Schumacher wins French GP

Michael Schumacher, French GP 2006

Michael Schumacher, French GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in his Ferrari, his second win in a row, fourth of the season and 88th of his career. World Championship leader Fernando Alonso finished second, 10.1 seconds behind, in his Renault, followed by the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa in third, 22.5 seconds back.

Fourth place went to Ralf Schumacher in the Toyota, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth in the McLaren-Mercedes, Giancarlo Fisichella was sixth in the second Renault, Pedro de la Rosa was seventh in the second McLaren and Nick Heidfeld scored the final point in his Sauber-BMW.

At the start Schumacher led from pole, with Alonso being trapped in third place behind the second Ferrari of Massa.

Over the next 15 laps Schumacher pulled out a 7 second lead over Massa, who was the first to put on lap 16, with Alonso and Raikkonen pitting the next lap, and Schumacher, Fisichella and De la Rosa on lap 18, Webber on lap 19, Trulli on lap 20, Ralf Schumacher on lap 22, Heidfeld on lap 25, Villeneuve on lap 27, Speed on lap 28, Coulthard on lap 29 and Klien and Liuzzi on lap 32.

At lap 25, Schumacher led by 5.8 seconds over Massa, with Alonso 5 seconds further back in third, followed by Trulli, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Coulthard, Speed and Villeneuve in tenth.

On lap 26 Raikkonen passed Trulli for fourth place out of the Adelaide hairpin.

Raikkonen was the first to make his second stop on lap 32, Massa on lap 34, De la Rosa on lap 35, Schumacher and Trulli on lap 38.

On lap 39 Webber had a high-speed spin due apparently to a tyre problem, and then made his second pit stop. The Australian pitting again with body damage.

On lap 40 Trulli pitted and retired from fourth place with a brake problem.

On lap 42 Alonso made his second pitstop, followed by Fisichella on lap 45 and Ralf Schumacher and Heidfeld on lap 46.

On lap 50 Schumacher led from Massa by 20 seconds, followed by Alonso 10 seconds further back in third, Raikkonen 4.8 seconds back in fourth followed by Ralf Schumacher, Fisichella, De la Rosa, Coulthard, Heidfeld and Speed in tenth.

On lap 51, De la Rosa and Speed pitted, followed by Massa, Raikkonen, Coulthard and Liuzzi on lap 53, Villeneuve and Klien on lap 54, Schumacher from the lead on lap 55.

At lap 60, Schumacher led Alonso by 17 seconds, followed by Massa 6 seconds further behind, Ralf Schumacher, Raikkonen, Fisichella, De la Rosa, Heidfeld, Coulthard and Speed in tenth.

On lap 63 Jenson Button retired in the second Honda.