CHINESE GP - SUNDAY - RACE NOTES

Schumacher wins Chinese GP

Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Chinese GP 2006

Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Chinese GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Michael Schumacher won the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, in drying conditions, taking his seventh victory of the season for Ferrari, and leveling the Drivers Championship with Fernando Alonso, who finished second in his Renault. His team mate Giancarlo Fisichella finished third.

The win was Schumacher's 91st career victory.

Jenson Button in the Honda taking fourth place on the last lap, followed by Pedro de la Rosa in the McLaren-Mercedes in fifth, Rubens Barrichello in the second Honda in sixth, Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber-BMW in seventh and Mark Webber in the Williams in the final points paying position.

The race started under wet conditions, with Alonso taking the lead from pole, with Button and Raikkonen getting past Barrichello to take third and four. Halfway around the first lap, Raikkonen was able to pass Button to take third place and was in hot pursuit of Fisichella.

On lap 5 the order was Alonso nearly seven seconds ahead of Fisichella followed by Raikkonen, Button, Barrichello, Schumacher (16 seconds behind the leader), De la Rosa, Speed, Heidfeld and Liuzzi in tenth place.

On lap 8, Schumacher passed Barrichello for fifth place.

On lap 10 Alonso led Fisichella by 11 seconds, followed by Raikkonen, Button, Schumacher (22 seconds behind), Barrichello, De la Rosa, Heidfeld, Speed and Webber in tenth.

On lap 13 Raikkonen passes Fisichella into the hairpin to take over second place, while Schumacher passes Button for fourth place.

On lap 15, Button, complaining that his rear tyres have worn out, pits and takes on new intermediate tyres. Meanwhile Alonso goes wide in turn one, but continues.

On lap 16 Raikkonen pits from second place, followed on lap 17 by Barrichello and De la Rosa.

On lap 19 Raikkonen pulls off the track with an engine problem from fourth place.

On lap 20, the order was Alonso by 18 seconds leading Fisichella and Schumacher, followed by Heidfeld, Webber, Barrichello, Kubica, De la Rosa, Massa and Button in tenth.

On lap 21 Schumacher made his first pitstop for fuel along with Webber from fifth place, followed on the next lap by leader Alonso, changing only his front tyres. On lap 23, Fisichella pitted from the lead as the track continued to dry and the lap times tumbled.

On lap 24 Kubica pitted from fifth place, the first to put on dry weather tyres and struggled to stay on the track. On lap 25 Heidfeld pitted from fourth place. On lap 26 Kubica returned to take on intermediate tyres.

On lap 26 while Alonso's lap times struggled, his lead was down to 6 seconds over Fisichella and Schumacher, followed by Barrichello, Massa, Heidfeld, De la Rosa, Coulthard, Button and Webber in tenth.

On lap 29, Fisichella passes Alonso for the lead, and then Alonso retakes it a turn later.

On lap 29 Massa and Coulthard make their first stops.

On lap 30, Fisichella retakes the lead from Alonso, followed by Schumacher to take second.

On lap 32 Rosberg pits to take on dry tyres, followed by Button, Webber and Massa on lap 34, Alonso on lap 35 who had a 19 second stop with problems changing the right rear tyre. De la Rosa pitted on lap 36, Barrichello on lap 36 from third place, Doornbos on lap 38, Coulthard on lap 39.

On lap 40, Schumacher pitted from second place along with Heidfeld, followed by leader Fisichella and Kubica on lap 41, Schumacher pushing his way past the Italian in the first corner to take the lead.

At lap 42 the order was Schumacher seven seconds ahead of Fisichella, Alonso 22 seconds behind the lead, followed by Heidfeld, Barrichello, Button, De la Rosa, Coulthard, Massa and Webber in tenth.

On lap 46 Massa retired with damage after banging wheels with Coulthard.

On lap 48 Alonso passes his team mate Fisichella to take over second place, while Coulthard losses eighth place to Webber with a ill-handling car.

On lap 49 Button has an off-track excursion to lose sixth place to De la Rosa.

With five laps to go, rain drops started to fall once again.

On lap 55, Button retakes sixth position from De la Rosa, and overtakes his team mate Barrichello, and then takes Heidfeld for fourth - Heidfeld spinning and making contact with Barrichello taking off his front wing. De la Rosa sneaks by both to take fifth with Barrichello in sixth and Heidfeld in seventh.