Date: 16th September 2011 at 10:12am
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One of the highlights from the Italian Grand Prix last weekend was the battle between the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

In the absence of any competition for championship leader Vettel, attention quickly moved away from his Red Bull disappearing into the distance at the front of the race and moved to the battle between the seven-time F1 champion and the 2008 F1 champion.

In an intriguing battle, Hamilton had the quicker car on most areas of the track, but with the McLaren reaching its rev limit, the Mercedes was quicker down the straights.

This combination lead to a monumental battle between the two over a number of laps.

At times it would appear that Schumacher would make two moves to block Hamilton, something that is forbidden under FIA guidelines, one incident of this was very clear, while others were more subtle.

Schumacher also slammed the door shut on the aggressive Brit at one stage forcing the McLaren onto the grass.

The BBC commentary team certainly expected some of the incidents to be reviewed by the race stewards, while many in the media would indicate that Lewis Hamilton had been punished for far less obvious infringements this season.

But Schumacher was not investigated by the stewards and Hamilton was quick to play down the incidents.

That has left it as a big talking point following the race. Did Schumacher break the rules? And why was it acceptable at this race when in previous races similar moves were punished?

At the Frankfurt Motor Show chairman of Daimler Dieter Zetsche was quizzed on what he thought of the race and he told the press: ‘Michael did a great job with a car that is still not yet quite at the same level as our best competitors,’ as quoted by Autosport Magazine.

‘It was a thrilling battle over twenty laps; it was pure racing. I was so excited that I almost wanted to climb inside the TV! It was absolutely of the highest class.

‘And if Nico [Rosberg] hadn’t been crashed out by another car on lap one, we could even have seen two drivers in that position. It was a great race.’


The current poll on VF1 asks: Did Schumacher over step the mark in battle with Hamilton?

The results couldn’t be closer at the time of writing this article with a complete 50%-50% split.