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Thu Apr 24 03:10:03 SAST 2014

Schumacher saves Mercedes money after pitstop bungle

Reuters | 16 April, 2012 08:110 Comments
F1 Grand Prix of China - Race
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP prepares to drive during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 15, 2012 in Shanghai, China
Image by: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Race winners Mercedes were fined 5000 euros (R52000) on Sunday for allowing Michael Schumacher to leave the Chinese Grand Prix pitlane without a front wheel being properly attached in a bungled pitstop.

The fine for an unsafe release would have been greater for the German constructor, for whom the amount was little more than small change, had the seven times Formula One world champion not acted quickly to limit the danger.  

“The prompt action of the driver, in stopping the car as soon as the problem was noticed, is taken into account in the penalty determination,” said race stewards in a statement.  

Schumacher, who had started on the front row alongside team mate and eventual winner Nico Rosberg, pulled onto the grass and retired on the 13th lap.  

“I felt there was something wrong immediately and especially in turn three when I put pressure on the right side of the car,” said the 43-year-old German.  

“I feel sorry for the guys who always work so hard and give their best. But as we all know, that’s part of the game.”  

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