Schumacher storms to European GP win

Michael Schumacher showed that Ferrari are well and truly back after taking an emphatic victory in the European Grand Prix

Schumacher storms to European GP win

The German's fifth win at his local circuit came after he stayed out three laps longer than World Champion Fernando Alonso at the second round of pitstops, putting in three stunning laps to overhaul the Renault driver and win by 3.7 seconds.

In doing so, the seven-times drivers' World Champion cut Alonso's lead in the standings to 13 points.

Spaniard Alonso and Schumacher were never more than 1.5 seconds apart before making their first fuel and tyre stops on laps 17 and 18, from which the order remained unchanged.

But Schumacher's crucial second pitstop took just 6.8 seconds, two seconds less than Alonso's, and combined with his in-laps, gave the German a comfortable lead when he exited the pits and he went on to take his 86th win.

Alonso could not stay with Schumacher in the closing stages and slipped into the clutches of Schumacher's Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa, who stayed behind to take his first podium finish in third, and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who took fourth.

Behind them, Brazilian Rubens Barrichello took his best finish since joining Honda in fifth ahead of Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella  and Williams' Nico Rosberg, who started last after an engine change yesterday.

Canada's Jacques Villeneuve completed the points in eighth for BMW Sauber.

A first-corner incident caused the retirement of Toro Rosso's Vitantonio Liuzzi on the first lap as he was hit by Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and then went into the side of David Coulthard's Red Bull.

The Italian sustained a broken nosecone and a right-rear puncture - putting him out when the tyre burst at turn 10 - and forcing the deployment of the safety car for one lap while the Toro Rosso was removed.

Coulthard pitted for a new nosecone but retired with accident damage on lap three.

Williams' Mark Webber completed a miserable weekend when he retired at the RTL Kurve on lap 13 following a hydraulic failure.

Jenson Button dropped out from fifth on lap 29 after a power failure in his Honda, while a rare Toyota engine blow-out cost Ralf Schumacher a certain sixth place with five laps to go.

McLaren's Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya also dropped out on the same lap as Schumacher with a mechanical problem.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The European Grand Prix The Nurburgring, Europe; 60 laps; 308.863km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1h35:58.765 2. Alonso Renault (M) + 3.751 3. Massa Ferrari (B) + 4.447 4. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) + 4.879 5. Barrichello Honda (M) + 1:12.856 6. Fisichella Renault (M) + 1:14.116 7. Rosberg Williams-Cosworth (B) + 1:14.565 8. Villeneuve BMW-Sauber (M) + 1:29.364 9. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1 lap 10. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (M) + 1 lap 11. Speed  Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) + 1 lap 12. Monteiro MF1-Toyota (B) + 1 lap 13. Albers MF1-Toyota (B) + 1 lap Fastest lap: M.Schumacher, 1:32.099 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 53 Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 53 Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 46 Montagny Super Aguri-Honda (B) 30 Button Honda (M) 29 Klien Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 29 Webber Williams-Cosworth (B) 13 Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 3 Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1 World Championship standings, round 5: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Alonso 44 1. Renault 62 2. M.Schumacher 31 2. Ferrari 46 3. Raikkonen 23 3. McLaren-Mercedes 38 4. Fisichella 18 4. Honda 19 5. Montoya 15 5. BMW-Sauber 11 6. Massa 15 6. Williams-Cosworth 10 7. Button 13 7. Toyota 7 8. R.Schumacher 7 8. Red Bull-Ferrari 2 9. Webber 6 10. Villeneuve 6 11. Barrichello 6 12. Heidfeld 5 13. Rosberg 4 14. Klien 1 15. Coulthard 1 All timing unofficial 

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