JUNE 4, 2006
Rear view mirror to 1997
In the light of Michael Schumacher's recent activities in Monaco, it is perhaps worth noting some of the things that were said in 1997 after the incident at Jerez de la Frontera when Schumacher tried to drive Jacques Villeneuve off the road and was docked all his points from that year's World Championship.
"I have to admit that I did make a mistake," said Michael. "I did what I did - and I have to accept the penalty. It happened to me, which I didn't want to admit at the time. But now I understand what I did. The most important thing for me is to learn from this, to look forward into the future."
At the same event FIA President Max Mosley spoke Schumacher's punishment being a deterrent.
"It sends a message to all drivers at all levels of the sport that if you do something you shouldn't do when a championship is at issue, you will be excluded from that championship," he said. " It means you will not be permitted to gain anything by engaging in an illegitimate act. It is absolutely no good imposing a penalty that isn't a deterrent. We had to find something that would be a clear deterrent, not just in F1 but also all the way through the sport, by demonstrating that we could, and would, take away a championship position altogether. Even if he had then ended up with more points, he would not have won the championship, it would have gone to Villeneuve, because he did something he should not have done."
In the light of these remarks, it is fair to say that Michael got off lightly at Monaco.
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