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      08-03-2010, 10:17 AM   #68
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Warwick: I wanted Schumi black flagged

Former Formula One driver Derek Warwick, a steward at the Hungarian Grand Prix, has revealed he wanted to disqualify Michael Schumacher from the race.

Warwick believes showing the German the black flag would have sent a better message to young drivers that such behaviour would not be tolerated.

The Mercedes veteran received a 10-place grid penalty for the next round of the championship in Belgium for the dangerous move which saw him almost edge Williams' Rubens Barrichello into the pit wall at 180mph during the closing stages of Sunday's race.

After initially defending his move, Schumacher on Monday issued an apology to Barrichello, who partnered him at Ferrari from 2000 to 2005.

Warwick, who competed in 162 grands prix for the likes of Toleman, Renault, Arrows and Brabham, was on the stewards panel in Budapest as part of the FIA's decision to introduce former drivers to adjudicate on incidents during races this season, and the 55-year-old would have liked to have taken a stronger course of action.

He told BBC's Five Live Breakfast: "I believe we had three laps to disqualify him from Budapest, and throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers that we will not tolerate that kind of driving.

"But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively.

"We inteviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty. If we had enough laps (we could have disqualified him) but you have to have video evidence and make sure all four stewards are in agreement."

Although he would have liked to have been able to take stronger action, Warwick reckons the penalty in place for the next race at Spa-Francorchamps still sends the right message.

"You have to view the evidence you have and you could disqualify him from the next grand prix, or two grands prix," he continued. "But we felt a 10-place penalty is a big penalty to carry for Spa. It kind of puts him out of the race at Spa, and hopefully he will learn from that and remember that the new stewards will not tolerate that driving."

After reviewing the incident, Schumacher said on Monday: "I have got to say that the stewards are right with their judgment: the manoeuvre against him was too severe,.

"I obviously wanted to make it difficult for him to overtake me and I also showed him clearly that I did not want to let him past, but obviously I did not want to endanger him with my manoeuvre. If he feels this way, then sorry, that was not my intention."

Following the race Barrichello, who spent six years in Schumacher's shadow at Ferrari, was far from amused, claiming the 41-year-old had resorted to "a go-kart manoeuvre".

Barrichello added: "If he wants to go to heaven - in the event he is going to heaven - I don't want to go before him."

The race was won by Red Bull's Mark Webber, with Schumacher finishing 11th and Barrichello 10th.

The penalty marks the latest disappointment of Schumacher's difficult return to the sport after three years in retirement. The seven-time champion had high hopes of challenging for an eighth crown with Mercedes, but he has been off the pace and failed to match team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Warwick thinks the 41-year-old is already looking towards next season.

He said: "He has been disappointed with the Mercedes and its performance. He is a winner and all he cares about is winning races and winning the world championship. I think his mindset is already looking to 2011 and winning his eighth world championship. This year will become a long season for him.

"I think his legacy is tainted with some of the moves he has had over his career but let's not forget he has won 91 races and seven world titles and he is a great champion, a legend, and is up there with the greatest and we need to give him time.

"He has been three years out of the car and come back alongside Nice Rosberg who has done a great job."