Sunday, April 23, 2006

Schumacher Takes 2006 San Marino GP

Lap 25 and the leading players in the San Marino Grand Prix have made their first pit stops. The order is Michael Schumacher leading Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, with Felipe Massa and Juan Pablo Montoya running close together in fourth and fifth. Photo Credit: UpdateSport.Com

Former 1999 FedEx Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), and IRL's 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya, posts a podium finish by finishing third for Team McLaren Mercedes.

This from the Official Formula 1 Website -

Schumacher hangs on to victory
23 April 2006

By the end of the San Marino Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso must have been thoroughly sick of staring at the back of Michael Schumacher’s car.

For much of the second half of the race the pair were separated by barely half a second. But however much the Spanish world champion wanted to find a way past, Schumacher’s dogged defence of his position proved impregnable. And by the closing stages of the race, it was clear that Alonso had settled for second place and the eight points that go with it.

Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the third step of the podium for McLaren - but the team will have been demoralised by a relative lack of pace that prevented their drivers from getting on terms with Alonso and Schumacher. Felipe Massa ended the race in fourth place with the second Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth and Mark Webber deserves mention for a strong drive to sixth in the Williams.
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This from Reuters -

UPDATE 1-Schumacher a winner again for Ferrari
Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:09 PM BST

By Alan Baldwin

IMOLA, Italy, April 23 (Reuters) - Michael Schumacher won the San Marino Grand Prix for his and Ferrari's first victory of the Formula One season on Sunday.

It was the seven-times world champion's 85th career success, and seventh at Ferrari's home circuit, but he was harried all the way by Renault's world champion Fernando Alonso.

In a repeat of last year's nose-to-tail thriller only in reverse order, with that race won by Alonso with Schumacher failing to find a way past, the German held on to win by 2.0 seconds.

Schumacher's last victory was at the six-car U.S. Grand Prix last June, a race that turned into a fiasco when all the Michelin teams pulled out before the start.

His last real win was the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2004, a season he dominated with 13 victories.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was third for McLaren, ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa for Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen in another McLaren.

Australian Mark Webber was sixth for Williams, with Briton Jenson Button seventh for Honda and Italian Giancarlo Fisichella taking the last point for Renault.

Alonso, winner of two of the season's first three races, extended his championship lead by one point to 15 with Schumacher moving up to second overall.

The Spaniard has 36 points, Schumacher 21 and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen 18. Renault lead the constructors' standings with 51 points to McLaren's 33 and Ferrari's 30.
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