A question of seven centimeters

Michael Schumacher's attempt to stage a dead heat at the United States Grand Prix failed by just seven centimeters, according to the Ferrari telemetry. Jean Todt confirmed to journalists that calculations based on the speed of the cars and the gap between them revealed that the gap between the two men as they went across the line was less than three inches.

There has been much speculation since the race as to whether or not Michael Schumacher meant to let Rubens Barrichello win or whether he intended to win the race himself. Schumacher himself said initially that he was aiming for an absolute dead heat but later said that he had let Barrichello win as a pay-back for what happened in Austria.

The general consensus in the Media Center was that Michael made a mistake and did not intend that Rubens Barrichello should win the race, a result which started some of the local journalists complaining that the public had been cheated by Ferrari team orders. This does not appear to have been the case. Television footage after the finish line showed Schumacher and Barrichello signalling one another trying to figure out which of them had won the race.

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