the decision. With the Hungaroring one of the most difficult circuits on which to overtake, Schumacher's penalty could barely come at a worse venue.


"You cannot think about what people around you are doing and sometimes these incidents do happen. I was just trying to defend my position and I didn't make any sudden move or anything so there was all the time in the world for other cars to move away from me," Schumacher said in his own defence.


Kimi Raikkonen said: "I got off the line very well at the start and went straight down on the outside. I was past Barrichello when he hit my rear tyre. There was nowhere for me to go and I went into the tyrewall. I don't know who is to blame and it doesn't really matter, because there is nothing I can do about it.


“My leg is very painful and it will take a few days to get back to normal. I don't think going down the outside was a risk. I was ahead of Rubens. I don't know what happened, but it was safe to go. If there had been no space, I would’ve hit the rear of his car.


“But I'm not taking the blame for it, because I didn't do anything wrong," he added.


To that, Rubens Barrichello added: "I had nowhere to go at the moment of the accident. I had an average start. I think both Ralf and Kimi took big risks, especially Kimi who went very wide to get past. Ralf moved to the left and gave me nowhere to go. I braked and then I was hit while not making any changes of direction with the steering wheel."

Original article from Car