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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
As it happened: Italian GP
Positions after 53 of 53 laps:

1 M Schumacher (Ferrari)

2 Raikkonen (McLaren)

3 Kubica (BMW Sauber)

4 Fisichella (Renault)

5 Button (Honda)

6 Barrichello (Honda)

7 Trulli (Toyota)


Latest updates (all times BST):

Lap 53: Seven-time world champion Schumacher moves closer to an eighth title as he guides his Ferrari to victory on the final lap. He takes the chequered flag to the hoots and cheers of the crowd and raises his fist in the air. Raikkonen comes home for second and Robert Kubica claims his third podium for BMW Sauber in third.

As the crowd pour onto the track to greet Schumacher, Alonso's car is lifted away from the track by a crane. The engine failure means Schumacher moves to just two points of Alonso in the standings.

Lap 51: Schumacher is 7.5-seconds ahead of Raikkonen as he cruises through the last two laps. For British fans, Button is 35 seconds adrift of the Ferrari race leader and is again struggling to inject pace in his Honda.

Lap 49: "Schumacher can do the necessary now and he has rolled it off here."
BBC Sport analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 48: Massa is stuck down in ninth place in the second Ferrari while Kubica seems set to grab his first podium place of his career as he continues impressively in third spot.

Lap 47: Schumacher holds a 7.7-second lead over Raikkonen at the front of the race. And if all goes to plan, the 37-year-old will close the gap on Alonso to two points - with news on his future to follow after the chequered flag falls.

Lap 45: Massa took some damage in the fallout from Alonso's failure. He was forced into some evasive action, locking up into Turn One and has to come back to the pits.

Lap 44: Things get much, much worse for Alonso, who gets out of his car as his engine blows. He leaves the track with plumes of smoke pouring from his Renault. The tifosi's cheering from the stands is audible even above the drone of the race.

"It has blown up at a most crucial point in the championship and it will make a huge difference to the race. The crowd are loving this as it is nice and clear for Schumacher now."
BBC Sport analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 42: The tension is beginning to rise with just a few laps to go in Monza.

Lap 41: Alonso and Kubica pit at the same time and the duo emerge side-by-side. Even better for the Renault man he comes out ahead of Massa, which means he should have secured his podium spot - and protected some vital points.

Lap 39: Schumacher comes in to pits and gets in and out in 6.8 seconds. The Ferrari man comfortably comes back out in front. Massa soon follows Schumacher into the pits. Alonso now has to put his foot down if he has any chance of making up the time on Massa before he has to return to the Renault pits.

Lap 38: Raikkonen comes into pit for a final time. The McLaren team do such a good job that the Finn is able to retain second place.

Lap 36: Raikkonen cuts the gap to Schumacher to two seconds while Kubica is coming under increased pressure from Massa and Alonso. The defending world champion has now set his sights on getting past Kubica and Massa and getting a podium spot.

Lap 35: Schumacher has to keep on grinding it out now at the front as he holds a 2.6-second lead over Raikkonen. Christian Klien is the last man to pit and he returns to the Red Bull garage.

Lap 33: Fisichella is looking a little sluggish in his Renault and Heidfeld nips past him on the second chicane to move up to seventh.

Lap 32: Michael Schumacher loses his momentum a little as he drifts wide of traffic at Turn One. His lead over the chasing Raikkonen is 3.3 seconds.

"It cost Schumi one second so that was an expensive rough ride across the curb. He also risked damaging the car as well."
BBC Sport analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 30: Barrichello is the last of the frontrunners to pit but he comes back to the Honda garage to refuel.

Lap 29: Massa runs wide going into the first section of the Lesmo curve but he controls the car despite a scary-looking skid, replete with sprays of dirt. Trulli, who must be on a one-stop policy, finally brings his Toyota into the pits just as Alonso was starting to close him down.

Lap 26: Fisichella comes into the pits from third.

Lap 25: Heidfeld comes back into the pits to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane on his stop. The German had looked bafflingly impressive as he appeared ahead of Alonso and Button - now we know why.

Lap 23: Kubica pits from the lead and Schumacher is back where he wants to be, leading in his Ferrari.

Lap 22: Heidfeld comes into the pits while De la Rosa slows to a halt and is forced to retire,

Lap 21: Button comes in to refuel and initially emerges on his out lap in front of Alonso but it does not last long as the Spaniard is able to pass him.

Lap 19: Massa and Alonso both come into the pits. The Ferrari driver comes out in ninth and forces Jarno Trulli onto the chicane as he squeezes past. Things do not go brilliantly for Alonso as he feeds back in 10th.

Lap 18: Kubica leads a Grand Prix for the first time in his career. The Polish driver deserves it too after an aggressive start which saw him move up from sixth to third.

