Chinese Grand Prix leaves Schumi 'sweet and sour'

27th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004 , SHANGHAI - Ferrari dominated the inaugural Chinese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday by grabbing the positive headlines and the negative ones as well. Rubens Barrichello won the race from the pole position to assure himself of second place in the season driver's standings. World champion Michael Schumacher had to swallow his worst career finish in 12th place. "Schumi sweet and sour," said the headline in Germany's Bild daily. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said: "The world champion arrived at

27 September 2004

SHANGHAI - Ferrari dominated the inaugural Chinese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday by grabbing the positive headlines and the negative ones as well.

Rubens Barrichello won the race from the pole position to assure himself of second place in the season driver's standings.

World champion Michael Schumacher had to swallow his worst career finish in 12th place.

"Schumi sweet and sour," said the headline in Germany's Bild daily.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said: "The world champion arrived at the finish line lapped by Rubens Barrichello and after a number of errors and bad luck which by his standard would have been enough for all of his previous 210 career races."

Schumacher started from the pit lane after spinning in qualifying and engine change.

He found himself racing with the safety car in the opening lap, crashed with Christian Klien, spun after a turn, suffered a flat tyre and had to refuel with nine laps left.

The only consolation was the fastest race lap.

Schumacher even lost count of his mishaps when he said in a TV interview: "Then I had the flat tyre, oh no, there was the spin as well."

"It was a slightly more interesting race than I would have wanted," he said.

Schumacher has pop star status in China and the 150,000 fans were stunned that it was Barrichello who drove to victory in Schumacher's cool style - his second straight and ninth overall in his career.

However, not far adrift the Brazilian was Briton Jenson Button in second place for BAR and Kimi Raikkonen of Finland in a McLaren as the top three were separated by less than one and a half seconds.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was also not unhappy that Schumacher failed to dominate as in the earlier stages of the season before he clinched yet another title last month in Belgium.

"It was a good race, wasn't it? It shows shows what can happen without Michael," said Ecclestone in delight that the race was the icing on the cake of a spectacular first F1 weekend in China.

Barrichello praised his tyres for the victory, speaking of "amazing grip" in the first lap which allowed him to retain his lead from the pole position.

Button, meanwhile, had mixed feelings.

There was delight about another second place finish which assured him of third place overall in the final standings in his best career season.

But Button also contemplated missing out yet again on his first career win and the first for BAR after a poor start dropped him from third place on the grid to temporary fifth.

"I am very happy to get second place, but losing two positions at the start was disastrous. We will have to work on that. But today proved again that our first win is getting closer," he said. 

DPA

Subject: German news 
 

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