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Schumi overtakes Alonso with China win

Schumacher swept to a sensational victory to seize the Formula One championship lead by the slimmest of margins.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2006 16:26 IST

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher swept to a sensational victory at a rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday to seize the Formula One championship lead by the slimmest of margins.

The seven-times world champion pulled level with Renault's Fernando Alonso on points, 116-116, but is ahead 7-6 on race victories.

With just two races remaining, Schumacher edged closer than ever to a record eighth title with a performance in difficult conditions that showed his genius shone as brightly as ever despite his decision to retire at the end of the season.

Starting sixth on the grid, he roared into the lead 15 laps from the finish to take the chequered flag 3.1 seconds clear of his Spanish rival.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella was third, allowing Renault to retake the lead in the constructors' championship by a single point after Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa collided with American Scott Speed and failed to finish.

Briton Jenson Button was fourth for Honda, ahead of McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa, after last lap chaos behind the leaders. Honda's Rubens Barrichello was sixth and Nick Heidfeld seventh for BMW Sauber.

Australian Mark Webber ended Williams' dismal run of 10 races without a point by finishing eighth.

Alonso had led from pole position, with Fisichella acting as a roadblock behind him, and looked to be steaming to his second successive Chinese victory until tyre problems on a drying track scuppered his chances after the first pitstop.

He would have been third had Fisichella not let him through.

First Published: Oct 01, 2006 15:51 IST