Schumacher says Hamilton slowed him down
6 October 2012 – Michael Schumacher has claimed that he was compromised by Lewis Hamilton en route to a Q2 knock-out in Japan. The seven-time World Champion, eight times a pole-sitter at Suzuka, starts Sunday’s race from 23rd position.
Having qualified 13th, Schumacher is demoted to the back row as a punishment for taking Jean-Éric Vergne out of the Singapore Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
“It was a shame that we couldn't do more today, after things hadn't looked too bad this morning, but we simply didn't get the performance together,” said Schumacher, who had crashed his Mercedes at Spoon Curve on Friday.
“Perhaps I could have made it through to Q3, because the data showed that I lost two tenths at Turn 1 (Hairpin) because of traffic, but I wasn't quite sure what Hamilton was doing ahead of me. I saved a lot of tyre sets and in that respect got the maximum out of the situation. Now we need to wait and see what happens tomorrow. I will be certainly aiming for the best possible result, starting from the back of the grid.”
The Schumacher complaint about Hamilton comes eight days after it was confirmed that the 2008 World Champion will be replacing him at Mercedes next year.