Round Five of the 2006 Formula One World Championship took place at the Nurburgring, Germany, with the European Grand Prix.

Ferrari's tactics were the advantage. Schumacher was in second behind Fernando Alonso until the second round of pit stops, when Schumacher overtook Alonso. He then gave himself a ten second advantage, that he was never to relinquish.

Renault's Fernando Alonso came second, with Felipe Massa in third. Kimi Raikkonen finished strongly for McLaren-Mercedes in fourth. Alonso was battling oversteer after his second pitstop, and was being closed down by Massa and Raikkonen, but he held on to second.

Rubens Barrichello put in his best performance of the season so far, to finish fifth in his Honda. Giancarlo Fisichella of Renault came back to finish sixth, closely followed in seventh by Nico Rosberg of Williams-Cosworth, who came from 22nd and last on the grid after a ten place penalty for an engine change. 1997 World Champion, Jacques Villeneuve, finished eighth in the last points position.

Jenson Button of Honda failed to finish, along with Juan Pablo Montoya of McLaren-Mercedes. Pressure is mounting on Button, who is yet to win in 103 Grands Prix.

Alonso leads the championship on 39 points, but his lead is reduced by two points, as Schumacher's win moves him to 26 points. It was Schumacher's second win in a row, after his win in the San Marino Grand Prix, at Imola a fortnight ago.

The Alonso-Schumacher rivalry looks set to continue next weekend in Round Six, in the Spanish Grand Prix, at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. Schumacher won in front of his home fans, and there will be pressure on Alonso to do the same.


Sun 05/07/06, 7:30 am EST


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