On This Day

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  • May 27 down the years

When Schumacher's reputation 'lay in ruins'

Michael Schumacher is pushed back to the pits after stopping seconds from the end of qualifying. © Press Association
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2006
Perhaps the low point of Michael Schumacher's career came in qualifying at Monaco when he was found guilty of deliberately obstructing other drivers in the final minute. "The stewards' ruling confirmed the belief of most observers than he had feigned a loss of control, halting his Ferrari on the track and stalling its engine in order to impede the efforts of rivals who were making a last effort to displace him from pole position," wrote Richard Williams in the Guardian. "His reputation, however, lies in ruins. When Schumacher protested his innocence at the subsequent press conference, he looked out into a sea of faces ranging from the sceptical to the derisively disbelieving." Schumacher gave a less than convincing defence. "I have to admit that certain things must have looked a bit curious from the outside but there were reasons for that and I don't really want to elaborate on it. It's not really anyone else's business even."

2001
Michael Schumacher's win at the Monaco Grand Prix was overshadowed by a pit-lane row involving McLaren boss Ron Dennis who denied claims he told Enrique Bernoldi he had the power to end his career after accusing him of holding up David Coulthard. Bernoldi was in front of Coulthard for 35 laps after Coulthard started at the back of the grid when he stalled in the formation lap. Bernoldi said: "Ron and Norbert [Haug] came up to me after the race in the pit-lane. They were very aggressive. They told me 'if you continue to drive in that sort of way again, you are not going to be in F1 for very long'. I was very scared, they were very aggressive." Dennis countered that Arrows ordered their driver to block Coulthard to guarantee more television exposure. "'It was quite a while after the race when I talked to him and I was cool, calm and collected and I was not angry," Dennis said. "I just told him that in my opinion it was unsporting behaviour."

2007
Lewis Hamilton remained joint-leader of the drivers' championship after finishing runner-up for the fourth time in his debut season at the Monaco Grand Prix. He finished behind his McLaren team-mate, double world champion Fernando Alonso. "It's my first season in formula one and here I am finishing second, so I can't complain," Hamilton said. It was McLaren's 150th F1 win and its 14th at Monaco.

1990
Ayrton Senna, starting from pole, was about the only driver to avoid a mass first-lap pile-up in Monaco caused when Gerard Berger slammed into Alain Prost. On the restart, Senna again dominated and built up enough of a lead to allow him to nurse his ailing engine home. Derek Warwick appeared set for his team's first championship points of the season when he took his foot off the clutch to ease his cramp and stalled his Lotus.

1979
Jody Scheckter led the Monaco Grand Prix from start to finish to pip Clay Regazzoni by less than a car length with Carlos Reutemann less than eight seconds back in third. John Watson was the only other car to complete the distance.

1951
A brilliant drive in appallingly wet conditions from Juan Manual Fangio won him the Swiss Grand Prix and cemented his reputation. "His fearless passage through the circuit's innumerable fast bends gained him the sincere admiration of all," wrote Autosport, "elevating him still higher in the ranks of Grand Prix drivers." He had been haunted by running over a black cat while on a reconnaissance drive round the track the night before the race. "I had resisted the temptation to let myself to be dragged down by superstition," he said.

1942
Piers Courage, who was born in Colchester, was the heir to the Courage brewing empire and was educated at Eton - and while this funded his early days in motor racing, he soon proved good enough - if erratic - to be offered a drive for Lotus. After a succession of teams and a handful of good results, he was killed at the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix.

1942
Born on the same day in Uxbridge, Robin Widdows' only Grand Prix was at the British Grand Prix in 1968. His first love was bobsleigh, and he represented Great Britain in the two and four-man bob at the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics. He was also the holder of the record for the fastest time on the famous Cresta Run in 1965.

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