23.09.12

Singapore GP: Schumacher gets 10-place penalty

Michael Schumacher was handed a 10-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix after he slammed into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso just after the half way mark in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The incident occurred just after racing had resumed at the Marina Bay Street Circuit following a safety car period brought about when Narain Karthikeyan dumped his HRT into the wall on lap 30. 
 
The safety car left the circuit on lap 37 and Vergne quickly began to exert pressure on Sauber’s Sergio Pérez in the battle for ninth position. As the pair tussled, Schumacher, directly behind the pair, failed to judge the correct braking point and smashed into the back of the Frenchman’s car. 
 
Called before the stewards, Schumacher admitted the error and thus will take a 10-place drop in Japan, the officials remarking that it was “the second similar offence by the driver this season”.
 
Of the incident Schumacher said: “It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race when I ran into the car of Vergne who accepted my apology straight afterwards. I am not totally sure why it happened like this; I was braking but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be, and I could not avoid running into the car in front of me.”