Tuesday September 12th, 2000
Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen said on Tuesday he was not to blame for the accident at the Italian Grand Prix which led to the death of a fire marshal.
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello had called on Monday for the German to be banned, claiming he was "totally responsible" for the pile-up on the first lap of Sunday's race at Monza which forced both drivers to retire.
"I think everyone who knows me and my racing career knows that I am not the sort of driver to take unnecessary risks at the start of a race and I don't have the reputation of being involved in accidents," Frentzen said in a statement.
Frentzen said Barrichello had braked earlier than he had expected andhe hit the Brazilian's back wheel.
Frentzen said he then moved right and hit teammate Jarno Trulli, who was braking ahead of him, ripping off his own front wheel and Trulli's back wheel.
"I heard after the race that Barrichello was blaming me for the accident. In his situation I can understand his feelings, especially driving a Ferrari at Monza, but as he well knows the reasons for any accident are not as simple as he would like everyone to believe.
"As the stewards' enquiry showed after they had reviewed all the evidence it was a racing incident, the sort that happens several times a year, but fortunately without the same tragic result."