Budapest: Michael Schumacher apologised to Rubens Barrichello after almost driving his former Ferrari team mate into a concrete wall in a 300kph duel at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The seven-times world champion said on his website that he agreed with the stewards` decision to hand him a 10-place penalty on the starting grid for his next race, the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.
"After I watched the incident with Rubens again, I must say that the stewards were right with their assessment; the manoeuvre against him was too hard," he said.
"I wanted to make it hard for him to pass ... I wasn`t trying to endanger him with my move. If he felt I was, then I`m sorry. This was not my intention."
The Mercedes driver finished 11th in Sunday`s race at the Hungaroring while Barrichello took the final point for Williams after holding his nerve and forcing his way past.
Schumacher, returning to Formula One at the age of 41 and after three years in retirement, said Sunday`s race was one of the toughest he had experienced so far in his comeback.
"It was pretty edgy to drive the car on the limit, so I had to fight my way through the race and at the end it was like walking on ice," said the German, winner of a record 91 career races but so far without a podium finish this year.
On Sunday he had described the scrap with Barrichello as a "hard fight, and this is what we are here for" while also accepting that the stewards felt it was too hard.
Barrichello saw it differently, telling reporters afterwards that he had been millimetres from the wall in what he said was the most dangerous manoeuvre he had experienced in a career that reaches 300 race starts in Belgium.
"I like a fair fight but that wasn`t fair here," said the Brazilian.
"If Michael wants to go to heaven -- in the event that he is going to heaven -- then I don`t really care. But I don`t want to go before him."
The race stewards ruled that Schumacher had "illegitimately impeded" Barrichello.
Given that he has failed to qualify in the top 10 in four of the last five races, there is every chance that the former champion will start at or near the back of the grid at Spa -- the circuit where he made his F1 debut in 1991.
Eddie Jordan, who was his team boss that day and is now a BBC pundit, was heavily critical of Sunday`s incident.
"It was horrific," he said. "Not only did he (Barrichello) just miss the wall, he (Schumacher) pushed him right across the pit-lane exit.”
"His legacy is damaged as a result of this, in my opinion."