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   Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Schumacher ends year on a high
Michael Schumacher wins the Japanese Grand Prix
Schumacher drives past his team as he takes the flag


Michael Schumacher has ended his record-breaking Formula One season with a devastating display of superiority in the Japanese Grand Prix.

The German stormed away into a race of his own at Suzuka, to extend his own record for victories in a season to 11.

He was followed across the line by Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello, underlining the Italian outfit's domination of the year.

McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen inherited third when Williams' Ralf Schumacher retired with an engine failure with five laps to go.

Race result
1 M Schumacher
2 R Barrichello
3 K Raikkonen
4 J P Montoya
5 T Sato
6 J Button

Raikkonen headed the second Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya and the Jordan of Japanese Takuma Sato, who put in by far the best performance of his maiden F1 season.

The two points leapfrogged Sato's team into sixth place in the constructors' championship, ahead of Jaguar and the other Honda-powered team, BAR.

Renault driver Jenson Button inherited the final point when Ralf Schumacher dropped out.

Michael Schumacher's victory set up another record - he has finished on the podium at every race this year, an unprecedented achievement that is a tribute to Ferrari's preparation.

It was also his 64th career win - he is now 13 victories clear of the man in second place in the record books, Frenchman Alain Prost.


Schumacher stamped his authority on the field from the start, lapping at record pace at will and leaving even Barrichello breathless in pursuit.

It was a daunting display by the best driver in the world on one of his favourite tracks - Suzuka is ranked with Spa in Belgium as the most challenging circuit in the world.

Ralf Schumacher in the Williams-BMW at the Japanese Grand Prix
Ralf Schumacher retired from third place late on

He only lost the lead to Barrichello during the first pit-stop period, and was back in front a lap later when the Brazilian stopped.

Barrichello kept the deficit respectable - but he was still nearly 10 seconds adrift by half-distance.

Ralf Schumacher and Raikkonen battled for third throughout the race.

The German sneaked ahead of the Finn's McLaren at the start and he managed to hold him off until the first pit stops, after which the Williams eked out a small lead.

David Coulthard headed that battle early on, but he retired from third place on lap eight with an electronics problem.

Juan Pablo Montoya had an off day - he was not able to run at his team-mate's pace and he had a lonely race to fifth place.

Renault's Jarno Trulli had been on course to beat Sato for what would have been fifth place, but his car appeared to run out of fuel as he was preparing to come in for his second and final pit stop.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
"The race was totally controlled by Ferrari"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

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F1 2002
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