Schumacher wins US Grand Prix - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Schumacher wins US Grand Prix

29/09/2003 05:57:55 AM Comments (0)

Michael Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix, withstanding two rivals to virtually guarantee an unprecedented sixth Formula One world championship.

The 34-year-old German captured his sixth victory of the season and second in a row despite starting seventh, but pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen's runner-up effort denied the Ferrari driver his fourth successive title.

Schumacher now has 92 points to 83 for Finland's Raikkonen, whose only chance at thwarting Schumacher is to guide his McLaren Mercedes to victory October 12 in the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix while the German finishes ninth or worse.

The result left Schumacher pumping his fist and jumping for joy on the podium, knowing his title was all-but secured with his 70th career triumph.

Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya, second in the title chase when the day began, collided with Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello on the second lap and took a 10-second penalty that doomed his title bid.

Montoya settled for sixth and ranks third in the points race at 82, but a win for the BMW Williams ace in two weeks at Suzuka could only match Schumacher, who would claim the crown by virtue of more victories this season.

The 73-lap showdown over a 4.192-km course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was struck by a downpour on lap 22. Schumacher went to his Bridgestone rain tyres a lap later and kept his grip on the title as others skidded off course.

Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio won five F1 titles in the 1950s. Schumacher matched that record last year with his third crown in a row, having also won the championship in 1994 and 1995.

Schumacher won in 1 hr, 14 mins, 35.6 secs to defeat Raikkonen by 18.2 seconds.Schumacher passed Raikkonen for third place on lap 27, Ferrari's tyres proving superior to Raikkonen's Michelins on a rain-slickened track.

The rain relented after Schumacher made his move but the drenching was complete.Schumacher overtook compatriot Heinz-Harald Frentzen on lap 32 and passed Britain's Jenson Button five laps later to claim his first lead of the race. Button's BAR Honda shut down at the pit exit moments later, ending his day.

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