Mike Stevens | Aug 9, 2010

Jos Verstappen was not impressed with Michael Schumacher's next-day apology for his defensive driving in Hungary.

After initially suggesting that Rubens Barrichello's complaint was connected with his six years alongside him at Ferrari, the seven-time World Champion apologised on Monday with a statement on his website.

But Dutchman Verstappen, a former teammate of Schumacher's at Benetton in the mid 90s, wrote in his latest column for De Telegraaf: "Be a man immediately after the race and apologise then - that would have come over a lot more sportsmanlike."

It is rumoured that Schumacher's apology was encouraged either by Mercedes, or by his friend, former Ferrari boss and current FIA President Jean Todt.

Meanwhile, Verstappen said he was also surprised by Ferrari's handling of the Hockenheim team orders affair.

"Can someone explain to why they were so stupid, because I really don't understand," said the former Minardi driver.

"There are a thousand and one ways to change the positions of your two drivers without handing out team orders.

"They could have held up Massa in a pitstop, or had some problem with the fuel, or whatever you would like to imagine.

"If they had played it cleverly, none of this would have happened," said Verstappen, referring to the Italian team's $100,000 fine.

He also does not think Ferrari will escape next month's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council disciplinary panel with a mere fine.

"Especially for the rich teams, fines do not inflict much pain.

"For me, Ferrari would have a conditional disqualification for one or two races, so it is known what happens when these tricks are played," Verstappen said.

(GMM)

 

Minardi Backs Alonso For 2010 Title

Gian Carlo Minardi has tipped Fernando Alonso to win the 2010 World Championship.

After a recent slump for the Ferrari team, the Spaniard's title challenge bounced back into life at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring with a healthy 43 points haul.

And Team President Luca di Montezemolo is quoted by Tuttosport: "The next two races on fast circuits (Spa and Monza) should be good for us."

But while Flavio Briatore manages both Alonso and the current championship leader Mark Webber, he is tipping the Australian driver to win.

"Mark is a driver capable of exceptional feats. He has now reached a maturity and inner calmness that can take him really far," the Italian is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

And Renault's new team boss Eric Boullier has also been quoted in the media as criticising Alonso's lack of motivation last year, earning a strong rebuke in the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

"I had wondered whether the statements of Eric Boullier even deserved a mention," said columnist Raul Romojaro.

"It's too bad he had nothing better to do: like find some solutions to their own problems," he added.

Minardi, the founder of Alonso's first F1 employer in 2001, said he believes in the double world champion's 2010 challenge.

"He has an added value and is a driver who can impose his personality on the technical staff, who know he always gives 100 per cent, and the rest comes from the development of the car," said the Italian.

"And in this highly competitive championship, the mismanagement at Red Bull could be decisive," Minardi said.

He also rates Webber, who is another former Minardi driver: "He is a great and undervalued driver, but Red Bull are inexperienced at managing two top-level drivers."

(GMM)

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