Lap 17: Michael Schumacher comes into the pits. The Ferrari emerges from the pits just ahead of Raikkonen in sixth.

Lap 15: Race leader Raikkonen comes into the pits and he is cleanly away, feeding back in in seventh place. The McLarens were clearly light on fuel in the opening stages which could suggest their pace is not as genuine as first thought.

Lap 14: Michael Schumacher is not able to make any real impression on Raikkonen's lead. He sets another fast lap of 1:22.574 while McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa is the first to come into the pits.

Lap 12: Alonso closes in on Button but after a moment of indecision he decides not to pass the Honda driver for fifth.

"Fernando Alonso is not climbing all over the back of Button which is puzzling. At the front, Raikkonen is showing some true pace which is encouraging."
BBC Sport analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 10: Nico Rosberg crawls into the Williams pits and looks like he will be the first retirement as he has lost drive. It is more bad luck for the German, who is forced to end his race prematurely for the fourth race in a row.

Lap eight: A quick look at the Britons and Button is staying steady in fifth while David Coulthard's Red Bull has also made no moves up from his grid position in 14th.

Lap seven: Schumacher continues to put pressure on Raikkonen and takes another chunk out of his lead with a flying lap of one minute, 23.316 seconds. There is also an interesting battle for third developing between Robert Kubica and Ferrari's Massa with the BMW Sauber driver holding firm for now. And surprisingly there have been no retirements or accidents yet either.

Lap four: Michael Schumacher makes his intentions clear as he responds to Raikkonen's pace with a new fastest lap.

Lap three: The leaders are getting away at the front of the field with Raikkonen already more than a second ahead of the chasing Schumacher.

Lap two: Alonso weaves his way through the field and moves alongside a fading Heidfeld and then cuts the chicane to move up to sixth. The race officials will have a look at that manoeuvre and he could face further punishment.

Lap one: A little tussle round the first turn sees Nick Heidfeld squeeze past Michael Schumacher but he concedes ground and Schumacher stays second behind Kimi Raikkonen.

1300: The cars line up for the parade lap in a glistening heat haze in Italy and off they go to get some heat into their tyres.

1255: "Alonso is feeling very bitter about the punishment when he was going flat out. I have yet to find anyone in the paddock who can understand it and there is a bad feeling here."
BBC Sport analyst Maurice Hamilton

1251: Button cools off his head with water before fastening his crash helmet and sliding into his car with the rest of the drivers.

1246: Most of the drivers are taking shelter under their umbrellas on the grid. All of them except Alonso, who is managing to keep his cool even though he is trapped next to his Renault surrounded by a media throng.

1243: There are plenty of Ferrari fans, decked out in red and waving flags, ready to cheer on Schumacher and Massa from the stands. Even better for them, the tree-lined circuit in Monza is bathed in sunshine with temperatures up to 29C and rising to 42C on the track.

1230: The Monza paddock is buzzing with talk of Alonso's controversial punishment. The Renault team are at a loss to explain just why their driver has been penalised and Williams driver Mark Webber calls the decision "ridiculous".

Fernando Alonso drops from fifth to 10th on the Monza grid after being penalised for allegedly holding up Ferrari's Felipe Massa in qualifying.

The Spanish world champion has reacted bitterly, saying: "I don't consider Formula One like a sport anymore."

But the race stewards' decision to uphold Ferrari's claims is final - and is another twist in the gripping title race between Alonso and Michael Schumacher.

The German has a considerable advantage over Alonso as he starts second to McLaren's polesitter Kimi Raikkonen.

With four races left to go, Schumacher is 12 points behind Alonso while Ferrari have closed down Renault's lead to just two points in the constructors' championship.

Whatever happens in front of Ferrari's home fans in Monza, Schumacher's future could become a little clearer in the immediate aftermath.

Ferrari will announce their 2007 driver line-up after the race - but will the 37-year-old's name be among them?

Raikkonen is to move to Ferrari and he is looking for his first win of the season after clinching his second pole in impressive fashion, beating Schumacher by just 0.002secs.

Britain's Jenson Button benefited from Alonso's punishment and starts fifth on the grid for Honda.

His team-mate Rubens Barrichello set the lap record here of one minute 21.046 seconds in 2004, when he drove for Ferrari.

The first races were held in Monza in 1922 but last year's Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya will not be at the tree-lined circuit to defend his title, having left F1 to join Nascar next season.



SEE ALSO
Italian Grand Prix photos
10 Sep 06 |  Motorsport
Bitter Alonso hits out at penalty
10 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Raikkonen steals Monza spotlight
09 Sep 06 |  Formula One
As it happened: Italian GP qualifying
09 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Monza, Italy
17 Feb 06 |  Circuit Guide


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