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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Schumacher 'back in title chase'
Michael Schumacher finished on the podium for the first time this season at Imola
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
3 J Button (BAR)
4 A Wurz (McLaren)
5 T Sato (BAR)
6 J Villeneuve (Sauber)
7 J Trulli (Toyota)
8 N Heidfeld (Williams)
Michael Schumacher is optmistic of catching runaway world championship leader Fernando Alonso after his strong showing in the San Marino Grand Prix.

Schumacher fought brilliantly up from 14th on the grid to challenge Alonso for victory in the closing stages.

"We will carry on along these lines and are back in the fight for the championship title," Schumacher said.

"This was a big step in the right direction; more will follow. I'll take it race by race and see what happens."

Schumacher was the fastest car on the track by more than a second once he had cleared early traffic that delayed him in the first part of the race.

And he rued a mistake in qualifying for his failure to win at Imola.

What pleased me was how much fight Michael had in him
Ross Brawn
Ferrari technical director
Schumacher's lowly grid position was the result of running off the track on his final qualifying lap on Sunday morning.

"I am happy about the race but I am disappointed about what happened to me in the morning," the world champion said.

"It could have been the perfect day for us. But we got second and had stunning pace and performance.

"That's what we will take out of the race after a tremendous effort from everyone in the team.

"Everyone was flat out working and it paid off.

"I have to say a big thank you to [tyre suppliers] Bridgestone, who suffered in the first stage of the season from some bad publicity.

"I think they will get some pretty good publicity quite soon."

Schumacher had been third quickest in Saturday's first qualifying session, but ran off the track during his second lap on Sunday morning.

Once the cars ahead of him had gone in for their first pitstops during the race, he produced searing pace to move up nine places.

He then snatched second from Jenson Button, and hounded Alonso right to the end to pick up his first podium finish of the season.

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "What pleased me was how much fight Michael had in him.

"He is so competitive, and what you saw today is that he's still got the ability.

"At his age he's got this huge passion and huge hunger to do well and he's still got that raw ability. I think he's got lots of mileage left in him.

"He relishes the competition and I think Fernando is going to be a very tough guy to beat this year. But even if we get beaten this year I suspect Michael is going to want to redress the balance next year."

Alonso savours San Marino victory
24 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Button happy with BAR improvement
24 Apr 05 |  Formula One
San Marino GP as it happened
24 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Raikkonen storms to stunning pole
24 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Renault to keep Alonso, Briatore
23 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Red Bull swap to Ferrari engines
23 Apr 05 |  Formula One

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