Schumacher slams BBC man and ducks 2006 ‘Rascassegate’ questions

On his return to Monaco Michael Schumacher has had to dodge a barrage of questions about his infamous last appearance he in 2006 – when he was put to the back of the grid for blocking the track during qualifying.

Schumacher parked his car at Rascasse after taking pole, preventing anyone else from setting a quicker lap. After a long night of deliberation the FIA stewards – led by Tony Scott-Andrews – decided that he had done it deliberately. There has never been any proper explanation of the matter from either his then team boss, current FIA President Jean Todt, or Michael himself.

Today he grew increasingly irritated as journalists kept returning to the subject during a Mercedes press meeting, and even called respected BBC Radio reporter David Croft “boring” for pursuing that line of questioning.

Schumacher was initially asked if he had any regrets about the incident, not least because it potentially cost him the World Championship.

“I guess it didn’t, but it doesn’t change as well if we get back into it, because we’re now in 2010.”

Pressed on the matter, he said: “I had great fun in the race, I have to say. Coming from last, and going through the field, I think I finished fifth. That was good fun.”

Reminded that Saturday had been a low point of his career, he blamed the media, “You made it – some of you guys. I mean, let’s look forward and not backwards.”

When Croft asked whether Michael would so the same thing again to guarantee pole, he said: “You’re boring…”

Finally he was asked if there was any reason why he was not able to say sorry for what happened. “I mean you can keep trying absolutely, but we’re not talking about 2006 anymore. There’s enough said I don’t feel that I need to go any deeper into it…”

36 Comments

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36 responses to “Schumacher slams BBC man and ducks 2006 ‘Rascassegate’ questions

  1. CARSON44

    Why would a reporter ask the same question in a different way repeatedly? If I were being asked the same question that it was clear I wasn’t going to answer I think that my responses would have far less polite. It would insult your intelligence to think that you wouldn’t recognize it as the same question.

    • As I replied to another comment, questions were asked by four different journalists, not just the BBC. Admittedly they followed the same general theme but they were all giving him the chance to apologise for letting his fans down or whatever, something he has never done…

  2. Pingback: Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy | F1 Fanatic - The Formula 1 Blog

  3. Leigh O'Gorman

    In one sense I do understand his frustration – this is not 2006 anymore, so why drag the incident through the mud all over again?

  4. AngryGinger

    Yup, confirmed. MS is a douche.

  5. Sean Cochran

    I agree with Leigh. It’s Michael Schumacher, there should be plenty of Current drama to talk about. Move on to this year’s campaign, talk about the car and how no refueling will help/hinder the race,… anything but dragging up old drama.

  6. adam, it is your and every other f1 journalists responsibility to endlessly pursue this line of questioning throughout the whole weekend.

    what that man did in ’06 was shameful, the punishment far too lenient and he has never had to properly explained his actions.

    go get him! :)

  7. me

    i am not being disrespectful…
    but a ‘respected journalist’ would know when to stop pursuing the same subject .
    by this report i figure he answered the questions about it politely first …

    • Sorry if I didn’t make it clear, but the questions were asked by different people, including Reuters and the Daily Mail, all of whom were exasperated by the way he avoided the subject. It wasn’t just one person.

      • me

        but still :)
        it was clear he didn’t want to be reminded of what happened . ( by his first few responses )

        anyways i get it … him being schumacher he can be subjected to questioning :D

  8. Nick Stewart

    Good for you guys. This is why, despite his obvious amazing skill as a driver, there will always be thousands who like myself will never respect the man. This incident, like many others, was deliberate and about as unsporting as you can get. The sooner he re-retires the happier I will be.

  9. russ mckennett

    same ol’ spud,different year.
    Its great to see him put on the spot for once.I think the press has always given him a pass.
    HE IS THE WORST SPORTSMAN in the history of sport.

    • Paul Kirk

      Hay Russ, You’re a bit over the top, don’t forget about all the money he has donated to numerous charities and disadvantaged comunities!!!!!!
      PK.

      • russ mckennett

        What does that have to do with sport??
        So he is a rich,generous ,nasty sportsman.
        OK?

  10. Mr P.

    I think he’s fair game. All he had to do is say: “Listen, you’re right: I’m terribly sorry for that lapse in judgement back in 2006, and I paid a price for it, both on and off the track. It will never happen again. Now, can we move on, please?”

  11. I echo what Mr C says.

    (Though while the punishment was lenient it was quite clever by the stewards – it was the strongest punishment they could issue without it being appealed.)

  12. jim

    It’s never the wrong time to question a cheat.
    Tell Michael he sounds like Mark McGwire when he was questioned about juicing. What a joke that was…

  13. CARSON44

    Mr. P, I heartly disagree.
    The follow up question would be something akin to, “Did you act independently of the team or were you under team orders?”, and things would degenerate from that point and there would be no end. The reason for all this is all reporters want to turn everything into a conspiracy. No matter what MS response is there will be a more damning follow up question. In the end everyone has their opinion as to what happened and few if any will change their minds.

    • Mr P.

      And again the correct answer would’ve been: “I am the only one to blame and I’m sorry; end of story.”

