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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 April, 2003, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Schumacher ends barren run
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor at Imola

Reigning champion Michael Schumacher
Schumacher raced despite the death of his mother
1 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
3 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
Michael Schumacher has brought to an end Ferrari's disastrous start to the Formula One season with victory in the San Marino Grand Prix.

The German's first win of the year came after a tactical battle with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who did two pit stops to Schumacher's three.

The two men were less than two seconds apart with one stop left each, but Schumacher held on with help from a slow final stop by McLaren.

Rubens Barrichello closed right up to Raikkonen in the last three laps after winning a close battle for third with Ralf Schumacher, but the Finn did enough to hold on to second place.

The Brazilian, who was delayed by a problem with a front wheel at his final pit stop, passed Ralf with a clever manoeuvre at the end of lap 51.

Michael has given us a tremendous boost in very difficult circumstances
Ferrari technical director
Ross Brawn

David Coulthard was close behind the Williams at the flag.

Fernando Alonso was best of the rest for Renault in sixth place, ahead of the second Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya, which was delayed by refuelling problems.

Jenson Button took the final point in eighth place for BAR, whose other driver Jacques Villeneuve retired with a fire in the engine bay.

Both Schumacher brothers produced strong drives in the face of personal adversity.

DRIVERS' STANDINGS
K Raikkonen (McLaren) 32pts
D Coulthard (McLaren) 19
M Schumacher (Ferrari) 18
F Alonso (Renault) 17
R Barrichello (Ferrari) 14
R Schumacher (Williams) 13

They had flown to Cologne in Germany on Saturday to be with their ailing mother, who died during the night.

Michael raced wearing a black armband, but did not spray champagne on the podium or speak to the media after the race.

Ralf, who has suffered a trying start to the season, raced with a black stripe on his helmet in his mother's memory.

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt said: "It was very difficult for Michael today and he did a job because he felt he wanted to do the job.

"He did fantastic work for the team. On top of what he does as a driver it is important he has shown what he is as a man."

Ralf Schumacher leads brother Michael through a corner early in the race
Ralf Schumacher got ahead of his brother at the start

Michael Schumacher's victory, which extended his record to 65 career wins, was relatively comfortable despite the pressure from Raikkonen.

But he did have one scary moment when he ran wide at Piratella - a fast, fourth-gear corner - on lap 43 and put two wheels on the grass.

The five-time champion tracked his brother closely through the first part of the race, trying to pass him several times as the Michelin tyres on the Williams went through their traditional "down cycle".

Ralf was able to ease the pressure when they came up to speed again after about 10 laps.

But Michael passed his brother in the course of the first stops and thereafter had only to worry about Raikkonen.

The Finn was close behind Schumacher when the McLaren came in for its final stop, but Raikkonen had a slow stop and his slim hopes of victory were gone.

"It was a good race for us," said Raikkonen, who now leads the drivers' standings by 13 points from team-mate Coulthard. "The team was great and the strategy worked well."




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Legard
"Schumacher flinched only after he released his seatbelts"


FIA president Max Mosley
"Ferrari were a bit unlucky in the first three races"



SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX

SCHUMACHER'S EMOTIONAL WIN

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE-BY-RACE
 

GET INTO F1

 
 


SEE ALSO
Schumacher pays tribute to mother
20 Apr 03  |  Formula One



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