ITALIAN GP - SUNDAY - RACE NOTES

Schumacher wins Italian GP

Michael Schumacher, Italian GP 2006

Michael Schumacher, Italian GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Michael Schumacher won the Italian GP at Monza in his Ferrari to win his 90th career victory. Kimi Raikkonen finished seconds, some 8 seconds back in his McLaren-Mercedes, followed 18 seconds behind by rookie Robert Kubica in third in his Sauber-BMW - his first podium in only his third Formula 1 race.

Michael Schumacher, who announced at the post-race press conference that he will retire at the end of the season, now closes to within two points of Fernando Alonso in the Drivers Championship with three races remaining.

Giancarlo Fisichella finished in fourth in his Renault, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello finished in fifth and sixth in their Hondas, Jarno Trulli was seventh in the Toyota and Nick Heidfeld finished in the final points paying position in his Sauber-BMW in eighth.

At the start Raikkonen led from Schumacher, while Kubica leaped up to third and his team mate Heidfeld dropped back to seventh. Alonso made four places by lap 2 to take sixth place.

The order was Raikkonen from Schumacher, Kubica, Massa, Button, Alonso, Heidfeld, De la Rosa, Fisichella and Barrichello in tenth.

On lap 9 Nico Rosberg retired with a transmission problem.

On lap 14 Pedro de la Rosa was the first to make a pitstop, followed by race leader Raikkonen on the next lap, followed by Schumacher on lap 17 - Robert Kubica taking over the lead in just his third race for Sauber-BMW.

At lap 18 the order was Kubica in the lead from Massa, Button, Alonso, Heidfeld, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Barrichello and Trulli in tenth.

On lap 19, Massa and Alonso made their first stops, followed by Button on lap 20, Heidfeld from second on lap 21 rejoined just ahead of Alonso who just passed Button.

On lap 22 Kubica pitted from the lead, handing the lead back to Schumacher, who got out ahead of Raikkonen in the pitstop sequence.

On lap 25 the order was Schumacher 2.5 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, followed by Fisichella, Kubica, Barrichello, Massa, Trulli, Heidfeld, Alonso and Button in tenth.

On lap 26 Fisichella on a one stop strategy pitted, while Heidfeld took a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits - dropping from 8th to 11th.

On lap 29 Trulli pitted from seventh, followed by Barrichello and Webber on the next lap and Coulthard on lap 32.

On lap 34 Heidfeld passes Fisichella for seventh.

At lap 35, Schumacher led Raikkonen by 2.5 seconds followed 26 seconds further back in third by Kubica, Massa, Alonso, Button, Heidfeld, Fisichella, Barrichello and Trulli in tenth.

On lap 38 Raikkonen was the first to make his second stop, followed by Schumacher on lap 39 rejoining ahead of Raikkonen, Massa also pitted on lap 39, followed by Heidfeld on lap 40, Kubica, Alonso and Button nose-to-tail on lap 41 - Alonso passing Kubica for third coming out of the pitlane.

At lap 43, Schumacher led Raikkonen by 5 seconds, followed 23 seconds further back by Alonso, Kubica, Massa, Fisichella, Button, Barrichello, Trulli and Heidfeld in tenth.

On lap 44 Alonso retires from third with an engine failure - Massa pitting to change his tyres after going over debris.

At lap 50 Schumacher led by 7.5 seconds over Raikkonen, Kubica, Fisichella, Button, Barrichello, Trulli, Heidfeld, Massa and Webber in tenth.