Schumacher Masters Monaco

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Michael Schumacher won in the streets of Monte Carlo for the fifth time in his career, Sunday, equaling Graham Hill’s mark for wins at the track and trailing Ayrton Senna’s record of six by one win.

Schumacher, who started second on the grid, lead from the start after polesitter David Coulthard stalled on the formation lap causing him to start from the back of the field.

“I have always found it easier to find my setup, which is very important again here to throw around the car through the corners,” Schumacher said. “ But you have to be lucky to some degrees as well.”

Schumacher’s teammate Rubens Barrichello, who suffered cramps in his right foot for the major part of the race due to a vibration in the car, finished second.

“It was really, really bad,” Barrichello said of the vibration, “it was a time I could hardly feel my right foot.”

Eddie Irvine drove an impressive race, finishing third and giving Jaguar it’s first podium finish of 2001.

“It’s fantastic, to get a podium, and especially here,” Irvine said. “To have two Ferrari’s and Jaguar on the podium in Monaco is really what Formula One is about in a way.”

BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve managed to stay out of trouble and finished fourth, followed by Coulthard. It was a disappointing finish for Coulthard who set the fastest lap of the race at 1:20.253 seconds.

Jean Alesi finished sith, giving Prost it’s first point of the season.

The rails of Monte Carlo collected many victims again this year including Juan Pablo Montoya who lost the rear of his Williams-BMW and hit the rail at the Piscine corner early in the race.

Both Jordan drivers also experienced problems, the back of Jarno Trulli’s car caught fire, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen brushed the railing in the tunnel.

Giancarlo Fisichella hit the railing not once but twice. He was able to continue after the first contact, but his day ended abruptly in the Ste-Devote corner.

It was another disappointing weekend for McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen. He retired early with mechanical problems.

Schumacher now leads in the championship chase by four points over Coulthard and by 24 over his teammate Barrichello. Formula One will next race on Montreal, Canada on June10th.

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