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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Delight for Schumacher and Massa at Nurburgring

European GP - Race
Passing Fernando Alonso to take the lead during the second round of pit stops, Michael Schumacher controlled the remainder of the race to take his second race win of the season and 86th of his career.

While Schumacher celebrated his back-to-back win, Felipe Massa drove a strong race in the sister 248 F1 and recorded his first career podium position.

Michael Schumacher
“A great race, great strategy and SPONSORED LINKS
a great performance from the whole team. I am happy for all of them and I think the result shows we are back, with car, engine, tyres and fuel all working superbly. At the start, I was in Alonso’s slipstream and I thought I was safe in second place as I could not see anything in my mirrors, but then luckily, I realised that Felipe was coming alongside me very quickly, but I managed to stay ahead. Apart from that, my only moment was when I ran a bit wide in turn 6, before the first pit stop. I pushed too hard as I thought I could catch Fernando there. It’s a very nice feeling winning my home Grand Prix. Unfortunately though, we have only made up two points on Fernando, but every point counts. I am also pleased for Felipe, getting his first F1 podium today and now I am looking forward to another good fight in Barcelona.”

Felipe Massa
“I am very happy. Today, I stood on the podium for the first time and it was a really great feeling. I am also happy that this coincided with a win for Michael, as it shows the team is really in the fight for the title.
We have to give it our all, race after race. I made a great start to such an extent that I found myself alongside Michael, but as he had the inside line at turn one, he was able to stay ahead. The strategy worked very well and the Bridgestone tyre performance was fantastic. Only in the final stages, when I had taken on a used set, was I unable to push to the maximum. I got close to Alonso, but I had Kimi closing on me quickly. There were a few difficult moments, but I managed to keep third place, while also trying to get by Fernando. Now, I am tempted to keep my race suit on: the champagne smells nice!”

Ross Brawn
“We are very very happy. It was a challenging race, although we knew we had the pace to win if we made the correct decisions at some keys stages of the race. The team and the drivers did a perfect job. The Bridgestone tyres were very strong throughout the race and we got good performance from the whole package. Shell has done a great job with all the fluids in the car and that all came together and helped our performance today. It’s clear we are going to face a tough challenge for the rest of the season, but this is a great way to start it.”
Jean Todt
“A great result after a very close fight. The sixteen points we got today are no miracle, but come from a perfect combination of many elements: two drivers of the calibre of Michael and Felipe, the team, the chassis, the engine, the high-performing Bridgestone tyres and the fundamental support from Shell, in terms of fuel and lubricants. This success, following on from the win in Imola, is further encouragement to give our all, already starting next weekend in Barcelona, as we try and reach the goals we set ourselves at the start of the season. There is still a very long way to go, but we intend doing all we can to be in the running right to the end of the Championship.”


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