Schumacher wins US Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher on Sunday became the first driver in any series to win five races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Michael Schumacher remains the king of the United States Grand Prix, no matter the size of the field. The seven-time Formula One champion became the first driver in any series to win five races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, taking his fourth straight on the four-kilometer, 13-turn road course at the famed Brickyard on Sunday. Schumacher was not particularly proud of his win here a year ago when he raced against only five other cars on Bridgestone tires after the 14 cars entered on Michelin tires withdrew moments before the start because of a safety issue. It was an embarrassment for Schumacher and the rest of F1, especially when spectators reacted to the strange situation by throwing beer and water bottles, and many of the disgruntled fans left long before the checkered flag. On Sunday, there was a first-lap accident which took out eight cars, but the rest of the race was pretty much business as usual as the Ferraris of Schumacher and teammate Felipe Massa dominated for a 1-2 finish. Massa, who started alongside pole-winner Schumacher, took the lead at the start and stayed out front until the first pit stops. Schumacher trailed Massa by just under one second before the stops and came out of his pit on lap 29 in front of the Brazilian by nearly three seconds. Reigning Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, who won six of the first nine races and four in a row heading into Sunday, was never in contention in this one and wound up fifth. He led for one lap before making his first stop on lap 31. That left Schumacher out front and the rest of the race was a runaway. It was the third victory of the season and the 87th of his career for the 37-year-old Schumacher. But, more important, the win cut Alonso's championship lead from 25 to 19 points with eight of 18 races remaining. Giancarlo Fisichella, Alonso's Renault teammate, finished third, followed by Toyota's Jarno Trulli. The only other drivers to win as many as four here are A J Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, who all accomplished the feat in the Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR's Jeff Gordon in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. (AP)