HOCKENHEIM, Germany (AP) - Michael Schumacher won the German Grand Prix on Sunday to tie his own record with 11 victories in a season and close in on
his seventh Formula One championship. Schumacher, who has won all but one race this season, started from the pole and finished 8.3 seconds ahead of
Jenson Button. Fernando Alonso was third.
"It's unbelievable," Schumacher said. "What a weekend. Saturday pole position, Sunday the victory."
Schumacher waved to the red-shirted fans throughout his victory lap. Then, just before the victory ceremony, he jumped on top of his car and leaped
into the arms of his team members.
"The atmosphereSunday morning, it was just fantastic, and then to win the race," Schumacher said. "It was great fun."
It was Schumacher's sixth consecutive victory, matching Alberto Ascari's single-season record set in 1952.
With the temperature on the track topping 100, Schumacher raced away from the start and built a 3.3-second lead over Kimi Raikkonen within nine laps.
Raikkonen's race ended suddenly on the 14th lap when his McLaren-Mercedes's rear wing flew off, and he went out of control into a tire barrier. He
wasn't hurt. By the 25th lap, Schumacher was nearly 15 seconds ahead of Alonso. Button finally overtook Alonso on the 52nd lap after several
challenges and even had the lead briefly three times during the series of pit stops.
Button qualified third but started 13th after he was penalized for an engine change during qualifying.
"It's difficult because I am so happy to finish second -- for me it was the best drive of my career -- but it's slightly disappointing because if I'd
started third it could have been a different story," Button said.
"If I had started where I had qualified, I think we would have really challenged Michael. It's tough to come to terms with that really."
Schumacher's Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, collided with David Coulthard seconds after the start on the first turn, lost a front wing and
dropped to 20th.
Barrichello finished 12th with a flat tire on the last lap.
Schumacher has a virtually insurmountable lead in the drivers standings with 110 points. Barrichello is second at 74, with Button third at 61,
although Button could be eliminated from title contention in the next race. Schumacher's only loss this season was at the Monaco GP, when he crashed
with Juan Pablo Montoya while both were warming up tires behind a safety car. David Coulthard of McLaren came in fourth, followed by last year's
winner, Montoya, and Jaguar's Mark Webber was sixth.
There is a three-week break before the next race, Aug. 15 in Hungar