Ralf Schumacher claimed his fifth career victory, and first for the season, at an incident-filled European Grand Prix on Sunday. Has this win helped silence his critics?
Ralf Schumacher claimed his fifth career victory, and first for the season, at an incident-filled European Grand Prix on Sunday.
The younger Schumacher took the lead after Kimi Raikkonen dropped out after leading from pole position when his McLaren’s engine blew. Schumacher finished ahead of Williams team-mate Juan-Pablo Montoya and Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello. It was an early birthday present for Ralf, who turns 28 on Monday. It was also his first victory since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year.
Fernando Alonso was fourth and Michael Schumacher finished in fifth place after a slight collision with Montoya left him spinning his wheels in the gravel trap. He managed to get back into the race with the help of the marshals.
Williams moved into second place in the constructor’s championship with 82 points, 13 points behind Ferrari. Michael Schumacher leads the standings with 58 points, with Raikkonen second on 51 points and Ralf Schumacher moving into third spot with 43 points.
The Williams driver was criticised after the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month for not attempting to pass his brother to take the victory. He finished in second place.
Schumacher said at the time that it would have been stupid to attempt to pass his brother. “If I don't see a chance I won't try a stupid move for the sake of it. Scoring points is always better than finishing off the circuit. I am used to the criticism now,” he said.
But he could not resist taking a swipe at his critics on Sunday, saying that his victory proved that even a “bad driver can win”.
"This is great - it's been a long time. I have had a couple of pole positions but been unable to turn them into victory and taken a bit of criticism, but this proved a bad driver can win races. If you look at where we started I can't remember a team turning it round so much," said the younger Schumacher.
Ralf Schumacher started off strongly passing Michael for second place behind Raikkonen. The Finn looked set for victory until his engine blew on the 26th lap and Ralf took the lead.
It was a bad day for McLaren. After losing Raikkonen, David Coulthard came off second best in his battle with Fernando Alonso. The Scot tried to pass Alonso with four laps remaining, but the Spaniard moved into the inside lane as Coulthard made a move to do the same thing. The McLaren driver was forced to move to the outside and ended off the track in the gravel trap.
1 Ralf Schumacher (Williams)
2 Juan-Pablo Montoya (Williams)
3 Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari)
4 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
5 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
6 Mark Webber (Jaguar)
7 Jenson Button (Jaguar)
8 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber).
Original article from Car