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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:06 am
Posts: 7565
Location: Belgium
Siao7 wrote:
Fiki wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Fiki wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Haha, thank you Fiki, I didn't know you cared!

Please tell us how could he know that the car in front would lift in the racing line? Blue flags normally mean the other car gets out of the way , not lifting on the racing line
Of course I care! We are here to discuss F1 racing, with a minimum of respect for all viewpoints. I will admit I was upset by Mikeyg's comment, because I normally find his posts interesting to say the least. Yours also, by the way.

I don't have a copy of the 1998 sporting regulations, but the term "racing line" only entered the regulations relatively recently. (Its only mention is in relation to defending off the racing line and then having to leave a car's width space to the attacker on the approach to a corner. And nowhere does it define what the racing line is supposed to be. Certainly a flaw in an already poorly produced official document.) So I don't know how the rules said what a driver about to be lapped was supposed to do in 1998. I do believe there was no mention yet of only having 3 blue flags to react, and am certain there was no rule that the racing line belonged to the leader.

To your question; how could Schumacher have known that Coulthard might lift off the throttle on the racing line? Is that the most important question to be asked about this incident? Schumacher had been complaining on the radio to his team, that Coulthard had not let him pass, and he had been gesticulating on camera to make his irrritation known. His team principle, Jean Todt, had been to see the McLaren team about this, and McLaren had warned Coulthard that he was going to be lapped.
So surely the question then isn't why Coulthard lifted on the racing line, but why Schumacher didn't make sure Coulthard did at least have a good chance of seeing something in his mirrors, by offsetting his line vis-à-vis Coulthard's? Irvine did so when following lap after lap behind another car. Why didn't Schumacher think of this? Perhaps because he wasn't used to being lapped, but how much of an excuse is that? Neither was Coulthard...
Also, what purpose did it serve Schumacher, or Ferrari, to wind himself up about not being able to pass a backmarker, when he was 30 seconds clear of the driver in P2? The only possible result could be that he increased his own chances of making a mistake. Which, in my view, he did. I cannot think of a single reason for an overtaking driver to hide in spray, so that the driver ahead could only guess where the leader was, or how far behind. Even when warned about his approach.

I know a lot of race fans, even from that era, believe Coulthard accepted full responsibility for what happened. That is not how I remember what he explained; my understanding is that he fully accepted his part of the blame. That is quite different. I will admit I have not read his book, published a few years ago, and I have no idea what he says about the incident now.

To my mind the best lesson to extract from this whole stupid accident is that Schumacher sinned against a very wise principle that drivers applied well before Schumacher's time: never do more than you have to, to win. Coming only 4 years after the death of Senna, I believe a number of his fellow drivers kept this in mind when racing. But not Schumacher. Would you like me to quote what Autosport wrote about this stupid accident?

It's maybe because you are coming hard on Schumacher at any given time. You do tend to do that and it's not criticism, a mere observation.

Racing line does not have to be on a regulation, nor other things like etiquette or gentlemen's agreements. They just exist. Not every single aspect of racing is covered in the regs, which is why they have the briefing sessions that drivers can ask questions, etc. And racing line is just a name of the optimal line, the fastest line, maybe it is written as such.

But it doesn't even matter. Because the car being lapped, should stay out of the way of the leader, it was not like the 80's that they had to fight with the backmarkers. Also, are you trying to blame the fastest car for being too fast? Come on, he didn't do a Senna... I honestly do not think either knew how close they were together with the spray; however you can see Schumacher turning left somewhat, trying to get a wider line (which is why he hit only his wheel and didn't go full on to the back of DC), so I don't agree about your argument about changing the lines. I think he did try that, although too late as DC lifted.

DC didn't say that he accepts his part of the blame, not sure how you got that idea. He said that he did not brake test Schumacher, just lifted. He did not accept that he tried to kill him (obviously), but he accepted that it was his fault: ... p/id/11031

Straight from the horse's mouth, but you still blame Schumacher? Let me ask you, how much blame do you put on DC and how much on MS? That may make it clearer for everyone.

And I do see your point regarding the spray; that's why I make it 99 DC - 1 MS on the blaming...

But we have discussed this before and it is getting tedious. Fun fact about that race: apart from the action on the track, there was action outside it too, a terrorist threat of all things:
Thanks for digging that Autosport article up. I'm not sure since when I have a subscription there, but it may well be I read it there at the time. Where did I get the notion he accepted his part of the blame? From reading it carefully I would say. I don't read Autosport's conclusion in what they report Coulthard said. And Im taking into account what he said on the day or shortly after. There were two people in that accident, and it's worth looking at the actions of both drivers.

I stand by my remark, and if Schumacher had been smarter that afternoon, he might indeed have been the champion that year. What did Hamilton say to Verstappen about passing a backmarker a few weeks ago? I will happily leave it at that and will read the real thread posts with interest.

Sure, he could have been cleverer, go slow or avoid going anywhere near his direct competitor's team mate or just sit and wait I guess? But what he can't do, is expect a car to slow down in front of him in the racing line. This is why he thought DC was brake testing him and went to find him afterwards, it can't be any clearer really.

Bold part; if you go only by that, by what drivers say in the heat of the moment, then Max is never wrong about anything... Most of them actually.

To recap, DC has gone on record, years after and with much more experience, accepting full responsibility for the accident (not that it was premeditated), admitting that he was young and less experienced at the time and he should have never done that, but you are still not satisfied.

Then I do not know what would help you change your mind, I am thinking you are actually not keen to changing your mind much dear Fiki.
By being cleverer I didn't mean go slow. I certainly didn't make any illusion to the fact that Coulthard happened to be Schumacher's main title rival's team-mate, and I also didn't suggest he had to just sit and wait. Being cleverer would have meant doing what Irvine did consistently when racing Frentzen; regularly come out of the slipstream, see, be seen and judge the gap. Schumacher had done this on the approach to Kemmel and on the approach to the virage de Bruxelles. And he knew Coulthard had been warned and was going to let him pass.
Coulthard could have gone off the racing line and let Schumacher by on the outside. But if you look at the footage, you see Schumacher was himself coming left towards the middle of the track again. Had Coulthard left the racing line there and then, the accident could still have happened.

I don't believe Coulthard's comment was made in the heat of the moment. As you will recall, he was sent out again with his repaired car in the hope of salvaging a point. He said to Autosport
I'd seen the blue flag, the team had informed me because obviously it was very difficult to see in my mirrors because the conditions here were terrible with the amount of spray. They'd informed me that Michael was behind me and that I should let him past. And I went through the left hand corner just before running down to Pouhon, maintained my speed to allow him to overtake me before Pouhon and he ran into the back of me.

I am happy Coulthard accepted his share of the blame, and I see no reason to change my mind about that incident.

As for Max never being wrong, that has nothing to do with the heat of the moment, it's simply in his checklist! :-D

Use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity.

Maria de Villota - Jules Bianchi

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