Lucky Schumacher counts his blessings

Michael Schumacher was justifiably relieved after he was gifted third place in the British Grand Prix, partly on the back of Ferrari's legendary reliability failing his team mate Rubens Barrichello

Lucky Schumacher counts his blessings

Schumacher fumbled the start, took to the grass, lost three places, got stuck
behind Jacques Villeneuve and blocked by his own brother for a large section of the race and still walked away from Silverstone with a 20-point lead in the championship.

But he was beaten to the chequered flag for the first time this year as McLaren notched up their first 1-2 of 2000. Coulthard now has 14 points and arch rival Mika Hakkinen 12.

"I am very happy with third because I spent most of the race in eighth and as I raced towards the end around I was beginning to wonder how many points I was going to lose," said Schumacher.

"I remember Alesi fighting hard all race once and coming away with nothing.

"But if you never give up something comes right in the end."

However, even with determination on his side, Schumacher suggested that the Silverstone layout did not allow any overtaking anyway.

"There is just no way to overtake here even when you are a second a lap faster," he said.

"I had a rough fight with Ralf and enjoyed it but we had one critical moment at high speed through Bridge bend. I got three quarters past and he started shutting the door so I backed off.

"If it had not been my brother I would have reacted differently. But I didn't want to see him running into me and didn't want to see me or him getting damaged. I thought my time would come later but it didn't."

"At the end of day I am very happy to come third."

Incredibly in his thirst for a fourth victory the double champion took to the grass at over 120mph to try and gain places off the grid.

"I had a very good start, but couldn't see any doors opening so I took to the grass because that has worked before. It should have worked but it was so wet I lost momentum.

"cars went past me on every side. Button went inside, Villeneuve on the outside and then Ralf.

"Then I had a good fight with Ralf and with Villeneuve and even though I was a second a lap faster I just could not get past."

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