Montreal, Monday: In a late announcement from the stewards of the Canadian Grand Prix, it has emerged that the wall immediately prior to the pit entrance on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been reprimanded and fined $10,000 for causing an avoidable incident with Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.
The Mercedes and Ferrari drivers were fighting over ninth place at the end of yesterday’s Grand Prix, when Massa suffered front wing damage after being squeezed into the wall while attempting an overtaking move. The Ferrari driver dropped to fifteenth position and was subsequently penalised for speeding in the pit lane while attempting to change his nose.
“Having reviewed the incident between cars 3 and 7 toward the end of the race, the Stewards have decided that the wall into which car 7 was pushed was in a dangerous position and should have taken appropriate action to avoid the collision,” the announcement read. “The Stewards have therefore resolved to fine the wall USD 10,000 and issue an official warning that if such behaviour is repeated, the wall will be reminded very sternly that such behaviour should not be repeated.
“Moreover, the Stewards have declined to take action on car 3 for the incident, as the driver of car 3 should have expected a more mature and professional response from the wall in question. The Stewards hold the wall one hundred per cent responsible for the damage caused to car 7.”
Ferrari have already lashed out at the decision, with President Luca di Montezemolo particularly outraged. “These new walls are just incompetent and dangerous compared to the old, established walls that we are used to,” Montezemolo whispered, hoarsely. “Perhaps the better teams such as ourselves should be charged with providing extra walls for safer racing, taking the responsibility away from the dangerous mavericks that caused this problem.”
In a separate incident, the stewards also ordered that a strip of grass elsewhere on the circuit be dug up and moved a few metres further back on the track, as a penalty for damaging one of Schumacher’s tyres earlier in the race.