AUGUST 18, 2000

German Grand Prix intruder apologizes

THE intruder who interrupted the German Grand Prix has apologized for his actions.

Robert Sehli, 47, walked onto the Hockenheim track during the race in protest at what he considered to be an 'unfair sacking' from his job at Mercedes.

After being arrested by German police and then released on bail, the Frenchmen received compensation for his firing by the Stuttgart manufacturer.

Sehli's interruption, however, cost McLaren pair Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard a one-two finish as the safety car came out while he was escorted off the track.

Hakkinen had his lead in the race severely cut and he was eventually overtaken by Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, who went on to claim his maiden Grand Prix win.

Sehli said: "I am really sorry for causing Hakkinen and Coulthard to lose the race. I didn't even know they we're leading at the time.

"I'm also a fan of Formula One and a keen supporter of McLaren-Mercedes. I wish to express my apologies for all the problems I have caused."