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Customs bungle wobbles Schumi

2011-10-30 10:07

WOBBLE WOES: A delay at Indian customs meant Ferrari was missing a wheel-balancer - which is why, apparently, Michael Schumacher had problems at Buddh.

NOIDA, India - A customs bungle dented Michael Schumacher's Indian F1 GP hopes on Saturday after vital tyre-checking equipment was held up by Indian border officials.

The fuming seven-times champion missed out on the top-10 shoot-out by only 18 thousands of a second after suffering tyre vibration and will start halfway down the field in 12th position on Sunday.


Afterwards, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn revealed the team was unable to run a final check on Schumacher's tyres before qualifying because some of their equipment had been held up.

Brawn said: "Normally for race tyres we do a final check for balance to make sure they're OK. Unfortunately we didn't have the equipment. Part of it arrived, we didn't get all of it. So we couldn’t use it.”

“Pirelli balances the tyres, we just like to do a final check. I think most of the teams do. If you have a tyre vibration, particularly in a race, it's a serious issue. We'll get Pirelli to re-check out tyres."

Brawn said he would not know if Schumacher's tyres were unbalanced until he received the car's technical data but the problem also plagued the German at the previous Korean GP and had to retire.

Brawn added: "Sometimes things move, you lose a balance weight, or a tyre moves and it can deteriorate, so we'll get those wheels and tyres checked. A driver can feel 20 grams out of a balance on a tyre quite severely.”

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