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Newz Forum: AUTO: Schumacher wins British GP

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posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 12:29 PM
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Jenson Button left Silverstone bitterly disappointed for the British fans after they witnessed yet another Michael Schumacher masterclass at the British Grand Prix. After a miserable summer of sport, the expectations of a nation rested on the shoulders of Button, with hopes high the 24-year-old could deliver.
 

Roared on by a sell-out 100,000 crowd, many waving a St George Cross to match Button's change of helmet design, the BAR star could only manage fourth place at the end of the 60-lap race.

There was understandable dejection at the sight of the all-conquering Schumacher easing to his third victory at Silverstone, his 10th win in 11 races this season, and the 80th of a career which seems certain to include a seventh world title by the end of the year.

Unlike at six previous grands prix this season when Ferrari have finished one-two, on this occasion it was a one-three as Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello sandwiched McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, whose second place was his best result since the final race of last year in Japan.

BBC Sport

The Ferrari driver looked on course for an easy win when it became clear just after half distance that he was making one less pit stop than the Finn. A huge crash to Jarno Trulli brought out a safety car and gave Raikkonen a late chance, but Schumacher held on.

Rubens Barrichello was third for Ferrari, followed by Jenson Button's BAR and Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams. Giancarlo Fisichella finished sixth for Sauber after an impressive drive from the back of the grid, and David Coulthard and Mark Webber took the final points-scoring positions for McLaren and Jaguar.

Schumacher spent the early laps in fourth place, behind Raikkonen, Barrichello and Button. But the world champion stayed out for several laps longer than any of them before his first stop on lap 15 and rejoined the track in the lead just ahead of Raikkonen.

The two went round nose to tail until Raikkonen's second stop on lap 28, and when Schumacher stayed out until lap 37 - seven laps beyond half distance - it became obvious that he would not need to stop again. That should have meant the German had a comfortable last part of the race, as Raikkonen's final stop would have given the Ferrari star a lead of more than 20 seconds.

But Trulli lost control of his Renault at well over 100mph heading into the Priory corner on lap 40, smashed into the wall, spun three times and somersaulted before coming to rest the right way up. Officials sent out the safety car while Trulli, apparently uninjured, was helped from his car by doctors and the barriers repaired.

The safety car period meant that Raikkonen could make his final stop and not lose any ground to Schumacher. And when the race was restarted, Raikkonen quickly passed the two backmarkers who were between himself and the Ferrari and set about challenging for the lead. But Schumacher had enough in hand to hold him off and win by 2.1 seconds.




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