Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Schumacher makes more history in Canadian GP

REUTERS , MONTREAL

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday to celebrate his seventh victory in eight starts.

The world champion punched back from his lowest start position of the season to beat younger brother Ralf to the chequered flag and become the first Formula One driver to win the same grand prix seven times.

It was the German's 77th career victory and third in a row at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.

Ralf, who had given Williams their first pole position since last August and led from the start, finished second ahead of Schumacher's Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello.

Schumacher leads the 18 race championship with 70 points to Barrichello's 52. Briton Jenson Button has 43 after finishing fourth for BAR.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth for Williams, ahead of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella in a Sauber and Finland's Kimi Raikkonen in a McLaren. Brazilian Cristiano da Matta collected the final point for Toyota.

The race was a strategic slow-burner, with Schumacher's sixth place on the grid soon explained by the Ferraris' two-stop strategy compared to their rivals' three.

But there was also, all too briefly, the rare sight of Barrichello on Schumacher's tail and looking as if he might try to pass the number one.

McLaren, wrestling with their worst start to a season since Ron Dennis took charge in 1981, were first to refuel despite their comparatively low grid positions.

Italian Jarno Trulli, winner in Monaco last month and starting third, was the first retirement in a matter of meters.

It was the first time this season that he had failed to score points.

While the Renault driver pulled over and rolled to a halt, Jaguar's Austrian rookie Christian Klien triggered a second corner collision with Australian team mate Mark Webber and McLaren's David Coulthard.

While Briton Coulthard was able to continue, Webber suffered a punctured front tyre and was forced to make two unscheduled pitstops before retiring.

Trulli's Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso, an early leader during the round of pitstops, also retired on lap 45.

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