Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher had been given a 1-place grid penalty for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix for his part in crashing out in Sunday Singapore grand prix and taking toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne with him in the process. The German champion locked up under braking into turn 14 and slid directly into the back of Vergne taking both cars out of the race.
The race stewards handed down the penalty and explained their decision:
“The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate the braking performance of the car with lower tyre grip following a safety car period,” the stewards said.
“The penalty takes into account that this is the second similar offence by the driver this season.”
Schumacher wasn’t sure why this happened and while conceding it was his fault, he wondered if it was a misjudgement on tire temperatures or pressure that caught him out:
“I braked earlier than I would normally I would do for that corner, and I need work out why I couldn’t stop,” Schumacher told Sky’s Natalie Pinkham.
“The braking point certainly wasn’t later – it was rather early – but the car wouldn’t decelerate. Maybe [with] the Safety Car, there was low pressures, it was touching on the ground or something unusual I didn’t include. Maybe some other factor. I need to investigate that.
“I apologised [to Vergne] for this one. It was clearly on my side, he had nothing to do with that, but nevertheless I would like to know why and what happened.”