Schumacher sets single season win mark

Budapest, Hungary (Sports Network) - Ferrari's Michael Schumacher captured the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring near Budapest, and in doing so, set the all-time single season win record at 12 victories.

The No.1 Ferrari driver crossed the finish line 4.696 seconds ahead of runner- up Rubens Barrichello.

The victory was the 82nd of Schumacher's F1 career. It also clinched the manufacturer's championship for Ferrari, a record 14th overall and sixth consecutive, and guaranteed that a Ferrari driver will win the 2004 drivers championship.

"Even after a superb start of the season everybody still kept going...and came up with new solutions," said Schumacher. "They worked very well at Hockenheim and again here. It was a great turnaround from last year (when Schumacher was lapped by winner Fernando Alonso)."

With five races remaining in the 2004, Schumacher leads teammate Barrichello by 38 points (120-82). Jenson Button is a distant third with 65 points.

This race was never in doubt from the moment the Ferraris arrived in Hungary. They sat one-two on the grid and except for a great start by the defending champion Fernando Alonso, were never under attack.

The Spaniard started fifth on the grid behind Ferrari and the two BAR/Honda machines, but quickly passed the Button and Takuma Sato off the starting line. The Renault briefly came alongside Barrichello in a battle for second, but could never get past the No.2 Ferrari.

Meanwhile, Schumacher was off the line quickly at built a lead of five seconds over his teammate after just 10 laps. He continued to expand his margin through the race and after 50 laps held a 19.1-second lead over Barrichello and 47.4 seconds over Alonso.

Following the final round of pit stops, the six-time champion eased off the gas pedal and enjoyed the final laps en route to his seventh consecutive victory.

Alonso, Juan Montoya, Button, Sato, Antonio Pizzonia and Giancarlo Fisichella complete the points-scoring positions.

After a year's absence from the schedule, the F1 series will return to the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Sunday, August 29th where Schumacher will likely clinch his seventh Formula One drivers title.

By The Source
Aug 15, 2004
© Copyright 2004-2005

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