Michael Schumacher wins 2006 Chinese Grand Prix
Topics: Chinese Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher
October 1, 2006
Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher won the FIA Formula-1 2006 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix on the Shanghai International Circuit. Although the wet weekend was more suitable for the Michelin-tyred cars, Schumacher overtook both Renault drivers to win the race.
Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisicella started from the first line of the grid, but were unable to hold the old champion behind. The situation became irreversible after Alonso's second pit-stop, where he was delayed for more then ten seconds longer then usual because of the problems with the right rear wheel. After that, he pushed hard on the leaders, easily overtaking his teammate and closing the gap to the "Red Baron" to about 3 seconds for the final lap. Tough luck for Fernando, pit-stop problem spoiled a fantastic battle.
The other battle for the fifth place involving two Honda's, Nick Heifeld, Takuma Sato (+1 lap) and Christijan Albers (+3 laps) took place on the last lap when the slight rain touches the track. After it the Honda team driver Rubens Barichello lose the nose of his car in a hit of BMW Sauber, while his teammate, Jenson Button, has secured his fourth place (Rubens was included in the final standings on the sixth place). Incident is currently under investigation by stewards - Sato and Albers could be penalized for ignoring waving blue flags.
Felipe Massa, the second Ferrari driver, penalized for engine change, was out due to a collision with David Coulthard from the Red Bull team. McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen was first to park his car on the side of the track once again due to technical problems, while his teammate Pedro de la Rosa managed a good result.
This victory became 91st victory in Michael Schumacher's career. He regained two points more from Alonso in the drivers' championship - now they both have 116 points, though Renault team now returned the lead in the constructors' championship for just one point.
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