Following Michael Schumacher's crushing victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, race stewards chided his brother Ralf for colliding with BAR's Takuma Sato and fined Ferrari for a pitlane infringement.

Following Michael Schumacher's crushing victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, race stewards chided his brother Ralf for colliding with BAR's Takuma Sato and fined Ferrari for a pitlane infringement.


CARtoday.com reported on Sunday that Schumacher continued his domination of the F1 season by claiming a virtually unchallenged victory at Sakhir on Sunday. His team-mate, Rubens Barrichello, finished second, ahead of Jenson Button (BAR Honda), Jarno Trulli (Renault), Takuma Sato (BAR Honda) and Fernando Alonso (Renault).


Ferrari's chief title rivals, Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes, floundered. Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to retire from the race when his McLaren-Mercedes suffered engine failure. Team-mate David Coulthard stopped with seven laps to go.


Williams-BMW secured a meagre two constructors' championship points by virtue of Ralf Schumacher's seventh-place finish. Australian Mark Webber clinched eighth place when Juan-Pablo Montoya's Williams-BMW developed gearbox and throttle problems and dropped from third to 13th in the closing stages of the race.


Following the race, stewards told Ralf to restrain his driving manoeuvres after they adjudged that the German could have avoided a collision with Sato as the Japanese driver attempted to re-take fourth place on lap seven.


The German appeared not to have left the BAR enough room as Sato put his car alongside the Williams-BMW on the inside going into the second corner. The resulting collision knocked Ralf's Williams-BMW into a spin, and he dropped down the field after coming in at the end of the lap to have the car inspected for suspension damage.


"It was a racing incident," said Ralf. "He was a bit optimistic to think that he could immediately get back the position he had just lost."


But Sato saw it differently: "We were side-by-side going into Turn 2 and he didn't even give me an inch, he just came towards me."


"Later in the race I had the same situation with Coulthard but obviously I left a car's width for him on the track and still managed to overtake him," he added. "I explained that to the stewards and they said that they were happy and that there was no need to look further at the incident."


In a separate incident, the stewards fined Ferrari the equivalent of R64 000 after a close call between Barrichello's car and Trulli's Renault in the pitlane. Trulli was on the way into his pit during the first stops as Barrichello was about to exit his. Ferrari was judged to have allowed Barrichello to leave his pit too early, forcing Trulli to take evasive action.


But the fine does not detract from the fact that the Ferraris were in a race of their own at the front. Both Schumacher and Barrichello made perfect starts to fend off the expected challenge of Montoya and drove away for the rest of the afternoon.


Michael Schumacher said: "It was hard work because the brakes were marginal and we had to keep an eye on the tyres. Both tyre companies were fighting with blisters so you had to tread a fine line."


Montoya looked equally comfortable in third place until the final 10 laps when he dropped way off the pace. That allowed first Button and Trulli, then Sato and Alonso, to pass, and he lost a further five places on the final lap as he limped home to 13th place.


Button dropped back a couple of places at the start, but fought his way up the field. He passed team-mate Sato when the Japanese ran wide and damaged his front wing on lap 18, and then closed in on Trulli, who he passed in the course of the final pit stops.


"It's fantastic. This one was a little more difficult ," Button said. "Starting sixth wasn't the best position for me. But it was good to fight through the field and the car seemed very good throughout the race."


Sato recovered well from his early incident, and in the closing laps held off Alonso, who drove a brilliant race in the Renault.


The young Spaniard started 17th after braking problems ruined his qualifying lap on Saturday and during the race, he dropped further back at the end of the first lap when he pitted for a new front wing.


But he fought back superbly, including winning a feisty battle with Webber, to make it into the points.


With the ten points he earned for Sunday's victory, Schumacher (who already has wins at the Malaysian and Australian Grands Prix under his belt) leads the driver's world championship with 30 points. His nearest competitor is Barrichello, who has 21 points.


Ferrari is a whopping 29 points ahead of Renault in the race for the constructor's title race.

Original article from Car