Atlas F1 News Service

Schumacher Hits Out at Albert Park After Shunt

Friday March 2nd, 2001

Schumacher's car after the accidentMichael Schumacher criticised the Albert Park circuit after his Ferrari was sent into a double barrel-roll at the end of Friday's free practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Schumacher lost control of his car at turn six when he braked late, but said a step in a kerb at the turn was to blame for propelling him through air.

"I hit this step, and it was because of that the car took off," said Schumacher. "I know exactly what happened and the place I went off. I saw it on Thursday and thought something could happen there.

"It isn't good enough and something has got to be done about it. I was very lucky I didn't hit the wall."

The accident occurred just five minutes before the end of the day's practice, and Ferrari officials believe it happened because the yellow flags, which were out on that corner at the time of the accident, were waved too late.

Schumacher was pushing hard in an attempt to knock his team-mate Rubens Barrichello off the top of the timesheets, and overdid it into turn six.

He touched brakes, hit the inside kerb, and went across track. He then hit the step on the outside of the corner, and his car lifted into air. It went into a somersault, and completed two full barrel-rolls before it ended upright in the gravel trap.

"It was a soft landing and I'm not hurt, but it is not the type of thing you want," said a calm Schumacher.

"I braked just at the corner. I did not see the yellow flags, and the back just went away from me. It was not nice or expected, and I was getting myself ready for a really big impact.

"The impact was not as big as I expected and hopefully the car can be repaired."

Ferrari have only three cars in Australia and will be working around the clock to repair Schumacher's car before Saturday's qualifying session.

Schumacher will return to the scene of the accident with track officials later today to discuss possible modifications in the area after raising justifiable concerns on Thursday.

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