      • topturtle

        Mr P,

        You have hit the nail on the head. Michael Schumacher is an exceptional driver, however, others drivers given the Ferrari he had in 2003-2006 could have driven it as well; Heinz Herald Frentzen for one.

        Michael is lacking as noble sportsman, he is all business. He would yell bloody murder if on the receiving end of his poor sportsmanlike antics.

        I think he needs to acknowledge his poor judgements as the tunnel park in Monaco.
        No need to apologize though.

        As to referencing the past, again either he answers the questions or he shuts his face about his past success stories too.

        If I were a journalist, I would politely tell him if he wants any respect; it is a two way street.

        Boring, for me is an individdual who can not relate anything but their success. They are just braggarts.

        Schumacher, terriffic driver, but lacking as a true sportsman.

    • Paul Kirk

      Csrson44, it just goes to shows what a pack of ar$oles some of the media jerks are!!! I’ll never know why they HAVE to always bring up bad things from history all the time, it’s not as though anybody’s interested’
      PK.

  14. Sam

    I am. Keep asking. Hound the git. Ever since he turned up in that Jordan I knew he was gonna be a bad egg. It didn’t take long for that to show up either. For every bit of undoubted driving mskill the guy has he sadly had that nasty, win at all costs, lack if base sportsmanship that marks him out.

    I cannot understand how any self-respecting motorsport fan could ever stick up for this louse of a sportsman. More than Monaco I am still awaiting an explanation about THAT incident in Australia 1994 which doesn’t include that absolute BS about his ‘steering breaking’.

    Loathsome little man. I agree with a poster further up and long for his return to retirement.

    • “Loathsome little man. I agree with a poster further up and long for his return to retirement…”

      Will you say the same about Ayrton Senna’s tactics, which were at times much worse than anything Schumacher did?

      • Mr P.

        Does it really matter? Life’s unfair anyway, and Schumacher gets more criticism than other, more likable or charismatic drivers. Big deal. Unequal treatment or bias happens to Mr. Nobody every day. The problem is that he, Schumacher, can’t adapt and deal with it. Maybe a longer wheelbase would help? ;)

  15. ArisF1

    @F1 reporters,

    Next time it’d be wise to use interrogation methods against Schumi. I mean.. when you see the man clearly not wanting to answer the question and you feel compelled to get an answer anyways, attacking him as a flock (different journal same question), you are acting hypocritically when in the end he reacts and stops being too polite.

    Well he did not act like Montoya when he called people names did he?

    And in the end of the day, he has every right to actually refrain from answering. Ah, and I don’t see his fan base (which is larger than most of the other drivers fan base combined) complaining or being let down because of his not answering bout Monaco 2006.

    Last but not least.. I don’t recall the press hunting down Senna after the infamous collision in japan where Senna admitted he did what he did on purpose, to get an apology.. or ask him if he’d do this again. I guess that’s cause it’s Senna , not Schumacher, right?

  16. While this is just a case of media being the media, Schumacher rarely talks about past incidents – and even then, not in public presscons (his 1997 apology happened in a 1 on 1, IIRC). So I’d be surprised if the media were expecting any different today.

    If even Fernando Alonso (who, BTW, the press are not pestering about what he did in Hungary 2007) has forgiven him, surely it’s a sign that it’s time to move on?

  17. That said, THIS is why as much as a Schumi fan I am, he should’ve stayed retired. Getting beaten by Rosberg, staying stuck in midfield, getting hounded by the media – he doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t need this.

  18. Black Knight

    MS was actually pretty reserved in his responses. He was correct however – this is old news and holds no interest or revelance for 2010. Why on earth would he apologize ? Would the F1 press (or MS haters) suddenly fall in love with him ? The collected F1 press clearly has it’s head up it’s ass. Suddenly this is a story because you want to make it one. God help us if he actually wins this race.

  19. tom baker

    There isn’t a winning driver that doesn’t have or hasn’t had a ruthless side to his nature. People keep dragging up the same three or four incidents out of a career that spanned close to two decades and 250 events. We’ve seen current drivers like Alonso, Webber, and Hamilton hang opponents out to dry when the opportunity presents itself.

    Hamilton, in particular, made a habit out of stupidly rear-ending the other cars. His performance at the final two events of his rookie season has to rate as one of if not the most monumental chokes in the history of professional sports, not just motorsport. Yet all we hear about is how he “beat” Alonso when they both scored 110 points.

    Nobody, other than Schumacher, knows for sure what happened at Monaco 06. Whatever did is now long over and done with and there is no reason for anyone to bring it up again. Focus on the present, and let the past stay the past.

    • topturtle

      Tom,

      Why is it those of us seeking an explanation of his deplorable action at Monoco in 2006 can not get one. People are interested in the true reason such an outrageous action was ever performed. Those not interested , including yourself, are most likely supporters of winning at all costs as an acceptable principle. Many of us however, do not condone that philosophy. You do not want the media digging at him for the true response and a confession that he will do what ever he has to, to get the win. Tough snuggies for you if this line of questioning from the media persists. Michael just has to face up to the facts being brought out in the open, or forever be second guessed by others of his intentions. He is a grown man and he chooses to continue to play it his way. So he can continue to expect criticism. Simple as that.[

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