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   Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Schumacher celebrates in style
Michael Schumacher leads brother Ralf and Rubens Barrichello at the start of the German Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher leads away at the start

Michael Schumacher has achieved his dream of celebrating his fifth world championship with a victory at his home race.

The Ferrari star, who won the title in record time in France a week ago, held off a determined challenge from his brother Ralf Schumacher at the German Grand Prix.

But Ralf did not finish second - he lost the place to team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya with a late-race pit-stop to fix a loss of hydraulic pressure on his car.

Ralf managed to get out of the pits in third place ahead of Ferrari number two Rubens Barrichello.

It was a very tight battle between Ralf and myself

Michael Schumacher

It was Michael Schumacher's ninth victory of the year, equalling the all-time record for the total number of wins in a year which Schumacher shares with Nigel Mansell.

It was also the first time Schumacher had won the German Grand Prix for Ferrari.

But Williams' predictions that they would provide a tougher challenge to Ferrari than in recent races proved correct thanks to a strong performance from their Michelin tyres.

Michael Schumacher was able to build up an early lead in his Bridgestone-tyred Ferrari, but the Michelins improved as the laps went by and Ralf was able to close in at the end of the first stint.

The Ferrari was stronger in the second stint, and through clever use of traffic and relentless consistency, the world champion was able to make his second stop with comfort.

Schumacher said: "It was a very tight battle between Ralf and myself.

Ralf Schumacher finished third, while Rubens Barrichello dropped back to fourth after a refuelling problem
Ralf Schumacher held off Rubens Barrichello for much of the race

"All of us struggled a little with temperatures today. The tyres were blistering and I had to fight quite hard to keep my lead at the end of the first stint.

"We were a little concerned about what would happen with the second and third stints, but thankfully they were OK."

Had Ralf not been held up as he lapped Jarno Trulli's Renault before the first stops and by Jacques Villeneuve as he came into the pits, the battle would have been even closer.

Ralf said: "It was a very disappointing day for me, everything that could go wrong did go wrong."

But even so this was the toughest challenge Ferrari had faced since Michael Schumacher was saved by a blown engine for Juan Pablo Montoya at the Canadian GP.

Montoya had shown similar pace to Schumacher, but his hopes of a win were wrecked when he lost a place to McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen at the start.

It took Montoya 12 laps to pass Raikkonen, which he did in scintillating style after a thrilling battle in which they were side by side for six corners.

Eventually, the Colombian went down the inside of the quick right-hander into the Stadium section, but Raikkonen, despite being off the track, would not give way.

The two raced side by side to the next corner, the Sachs Curve, where Montoya outbraked the Finn on the outside to claim fourth place.

Bad day for McLaren

By the time Montoya was into fourth place, though, he was more than 15 seconds behind Michael Schumacher and too far behind to join the lead battle.

He looked set to finish fourth, but passed Barrichello when the Brazilian suffered a refuelling problem at his second pit stop, before benefiting from Ralf Schumacher's problem.

The McLaren team had a bad race. David Coulthard was fifth, but he was a long way off the pace of the Ferraris and Williams and was lapped by the winner.

And the team made the mistake of not changing Raikkonen's tyres at his first pit stop - he suffered a rear tyre blow-out during his second stint which wrecked his hopes.

Nick Heidfeld was sixth for Sauber.

 BBC Five Live's Jonathan Legard
"Another race, another victory"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

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Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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