Schumi wins again, brother disqualified

14th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 June 2004, MONTREAL - World champion Michael Schumacher of Germany claimed a seventh victory Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix to carve his name into the Formula One record book once again.

14 June 2004

MONTREAL - World champion Michael Schumacher of Germany claimed a seventh victory Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix to carve his name into the Formula One record book once again.

There was drama after the finish, though, as race stewards disqualified Schumacher's younger brother Ralf, who finished second. Ralf's BMW-Williams teammate Juan Pablo Montoya was similarly ousted from fourth place, and the Toyota duo of Cristiano da Matta (eighth) and Olivier Panis (10th) were also disqualified.

The ruling pulled the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello into second place, while Jenson Button in the BAR-Honda moved into third. Giancarlo Fisichella in a Sauber was fourth.

The drama started when the two teams were summoned by stewards shortly after the race. The governing body, FIA, heard representations from the two teams, who were disqualified four hours later.

Williams technical director, Sam Michael, did not contest the ruling and blamed a "mistake" by the team.

"There was no intention to cheat, but we accept the decision of the FIA," he said.

Schumacher is the first F1 driver to win one race seven times, after his previous victories at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003.

The Ferrari star came to Montreal with six wins each in Canada, France and Belgium, a tie with the late Ayrton Senna (Monaco) and Alain Prost (Brazil, France).

Schumacher has redefined the sport over the last decade. His many records include career marks for world titles (six) and race wins (77), plus world championship points in a season (144 in 2002).

Schumacher made the most of a two-stop strategy to win his 77th career race from sixth place on the grid, after successfully holding off a mid-race challenge from teammate Rubens Barrichello.

The German took the chequered flag after 1 hour, 28 minutes 24.803 seconds for the 70-lap race over 305.270 kilometres.

"It sort of worked out to plan. We knew we had a strong car. We knew we wouldn't get the pole and concentrated on the race," Schumacher said. "We managed it another time. It's fantastic."

But the German acknowledged that things could have looked different had Barrichello managed to overtake him.

"It was critical," Schumacher said. "Had he overtaken me, who knows?"

Barrichello said that he tried his best, but that overheating brakes and an earlier second pit stop denied him the chance of reversing the Ferrari pecking order.

"I pushed like hell, but the brakes were cooking. The only chance I had was to overtake him on the track or go longer. But I only had a little fuel left," said Barrichello. "He got another win. I wish I could have it."

The disqualification also benefited McLaren-Mercedes, who took fifth (Kimi Raikkonen) and sixth (David Coulthard), as well as Jordan, for whom German Timo Glock, who was racing in his first Grand Prix, finished seventh, edging out his teammate Nick Heidfeld in eighth.

Schumacher commands the standings after eight of 18 races with 70 points, with Barrichello second on 54 points and Button third with 44 points going into next Sunday's United States GP in Indianapolis.

The competitive Renault team, by contrast, met disaster in the form of the first technical failures of the season. Jarno Trulli had to retire second after starting from third place on the grid, and Fernando Alonso followed in the second half of the race.

Felipe Massa crashed his Sauber at high speed into a tyre wall in the closing stages but escaped unharmed.


Subject: German news

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