Renault’s Vitaly Petrov has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Indian Grand Prix after he was adjudged to have caused the lap 16 collision with Michael Schumacher that caused the both drivers to retire from today’s Korean GP.
Schumacher was rounding turn three when Petrov flew through the apex, slamming into the rear of the German’s Mercedes and tearing off Schumacher’s rear wing. Both were forced to retire from the race. “I didn’t see Vitaly coming,” said Schumacher. “I was just suddenly spun into a direction I had not intended to go, and then I saw my rear wing hanging off. It was unfortunate but these things happen when you fight hard – that’s racing.
“It’s another unfortunate end to a race which could have been encouraging today,” he added. “It’s a big pity as the car was again very good in race trim and I had already gained some positions. It would have been interesting to see what was possible, and I think we could certainly have taken some points.”
Petrov will now have to start the Indian GP five places lower than whatever grid slot he achieves in qualifying but tool full blame for the incident in Korea and apologised to Schumacher.
“I tried to defend my position from Fernando [Alonso] but I was in the braking zone on the dirty side of the track, which meant I locked my wheels and hit Michael,” said the Russian. “I apologise to Michael, it was not his fault, it was absolutely my fault. Once my wheels were locked there was nothing I could do about it.”