Support for Schumacher

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Author: Will Gray
Date: May 15, 2002
Publisher: Telegraph Group Ltd.
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 398 words

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RALF SCHUMACHER yesterday lent his support to his elder brother, Michael, following the controversial Austrian Grand Prix race result.

After the race, which Michael Schumacher won after Ferrari ordered race leader and team-mate Rubens Barrichello to let him pass, German fans were seen burning Ferrari flags around the hillside in protest and the country's newspaper headlines asked: "Did Schumacher really have to do that?"

Ralf Schumacher has called for an end to the barracking because he claims his brother, who now has double the points of closest championship rival Juan Pablo Montoya, had no say in the move.

"They should all just quickly shut up," Schumacher said. "Ferrari have got the best driver in the world, the only one who can become world champion, so that's why they support him."

Williams-BMW driver Ralf also criticised the British public's response to the race and claimed there has always been an "anti-Schumacher" agenda among much of the country's media.

His brother Michael snatched the world championship from Briton Damon Hill in 1994 when he controversially punted the Williams driver out of the final race of the season in Australia.

"Our family is not liked [in England]," the younger Schumacher said. "There is something about English media, at least some of them. They don't like the Schumachers. I don't know why. For me, whatever team-mate I have had, in the British press he was always the one who was going to bring Williams to the top."

Schumacher senior admitted, when reflecting on the Austrian race, that he always thought his first win at the A1 Ring "would be quite different", but he may still have it taken away when he joins Barrichello and the Ferrari team in front of the World Motor Sports Council on June 26, to explain their actions.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo insists he is not worried by the investigation, however, and declared that team tactics are "to be expected" in Formula One.

"We respect 100 per cent the role of the FIA," he insisted in the Italian media. "After what happened they have asked for a clarification and we will provide it."

Ralf Schumacher, however, claimed his brother's actions on the podium, when he pushed team-mate Barrichello onto the winner's step at the presentation at the end of the race, may have been "a bit too much", and admitted there may be a punishment to come.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A85940422