June 26 (Andrés Rojas).- The seven-times champion, Michael Schumacher, believes his incident with Vitaly Petrov was the the determining factor that robbed him a chance to finish the European Grand Prix in the points zone. ,
The 42-year-old’s race for points was over when, as he left the pits after his first stop, he slid into the Renault in turn one on lap 15. The contact broke his front wing and he had to do a full lap before making an extra stop to replace it, which made him drop to 22nd as a result.
“The outcome was decided after lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved,” Schumacher said. “Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident.”
Schumacher, who had started from eighth, admitted that the contact with the Russian driver was his mistake, and all this just when it seemed that the season for the German was picking up.
“I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him,” he continued. “But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake. From then onwards, the race was done and I just had to drive the car over the finish line.”
Mercedes team did not feel very optimistic about its chances to reach the podium. Schumacher actually pointed out that Nico Rosberg’s seventh was probably the highest position the team could have gotten.
“Nico achieved the current potential of the car today with another very solid, mistake-free drive,” team principal Ross Brawn said. “We couldn’t have realistically expected any more and he scored valuable points.”
Mercedes results (Nico’s) helped to close the gap to rivals Renault in the constructors’ championship to two points. Rosberg passed Petrov in the drivers’ standings in seventh with a solitary point separating the two.
Schumacher is tenth in the championship with 26 points, and six points behind his teammate Rosberg.