Is Barrichello lying?

UPDATE (GMM) One of the three stewards on duty in Monaco last weekend has revealed the officials were too busy to consider giving Rubens Barrichello a penalty.

Ruben Barrichello

After Michael Schumacher was demoted six places for illegally overtaking Fernando Alonso on the last lap, it was suggested that Brazilian Barrichello should also have received a penalty.

Television footage during the race showed the Williams driver throwing his steering wheel onto the racing line after crashing, only for it to be collected by HRT's Karun Chandhok.

The steering wheel was then dislodged in the tunnel, only for it to be run over by the other Hispania car.

Barrichello, 37, has denied he acted recklessly by arguing that he wanted to quickly abandon the burning wreck that was facing the wrong way on the racing line.

But Paul Gutjahr, one of the four Monaco stewards, told Switzerland's Blick newspaper that the incident did not initially escape their attention.

"Actually, we had Barrichello on the list," the Swiss admitted.

He explained that the issue simply fell off the agenda in the "hectic rush" to sort out the controversial Schumacher maneuver.

05/18/10 Rubens Barrichello has defended his decision to fling his steering wheel onto the Monaco track after crashing, claiming he was looking to get out the car as soon as possible…

On lap 31 of the race the Brazilian's FW32 suffered a rear wing failure, putting him into a spin and into the barriers.

The experienced driver then threw his steering wheel out the car before getting out of the car and off the track.

Drivers are required to re-connect their steering wheel – which costs roughly $50,000 – after abandoning their car, but Barrichello has defended his actions, claiming it was a matter of safety.

"I threw the steering wheel because I wanted to get out of the car as soon as possible," he explained.

"After the shunt I was facing the wrong side of the track and the car was on fire."

Barrichello's competitors were less impressed, with the Hispania car of Karun Chandhok driving over the steering wheel soon after, before abandoning the debris further down the circuit only for his team-mate Bruno Senna to drive over it once more.

"What was he doing?," Chandhok asked.

"Charlie [Whiting] actually asked me about it. You see on the video that he just throws it," he added.

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