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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Eighth French win for Schumacher
Michael Schumacher leads Fernando Alonso (right) and Felipe Massa (left)
Schumacher pegs back Alonso further with his second straight win

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher continued his resurgence with his eighth win in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

The German dominated from pole to edge closer in the standings to Renault's Fernando Alonso, who finished second.

Felipe Massa looked like making it a Ferrari one-two until he pitted for a third time, allowing Alonso to pick up eight points to Schumacher's 10.

Red Bull's David Coulthard took ninth place, while fellow Briton Jenson Button retired his Honda on lap 62.

Button's miserable weekend continued after starting the race in 17th following a poor qualifying session on Saturday.

I have to say the car, the tyres, the whole package really worked superbly

Michael Schumacher
The Englishman never looked in the points in his new revised Honda and added to the troubles of the team who also lost Rubens Barrichello early on.

But Renault breathed a sigh of relief by the end of Sunday's race as their exercise in damage limitation appeared to pay off with a two-stop strategy.

Renault found themselves outclassed by Ferrari and their Bridgestone tyres on a tough Magny-Cours circuit but Alonso saw his championship lead cut by just two points after making the most of Massa's third stop to claim second place.

It was the 88th career win for Schumacher, who now trails Alonso by 17 points in the driver standings.

The seven-time world champion, 37, crossed the line 10.131 seconds clear of the field, lapping all but the top seven, for his second consecutive victory.

Despite being 100 years since Renault won the first French Grand Prix at Le Mans, it was Italian team Ferrari celebrating with first and third on the podium.

"Looking at this race...we clearly have made up ground," said Schumacher afterwards. "It (the championship) is far from being over.


"Obviously it's going to be a battle in development but it's a great result when you see this weekend and how difficult it has been at times.

"We were not sure how the race would go because we hadn't done any long runs due to some problems we had on Saturday.

"But I have to say the car, the tyres, the whole package really worked superbly and it was a great result."

Schumacher's brother Ralf was fourth for Toyota, ahead of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault in sixth.

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, back on the F1 scoresheet after a year's absence, dusted off the cobwebs to seal seventh as he replaced axed McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Germany's Nick Heidfeld took the final point for BMW Sauber.

French Grand Prix final positions after 70 laps:

1. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari one hour 32 minutes 7.803 seconds
2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault +00:10.131 seconds
3. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 00:22.546
4. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 00:27.212
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren -Mercedes 00:33.006
6. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 00:45.265
7. Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) McLaren 00:49.407
8. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1 lap
9. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull - Ferrari 1 lap
10. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso - Cosworth 1 lap
11. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW Sauber 1 lap
12. Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull - Ferrari 1 lap
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso - Cosworth 1 lap
14. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams - Cosworth 2 laps
15. Christijan Albers (Ned) Midland - Toyota 2 laps
16. Franck Montagny (Fra) Super Aguri - Honda 3 laps


Jenson Button (GB) Honda 61 laps completed
Mark Webber (Aus) Williams - Cosworth 53 laps
Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 29 laps
Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 18 laps
Tiago Monteiro (Por) Midland - Toyota 11 laps
Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri - Honda 1 laps

Fastest Lap: Michael Schumacher, 1:17.111

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