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Schumacher says sorry to Barrichello

Michael Schumacher defends his position against Rubens Barrichello during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher defends his position against Rubens Barrichello during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher has issued an apology to Rubens Barrichello
  • Schumacher handed 10-place grid penalty for nearly forcing Barrichello into pit wall
  • The German expressed his regret for the Hungarian GP incident on his official website
  • Mercedes supremo Ross Brawn believes Schumacher was defending his position

(CNN) -- Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher has issued an apology to Rubens Barrichello following the incident in the Hungarian Grand Prix which saw the German demoted 10 grid positions for this month's Belgian GP.

Barrichello was widely reported to have said he was "lucky to be alive" after his Williams was nearly pushed into the pit wall by Schumacher at the Hungaroring on Sunday.

The race stewards took a dim view of the incident, immediately handing the seven-times world champion a grid penalty for Spa.

And the German has now expressed his regret on his official website, saying: "After I watched the incident with Rubens again, I must say that the stewards were right with their assessment -- the manoeuver against him was too hard.

"I wanted to make it hard for him to pass. I wasn't trying to endanger him with my move. If he felt I was, then I'm sorry. This was not my intention," he added.

I wasn't trying to endanger him with my move. If he felt I was, then I'm sorry
--Michael Schumacher
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"It was pretty edgy to drive the car on the limit, so I had to fight my way through the race and at the end it was like walking on ice."

Despite the apology, Mercedes supremo Ross Brawn leapt to the defense of Schumacher, telling reporters on Monday: "It may have ended up looking in a dangerous way, but that wasn't the intent I am sure by Michael.

"Michael was defending his position, trying to encourage Rubens to go around the outside. I don't think for a moment that he saw Rubens there and thought 'I will squeeze him'.

"But it is a pretty tough business F1 and if you open up every time someone tries to attack you, then you know the drivers in F1 who don't defend and those that do."

Barrichello spent six years as Schumacher's number two at Ferrari and the incident clearly infuriated the Brazilian at the time.

Speaking to reporters, Barrichello said: "I am lucky to be here. Thankfully the wall ended when it did because there was only a hair's breadth between my wheels and the wall."

The race was won by Australian Mark Webber in a Red Bull, who now takes over the championship lead from 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton.