GP - Race
Michael Schumacher now leads the championship with 14 points ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya with 12 points and Ralf Schumacher with 10. Next round Brazil.
Final Order: Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya,
Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa.
Lap 56: Button finishes in 4th. Heidfeld in 5th and Massa in 6th.
Lap 56: It will be interesting to see what Juan Pablo and Michael will say next to each other.
Lap 56: Michael Schumacher finishes in 3rd place.
Lap 56: Ralf Schumacher wins the race. Montoya is second.
Lap 56: Michael Schumacher passes Jenson Button on the final lap.
Lap 55: Jenson Button looks slow and he may have a problem!
Lap 54: It looks as if Michael will finish just behind Jenson as he is catching him at a race of 2 seconds a lap!
Lap 53: Button is lapping relatively slowly but the gap to Michael is over 10 seconds and there are only 3 laps to go.
Lap 52: It looks as if Massa will score his first ever points in only his second race of the season. That is impressive.
Lap 51: The gap between Ralf and Juan Pablo drops but that is due to Ralf just slowing down and saving his tyres and engine.
Lap 50: Mika Salo is back on the track and is setting fast times. He is 12th but they are treating it as a test for the car.
Lap 49: It is fairly static at the moment as all the positions seem to be safe unless a car fails or a driver makes a mistake.
Lap 48: Michael Schumacher is closing the gap on Jenson Button but unlikely to be enough for him to challenge for 3rd.
Lap 47: The gap between Ralf and Juan Pablo is fairly static at 51 seconds. Button is dropping behind Montoya and Michael is catching him. Heidfeld and Massa are in the points.
Lap 46: Race order: R Schumacher, Montoya, Button, M Schumacher, Heidfeld, Massa, McNish, Villeneuve, Sato, de la Rosa, Frentzen, Salo and Fisichella.
Lap 45: Jenson Button is now in third. That is very impressive from the Renault driver. With just 11 laps to go, the gap to Michael Schumacher in 4th is 18 seconds. It could be close as Michael is chasing hard.
Lap 44: Montoya gets him and is now in 2nd place and 50 seconds behind Ralf Schumacher.
Lap 44: Fascinating duel between Button and Montoya. Wheel to wheel.
Lap 43: Retirements: Barrichello, Irvine, Yoong, Salo, Raikkonen, Bernoldi, Coulthard, Trulli and Panis
Lap 43: Juan Pablo is right behind Jenson Button.
Lap 42: Race order: R Schumacher, Button, Montoya, M Schumacher, Heidfeld, Massa.
Lap 42: Allan McNish in the pits from 6. Problem with one of the wheels. He is losing a lot of time.
Lap 41: Michael Schumacher pits. 8.4 seconds. He rejoins behind Montoya.
Lap 41: Michael Schumacher expected to pit on this lap. Button is currently third ahead of Montoya.
Lap 40: Barrichello is out. Engine failure!
Lap 40: Juan Pablo Montoya pits for his second stop.
Lap 39: Juan Pablo Montoya flying again. He sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:38.049. He is about to make his second stop.
Lap 38: Michael Schumacher takes 4th. Ralf Schumacher trying to lap McNish and Massa who are having their own little fight.
Lap 37: Ralf leads Rubens by 24 seconds. Michael trying to pass Button. Michael is also expected to stop.
Lap 37: Nick Heidfeld pits for his second stop from 6th.
Lap 36: Michael Schumacher takes 5th from Heidfeld. Mark Webber retires from 11th.
Lap 36: Barrichello rejoins just in front of Montoya although Montoya is expected to pit again.
Lap 35: Barrichello about to pit.
Lap 34: Race order: Barrichello, R Schumacher, Montoya, Button, Heidfeld, M Schumacher, McNish, Massa, Villeneuve, Webber, de la Rosa, Sato, Frentzen, Salo and Fisichella.
Lap 33: Irvine pits again and retires. At the front, Barrichello leads Ralf by 3.8 seconds.
Lap 33: The condition of Ralf's front tyres are pretty worn. It will be interesting to see if there will be protests from the Bridgestone camp later.
Lap 32: Ralf pits and Barrichello takes the lead however he is expected to make a second stop. Button pits too.
Lap 31: Ralf increases his lead by another second. He is heading into the pits this lap.
Lap 30: Ralf is pushing, he is now 25.6 seconds ahead of Barrichello. He posts a fastest lap of 1:38.369.
Lap 29: Ralf Schumacher maintains the gap to Barrichello at 24 seconds.
Lap 29: Irvine and Yoong touch and Irvine is now trying to pit without a front wing.
Lap 28: Montoya takes 4th from Heidfeld. At the front, Ralf leads Rubens by 25 seconds.
Lap 27: Race order: R Schumacher, Barrichello, Button, Heidfeld, Montoya and M Schumacher.
Lap 26: Ralf seems to be on a one stopper and so is Button. Salo retires!
Lap 25: Button in now third but has not stopped and neither has Ralf Schumacher who is leading.
Lap 25: Raikkonen's engine blows! Barrichello was only half a second behind.
Lap 24: Barrichello is losing time behind Raikkonen while Ralf is trying to stay in front of Raikkonen after the pits stops.
Lap 23: Michael Schumacher is in 10th place now.
Lap 22: Raikkonen could be on a single stop. He is currently 21 seconds behind Ralf who is leading.
Lap 22: Montoya pits, he too is on a 2 stopper. Bernoldi stops on the track and retires.
Lap 21: Barrichello pits. Very quick, only 6.6 seconds! and rejoins behind Raikkonen.
Lap 20: Juan Pablo passes Mika Salo and is now in 5th. Barrichello getting ready to pit.
Lap 20: Michael Schumacher pits. Is he on a 2 stop strategy ? Nick Heidfeld pits as well.
Lap 19: It certainly looks as if the Michelins are now running in perfect conditions. Montoya goes even faster with a 1:38.776.
Lap 18: Retirements: Panis, Trulli, Coulthard. Fisichella is 2 laps down. Frentzen, de la Rosa and Sato are a lap down.
Lap 18: Juan Pablo goes even faster, a 1:38.872!
Lap 18: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest lap with a 1:39.611. The gap is now 6 seconds to Rubens in front.
Lap 17: Montoya takes McNish and is now in 7th while Michael Schumacher gets ahead of Bernoldi and takes 9th.
Lap 16: Coulthard pits and retires.
Lap 16: Race Order: Barrichello, R Schumacher, Raikkonen, Heidfeld, Button, Salo, Coulthard, McNish, Montoya and Bernoldi. Michael Schumacher in 11th and is 46 seconds behind Rubens..
Lap 15: Yep yet another problem for Coulthard. He has lost two places to Button and Salo. Sounds like Melbourne again!
Lap 14: Barrichello leads Ralf by 5.9 seconds. Raikkonen is 3rd 17.9 seconds behind Rubens. Nick Heidfeld managed to get past Coulthard. Is Coulthard in trouble ?
Lap 13: Juan Pablo frustrated at his penalty is flying. He sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:39.861
Lap 12: Race Order: Barrichello, R Schumacher, Raikkonen, Coulthard, Heidfeld, Button, Salo, McNish, Montoya and Bernoldi. Michael Schumacher in 13th and is 47 seconds behind Rubens..
Lap 11: Montoya back in 9th after his drive-through penalty. Michael Schumacher in 13th.
Lap 10: Jarno Trulli retires in the pits and Olivier Panis parks his car on the grass. Barrichello increases his lead over Ralf to 4.5 seconds.
Lap 9: Montoya drives through the pit-lane. This is not a stop go penalty yet he will lose some places. He is clearly angry speaking through the radio with his team.
Lap 8: Montoya gets a drive through penalty for the first corner incident with Michael. Montoya is not impressed.
Lap 8: Juan Pablo Montoya in 6th is under investigation by the stewards.
Lap 7: Barrichello leads Ralf by 3.5 seconds. They are both getting away from the McLaren's with Raikkonen 10 seconds behind Barrichello.
Lap 6: Race Order: Barrichello, R Schumacher, Raikkonen, Coulthard, Heidfeld, Montoya, Button, Salo, Trulli and Bernoldi. Michael Schumacher in 19th.
Lap 5: Heinz Harald Frentzen manages to get going. He is a lap down. Fisichella also rejoins and is 2 laps down.
Lap 4: Takuma Sato actually crashed into his team-mate Fisichella and that is why both went into the pits with Fisichella retiring. Michael Schumacher in 19th. Montoya in 8th.
Lap 3: Both Jordans in the pit. Fisichella retires. Meanwhile Barrichello increases his lead to Ralf to 2.7 seconds.
Lap 2: Barrichello leads from Ralf Schumacher. Raikkonen in 3rd ahead of Coulthard. Montoya is 9th and Michael Schumacher 21st. Frentzen retires.
Lap 1: Michael Schumacher in the pits after losing his front wing as a result of him and Montoya touching.
Race Start: Rubens Barrichello is leading. Michael Schumacher lost his front wing. Frentzen stalls on the grid.
Race Start: Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya touch and both lose positions!
All the cars have now formed back on the starting grid waiting for the start.
Formation lap underway and the cars get away cleanly.
3 minutes to go. No dramas so far.
The sun is out now but it is windy and the chance of rain is 50%. Track temperature is at 41 degrees. Formation lap in 7 minutes.
Rubens Barrichello was the fastest man in the warm-up this morning with Michael Schumacher second and David Coulthard in third. The Renaults were in the top 6 possibly running a lighter fuel load and planning a 2 stop strategy. Kimi Raikkonen was only 19th and only covered 6 laps. Formation lap in 10 minutes.
Pit-lane has closed and all the drivers are on the grid. 15 minutes to formation lap.
Tyre wear at this track is very high and Michelin's boss
admitted that those who will be on a one stop strategy may exceed the
allowed minimum depth of groove which may cause protests after the race.
Michael Schumacher is starting from Pole position and
alongside him is Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams. Rubens Barrichello is
on the second row and alongside him Ralf Schumacher. It should be an
exciting race and lets hope they all go through the first corner without
Formation lap at 3:00 PM local time. Weather is cloudy with the current temperature at 34 degrees.