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  Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Williams boosted by battle
Michael Schumacher had to work hard to beat brother Michael at Hockenheim
Ralf Schumacher took the battle to his brother
Williams technical director Patrick Head has praised the progress made by his team at the German Grand Prix.

Williams failed to stop Michael Schumacher scoring a ninth win of the year at Hockenheim but they made him work for it after a series of disappointing races.

Ralf Schumacher chased his brother hard for much of the race and might have taken the lead at the first pit stops had it not been for bad luck in traffic.


This was a lot stronger performance - we have to build on that
Patrick Head
Williams technical director

He was on course for second before being forced to make a late-race pit stop.

The German ended up third, with team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya promoted to second.

Germany was the first time in six races that Montoya had not been on pole position.

But that was an indication that Williams' Michelin tyres were better suited to race conditions than they had been since the Canadian race in early June.

Williams had been particularly disappointed by their performance at the French Grand Prix two weeks ago, when they were outpaced by McLaren as well as Ferrari.

Head said: "Magny-Cours was a weak performance, and this was a lot stronger. We have made a lot of progress during the last week - we have to build on that."

Williams technical director Patrick Head
Head was pleased with Williams' progress

Head said Ralf Schumacher's problem was a "progressive loss of air pressure in the pneumatic system.

"BMW made the call that it was safer to call him in," Head added.

"It's a pity for Ralf, but at least he was still on the podium."

Montoya was equally as quick as his team-mate but was held up in the first part of the race after falling behind McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

It took him 12 laps to pass the Finn - which he did with a brilliantly audacious move - and by then he was too far back to challenge.

Montoya said: "The car went off the line well but then it bogged down a little bit and that let Kimi past me.

"That ruined my race. Once I was past him I started doing the same pace as the guys in front but I was too far back.

"Still, sometimes it's better being lucky than good."

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

News and analysis

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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