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Schumacher pays price for Yamamoto collision 29 Sep 2007

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107 returns to the paddock after crashing out of qualifying
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Saturday, 29 September 2007 Schumacher collides with Yamamoto Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107 after he crashed out of qualifying
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Saturday, 29 September 2007 Sakon Yamamoto (JPN) Spyker.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Saturday, 29 September 2007

Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher fell victim to the wet and foggy weather at the Fuji Speedway on Saturday, after colliding with Sakon Yamamoto during qualifying. Schumacher locked up in the Japanese circuit’s final corner late in Q1 and ran into the back of Yamamoto’s Spyker.

“The conditions out there were not too bad but visibility was quite poor,” explained Schumacher. “I thought he had seen me. He moved to the outside and seemed to decide fairly late to turn in - I guess he hadn't seen me. I expected him to leave the door open and when he didn't that was it really.”

The German had just completed a time quick enough to get through to Q2, but his TF107 was too badly damaged to continue. After taking Nico Rosberg’s engine penalty into consideration, it means he will start Toyota’s home race from 15th on the grid.

The collision also prevented Yamamoto from improving his fastest time and the Japanese driver will occupy the final grid slot in front of his home crowd. Despite the crash, Yamamoto remained philosophical, blaming the F8-VII’s poor balance for his disappointing performance.

“Today was a strange day as the morning session was cancelled after we had done just one installation lap and we had to go without any data into qualifying,” he said. “We tried the extreme weather tyres and I felt the track conditions might allow more grip with wets so we changed, but I struggled to get a good balance on the car and couldn't improve my times. It is a shame, but as always I am going to try to do my best in the race.”

Both Schumacher and Yamamoto will be hoping for better luck - and conditions - on Sunday for the race itself.