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GP Week : Issue 94
SEVEN-times world champion Michael Schumacher has apologised to former team-mate Rubens Barrichello for his over-aggressive defence of position in last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, after initially refusing to say sorry for the pair's near-contact. The apology was published on his official website, but only in German. He admitted that the move had been too harsh: "Yesterday right after the race I was still in the heat of the action, but after I watched the scene with Rubens again, I must say that the Stewards are right with their assessment: the manoeuvre against him was too harsh." Schumacher added that he was sorry that the move might have been thought of as dangerous: "Of course I wanted to make myself difficult to overtake, but I wasn't seeking to endanger him with my move. If he had this feeling, I am sorry, that was not my intention." Schumacher's apology may be a case of "better late than never", but it will do little to repair his crumbling reputation as his much-publicised return continues to go south. It has also been rumoured that the apology was ordered by Mercedes-Benz bosses in order to stem the flow of negative publicity. Schumacher apologises to Barrichello Admits stewards were correct to punish him F1 NEWS >> For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... MORE details about the 2012 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas have been trickling out this week, after local newspaper the Austin American Statesman got their hands on confidential documents relating to the event. Organisers recently unveiled the future location of the purpose-built facility, while also confirming the identity of the project's primary financial backer. According to the confidential documents, construction of America's first purpose-built Formula One facility will cost in the region of US$180m, US$70m less than the original US$250m estimate, with construction due to begin in November or December. Organisers are projecting that the economic impact of the grand prix will be about $300m annually, based on an optimistic attendance figure of 300,000. The 18-month construction project is expected to create 1,500 jobs, and although only 40 full-time employees will be needed to keep the track running on a year-round basis, some 1,200 temporary jobs will be created each year to help run the Grand Prix. Alongside the running of the grand prix, it is hoped that the track will be held open for 250 days per year, hosting such events as NASCAR, IndyCar and drag racing, along with traditional track days and club racing. Texan track build to cost US$180m Plans to keep track open 250 days/year 11