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Schumacher erases Indy nightmare

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July 03, 2006 01:23 IST

Michael Schumacher won the US Grand Prix on Sunday in a Ferrari one-two that slammed the brakes on Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso's run of success.

Schumacher's 87th career win, from pole position and ahead of Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, trimmed Spaniard Alonso's overall championship lead to 19 points after 10 of the season's 18 races. Alonso now has 88 points to Schumacher's 69.

The Renault driver, ending a run of four wins and 15 podium finishes in a row, finished fifth in a field depleted by a first lap pile-up.

His Italian team mate Giancarlo Fisichella was third with Toyota's Jarno Trulli, starting from the pit lane after suspension problems on Saturday, fourth.

It was the Spaniard's worst result since he finished 11th in Hungary last July but his first finish in five visits to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ferrari's first one-two finish of the season meant seven times world champion Schumacher has now won five of the seven races held at Indianapolis since Formula One returned to America in 2000.

The German also led a Ferrari one-two at Indianapolis last season but that was a hollow victory, with just six cars starting after the Michelin-equipped teams withdrew for tyre safety reasons.

Sunday's race had the full line-up of 22 cars but returning fans might have had a sense of deja vu with the first lap wipe-out decimating the field within seconds of the start lights going out.

Just nine cars finished the race, with Germany's Nico Rosberg the only one left without a point on a sweltering afternoon at the Brickyard.

Honda's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello finished sixth with Briton David Coulthard seventh for Red Bull and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi collecting Toro Rosso's first point of their debut season in eighth place.

Seven drivers were sidelined by the opening mayhem, including both the McLarens with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya shunting the rear of team mate Kimi Raikkonen and triggering a chain-reaction.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld barrel-rolled out, without injury to the German, while Briton Jenson Button nursed his Honda back to the pits and retired as the safety car was deployed.

Midland's Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro and Super Aguri's Japanese Takuma Sato then collided moments after the safety car came in with just seven laps run.

Massa, celebrating his best result in Formula One, led from the start but handed over at the front to Schumacher after the first pitstops.

Steve Keating
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