SCHUMACHER JR NETS SEASONAL BEST IN CANADA Michael Schumacher capitalised on a two-stop strategy to work his way through the field and score his seventh Formula One win of the season in Canada - but the Ferrari star was made to work hard for the...
SCHUMACHER JR NETS SEASONAL BEST IN CANADA
Michael Schumacher capitalised on a two-stop strategy to work his way through the field and score his seventh Formula One win of the season in Canada - but the Ferrari star was made to work hard for the 77th victory of his grand prix career. Pole position starter Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) led for much of the race's early stages, but his three-stop strategy proved to be slightly less effective than his brother's and he finished one second in arrears. It was his best result of the season to date.
At the end of a weekend in which it has scored spectacular victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours (with Audi), the latest MotoGP race at Barcelona (with Valentino Rossi and Yamaha) and the Nürburgring 24 Hours (with BMW), Michelin had to settle for a close second in Montreal - where it annexed the top five places on the grid. The story might have been different, however, had technical problems not accounted for both Renaults. Jarno Trulli was forced out at the start and Fernando Alonso pulled off just before his second and final stop, when he was reeling in the leaders.
Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) took third ahead of Jenson Button (B·A·R- Honda/Michelin), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin), Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber), Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota/Michelin). David Coulthard (Team McLaren Mercedes) might have given his team its first double points finish of the season, but he lost time when Christian Klien (Jaguar) tipped him into a spin at the first corner. The Austrian was involved in several other incidents during the race and eventually finished 13th.
Olivier Panis (Toyota) took 10th, but the other Michelin drivers failed to finish. Takuma Sato (B·A·R-Honda) started from the pit lane following a late suspension change and had fought his way into the top 10 when his engine failed. Mark Webber (Jaguar) sustained a damaged front-right tyre when team-mate Klien clipped him in the first-corner collision that also delayed Coulthard.
Sauber driver Felipe Massa crashed heavily at Turn 10 when a front wheel came off in the closing stages of the race, but he escaped serious injury.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"Most partner teams ran on our harder and this proved to be both fast and durable. Ralf Schumacher and Fernando Alonso managed to lap in 1m 14.0s and 1m 14.1s respectively after a considerable number of laps, which underlines that the tyres were capable of setting competitive times throughout a stint. It's a shame that neither Renault finished today, because both could have influenced the final result."
Pascal Vasselon, Michelin F1 programme manager:
"Our tyres have delivered strong, consistent performance all weekend and we have had no problems, irrespective of whether drivers chose to stop two or three times. It was satisfying to see the Williams team back on form. It's a shame that technical problems denied Renault its rightful opportunity to challenge at the front."