Michael Schumacher won his record tenth race of the season on
his favourite circuit this afternoon as Ferrari grabbed their fifth one- two of
the season. Schumacher, who had claimed his first career pole at Spa ahead of
flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen, eclipsed his own record of nine wins in a season,
which he has accomplished three times, in 1995, 2000 and 2001. Only one other
driver, Britain's Nigel Mansell, has previously collected nine wins in a
The five-time world champion, set a vicious pace from the outset, leaving 22-year-old Raikkonen trailing almost from the first lap as the Ferraris went on to control the race, which a number of drivers failed to finish. For the fans at Spa, it was simply another scene from the Schumacher show. The Belgian circuit has previously witnessed his first race (1991), first career win (1992) and the breaking of Alain Prost's career victory record last year when Schumacher won his 52nd victory.
It was also the twelfth victory of the season for Ferrari, the team's sixth one-two finish this year. The Scuderia has now won the Belgian Grand Prix thirteen times. It is Ferrari's 156th victory. Michael scored his tenth win of the season, a record in the history of the Championship. Today's result means that Ferrari has had at least one driver on the podium for fifty consecutive races.
“This result was better than we expected, as we were not sure what the situation would be in terms of temperature and tyres. Our car is simply very good on high speed tracks like this one. The car felt good and I just enjoyed myself. I watched my pace for a couple of laps to look after the tyres and after that, with me and Rubens at the front, it was a case of just bringing it home,” Michael said. “I had no problems, but having seen so many engines blow up, we eased up towards the end as we still had a margin over Montoya. It was a very nice race for me, as you don't always need to be fighting to enjoy the drive. The next race is in Monza, which obviously we would like to win as it is our home race. But I don't expect we will be so dominant, as we have seen Williams go well there in the past, but we should be very competitive. We will know more after next week's test there.”
However there were other winners on the day. Barrichello's performance also solidified his second place in the drivers standings as the season winds down. The Brazilian, who said he was happy with the weekend's work, stretched his lead over second-place rival Montoya to seven, the Ferrari driver now on 51 to Montoya's 44.
“Considering the problems I had since Friday finding the right set-up I am very happy with this result and the fact I have extended my advantage in the championship by two more points. Even this morning, I was still not happy with the set-up and honestly I made the wrong tyre choice. Before the start I did wonder how quick Kimi would be, but I got the jump on him at the start and that made life easier,” the Brazilian said. “As he tried to close the door on me, I was already alongside him at the first corner, so he had to back off and there was no way for him to get in front. I had worrying moments when both Massa and then Panis blew up in front of me. It was not just a case of trying to find my way through the smoke, as I also had to see if there was any oil on the track. I never considered asking the team if Michael would let me pass to help me get more points for second place in the championship. Michael was so dominant this weekend and got a good pole. It was clear after 3 or 4 laps I could not follow him and he deserved to win today.”
“A dream race: yet another this year. Michael took off in the lead, making the most of pole position, while Rubens, thanks to a good start, managed to make up a place to go second,” added Jean Todt. “Everything went perfectly; the car, the engine, the Bridgestone tyres, the drivers and the team. Words cannot describe the season we are having. We have proved ourselves capable of winning on all types of circuit, thanks to a really exceptional package. Now we must maintain Ruben's position in the Drivers' Championship, a result he deserves. I am also happy that this win is the hundredth that Ferrari has taken in partnership with Shell.”