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Michael Schumacher given penalty after Jean-Eric Vergne crash

Schumacher slapped with 10-place grid penalty after crashing into Vergne

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 23 September 2012

Michael Schumacher has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix after smashing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne in Sunday's race in Singapore.

Seven-times world champion Schumacher admitted liability for the accident that occurred just after the midway point of the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. It followed the restart after a safety car period for HRT's Narain Karthikeyan hitting a barrier across Anderson Bridge.

In what was a repeat of two previous incidents – one at this track last year and one earlier this season when Schumacher ran into the rear of Williams' Bruno Senna in Barcelona – the stewards decided to heavily penalise the 43-year-old for the next race in Japan.

Mistake: Schumacher was penalised for crashing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne

Mistake: Schumacher was penalised for crashing into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne

Schumacher collected a five-place penalty for the subsequent race in Monaco after hitting Senna, one which saw him start sixth after he had set the fastest time in qualifying.

On this occasion, given it was a repeat offence, the punishment was doubled, with the stewards stating: 'The penalty takes into account this is the second similar offence by the driver this season.

'The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate the braking performance of the car with lower grip following a safety car period.'

Carnage: Schumacher admitted guilt for the accident appearing to apologise to Vergne (below)

Carnage: Schumacher admitted guilt for the accident appearing to apologise to Vergne (below)

Carnage: Schumacher admitted guilt for the accident appearing to apologise to Vergne (below)

For his part, Schumacher said: 'It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race when I ran into the car of Vergne, who accepted my apology straight afterwards.

'I am not totally sure why it happened. I was braking, but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be and I could not avoid running into the car in front of me.

'We have to find out what happened. Up until then I think it would have been possible to get some points.'

Sorry: The veteran is facing a ten-place grid drop at the Japanese Grand Prix

Sorry: The veteran is facing a ten-place grid drop at the Japanese Grand Prix

As the two men climbed out of their cars, Mercedes driver Schumacher waited for Vergne to come across, immediately putting his arm around the Frenchman before they headed back to their respective garages.

Toro Rosso driver Vergne said: 'I was focussing on catching Perez at that point, trying to brake late to catch him, so I am not too sure what happened exactly.

'I assume Michael braked a bit too late and could not avoid running into me.

'There is no sense in being angry about it because these things happen in racing and even the most experienced driver on the grid can make mistakes. 'He said sorry and that's the end of it.'

Sebastian Vettel tries kung fu ahead of Chinese Grand Prix

Vettel goes kung fu fighting (and yes, he's fast as lightning) ahead of China showdown

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UPDATED:

16:37 GMT, 11 April 2012

Backmarkers beware: Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel has been limbering up for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix with some Kung Fu fighting.

After calling Indian tail-ender Narain Karthikeyan a 'cucumber' following a clash at the last race in Malaysia, the Red Bull driver got down to work on Wednesday with palms outstretched and legs braced.

The 24-year-old was making a martial arts short film, 'Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon', in a promotion for team partner and car manufacturer Infiniti alongside Chinese actress and model Celina Jade.

Don't mess: Sebastian Vettel (left) with Hollywood and martial arts actress Celina Jade (right) in Shanghai

Don't mess: Sebastian Vettel (left) with Hollywood and martial arts actress Celina Jade (right) in Shanghai

Jade, who starred recently alongside Russell Crowe in 'Man with the Iron Fists', taught the German some basic moves at the Shanghai film lot while the double champion gave her the benefit of his driving expertise at the nearby Tianma circuit.

Vettel showed some enthusiasm for his part, sending a roughly dressed local sprawling to the cobbles with a deft twist of the wrist.

One of the scenes in the film, to be released in May, involves the champion tying up one of the villains with a seat belt while reminding him of the importance of safety.

Movie star: Vettel was filming for martial arts short 'Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon'

Movie star: Vettel was filming for martial arts short 'Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon'

'I don't do Kung Fu to work out but it's something that I have always liked, the Bruce Lee movies,' he said. 'I could imagine in future to do a course or some classes.

'It's quite difficult to pick it up and there's a lot of things you have to remember. A lot of body control. There's a lot of similarities, making the right calls in the right moments and remembering a lot of things and doing what is important even under stress.'

Asked whether he might do a demonstration for HRT driver Karthikeyan, who called him a 'cry baby' and unprofessional after Sepang, Vettel grinned.

Tough guy: The two-time world champion from Germany leaves an opponent stricken on the ground

Tough guy: The two-time world champion from Germany leaves an opponent stricken on the ground

'No, no, no. We've calmed down,' he said after signing autographs for local fans including a bunch of excited girls wearing Afro wigs in the red, black and yellow colours of the German flag.

Jade said she had talked to Vettel mostly about balance and control, as well as some blocking.

'Some punching, a little bit of kicking,' she smiled. 'He's really fast at picking it up.

Unusual training methods: Vettel is warming up for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend

Unusual training methods: Vettel is warming up for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend

'It's funny, because one of the moves that we went through today is a deflecting move where you kind of go underneath somebody and you twist them like a steering wheel. So that's applicable.'

Vettel won 11 races last year with a record 15 poles but failed to win either of the two races so far or qualify on a front row dominated by McLaren. He is sixth overall.

Australian Grand Prix 2012: HRT sit out race after poor qualifying

HRT to miss out on Australian Grand Prix after dismal qualifying show

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 17 March 2012

HRT drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan will have to watch the Australian Grand Prix from the sidelines after failing to earn a reprieve from the stewards.

Spaniard De la Rosa and Indian Karthikeyan both fell foul of the 107 per cent rule in qualifying as the team's miserable start to the new Formula One season continued.

After failing to attend any of the pre-season tests and with De la Rosa's car only managing one installation lap in practice after passing scrutineering at the 11th hour, it was no surprise the team suffered.

Struggling: HRT's Narian Karthikeyan locks up a brake in Melbourne

Struggling: HRT's Narian Karthikeyan locks up a brake in Melbourne

Although HRT lodged a request with the stewards to be allowed to race, the four-man panel that includes Johnny Herbert decided to reject it.

At least the stewards have been consistent as the same occurred in Melbourne a year ago, which means for the second successive season the opening race of the campaign will feature 22 cars rather than 24.

Team principal Luis Perez-Sala said: 'It's obvious we still have a lot of work ahead to be where we should be, and even more to improve on that potential.

Showing the strain: HRT driver Pedro de la Rosa in the team garage

Showing the strain: HRT driver Pedro de la Rosa in the team garage

'Today was the first time we were able to complete both sessions with both cars and that is positive.

'Although today wasn't the result we desired, we've fixed some of yesterday's issues and were able to spot out the weakest points.

'Now we can work on them and find a solution. These solutions aren't immediate but with every day and every session we're in better condition.

'Time is precious, and next week in Malaysia we'll have another four sessions to prepare for the next race.'