Schumacher and Hamilton at odds with F1 rivals

Last Updated: Friday, May 20, 2011 - 09:38

Barcelona: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton were dissenting voices in the face of concern from Formula One rivals about safety at next week`s Monaco Grand Prix.

Williams` Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher`s former Ferrari team mate who chairs the Grand Prix Drivers` Association (GPDA), said this month that the new driver-activated moveable rear wing (DRS) could be dangerous on the unforgiving streets of the Mediterranean principality.

The wing is designed to make overtaking easier, something that has always been next to impossible on Monaco`s tight and twisty layout, but there are fears it could also encourage risky manoeuvres.

Questioned further at the Spanish Grand Prix, the Brazilian said the subject would be discussed again in the drivers` briefing on Friday.

"It was every driver, apart from Michael, that saw the thing the same way as I did," he told reporters of their last meeting at the previous round in Turkey.

"(Race director) Charlie (Whiting) said `So everybody agrees that it is not a good thing?` and then Michael said he didn`t agree. He must have something on the car that is technically very good. Then the (discussion) just fell off from there."

Schumacher, who has had plenty of run-ins with Barrichello over the years and has also won five times in Monaco, confirmed to reporters he did not share the Brazilian`s reservations.

"I don`t think it is too dangerous to push a couple of buttons... the (governing) FIA I am pretty sure is able and capable of finding spots where you can activate them (the wings) without any danger," he said.
"I`m sorry if I may have a different opinion to the others. I don`t think I have been alone in that but that`s my opinion."

McLaren`s 2008 world champion Hamilton, who counts Monaco as a favourite race and won there in his title-winning year, dismissed Barrichello`s assertion that the seven times world champion had been a lone dissenter.

"I am excited to use it (the DRS)," he said. "I was the only one in the drivers` briefing that was for it."
Hamilton laughed when it was put to him that Schumacher was the lone voice supporting the DRS in the briefing.

"No he wasn`t," the Briton scoffed. "When I mentioned it, he did come back and say `Well, actually we could use it at the exit of the tunnel for 100 metres. He was the only one to come out with a positive comment on that.

"But generally everyone else wasn`t very positive."

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, May 20, 2011 - 09:38

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