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  F1: Schumacher takes French title
Updated 04 July 2004, 17.13
Michael Schumacher celebrates crosses the finishing line
Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix after fighting a tactical battle with Fernando Alonso.

Despite being in pole position at the start of the race and leading until half-distance, Renault's Alonso lost out to the world championship leader.

Ferrari used unusual tactics to get ahead during pit stops, giving Schumacher his ninth win in ten races.

Rubens Barrichello took third place, while Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button and David Coulthard completed the top six.

Private battle

Michael Schumacher celebrates
Schumacher celebrates
Schumacher and Alonso had a private battle at the front as no-one else was able to get close to them.

Trulli catapulted up from fifth on the grid following a strong start, to be third by the first corner on lap one.

The Italian, who won in Monaco in May, held off threats from Button and Barrichello from about half-distance.

But near the end Barrichello slipped through.

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F1: Alonso takes the French pole
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