Schumacher loses out to Barrichello in Hungarian GP

Rubens Barrichello edged five-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher to win the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, and the 1-2 finish assured Ferrari of its

updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Rubens Barrichello edged five-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher to win the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, and the 1-2 finish assured Ferrari of its fourth straight constructors' title. Barrichello started from pole and cruised to his third career victory, never losing the lead except during his two pit stops in the 77-lap race. "The most important thing was to win the constructors' title," Barrichello said after capturing his second race of the season. "We had a great car, great pit stops, everything was great today," he said. Michael Schumacher, who had won nine of the previous 12 races, already has clinched a record-tying fifth title. By finishing 0.4 seconds behind Barrichello, he just missed becoming the first driver to win 10 races in a season. His younger brother, Ralf, was third in a BMW-Williams, 13.3 seconds behind in an uneventful race. Ferrari had dominated the weekend, being fastest in practice and qualifying, when Barrichello also edged Michael Schumacher. The victory vaulted Barrichello to second place in drivers' standings, five points clear of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished only 11th Sunday. "We had the best car out there, it was just a matter of bringing it home. Winning 1-2 is just great," Barrichello said. Ralf nearly beat Michael to the first corner but the Ferrari driver held off his younger brother. "It was not very pleasant to start on the dirty side, Ralf tried to squeeze from inside, but it was fair of him not to try anything strange, we know each other well," Michael said. Montoya, in the second BMW-Williams, dropped from fourth to seventh place after touching wheels with the Renault of Jenson Button. After 20 laps, Jacques Villeneuve, a former champion and winner in Hungary in 1996 and 1997, had to pull out with an engine breakdown in his BAR-Honda. Montoya then went wide in a corner and Kimi Raikkonen passed him on the inside in his McLaren-Mercedes. The Colombian damaged his car slightly while driving through gravel and had to make an early pit stop that dropped him to 17th. Schumacher made his first pit stop on lap 31, and was followed by Barrichello in the next lap. In between, sixth-placed Button made a braking mistake and ended up stalled in the gravel. With all the pit stops completed and half the race over, there were no changes in the front, with Barrichello ahead of Michael Schumacher, Ralf, Giancarlo Fisichella in a Jordan, Felipe Massa in a Sauber-Petronas and Raikkonen. While Michael stayed within a second of Barrichello, Ralf was more than 20 seconds behind. In lap 46, David Coulthard spun into the gravel but returned to continue in his McLaren-Mercedes. In the final few laps, Michael Schumacher appeared happy to let Barrichello lead the way and did not challenge the Brazilian. But with five laps left in the race, Schumacher drove the fastest lap on the 3.975-kilometer Hungarian circuit in one minute, 16.207 seconds, within half a second of Barrichello. "There was no intention to pass, I was just having some fun. After that, I just drove safely home. Second place was the maximum I could get today and I'm happy with the weekend," the older Schumacher said. Barrichello covered the 77 laps in one hour, 41 minutes, 49.001 seconds. Ralf spent most of the race too far behind to challenge the two Ferrari cars but never threatened from behind. There are four races left in the season. By leaving the two BMW-Williams cars behind, Ferrari is now assured of its 12th constructors' title.(AP)