Michael Schumacher took advantage of McLaren errors and superior Ferrari tactics to triumph at the San Marino Grand Prix.


The German trailed both McLarens in the early laps, as Mika Hakkinen streaked away from the field, but, when the Finn lost control after 16 laps and hit the wall, Schumacher came right back into the equation. His team then pulled off a master stroke, fooling McLaren into believing it was running a one-stop strategy, before sending Schumacher out to kill off David Coulthard's challenge.


Ferrari's quick turn-around of Schumacher allowed the German to get the jump on his McLaren rival at the pit-stops and, once ahead, the double world champion put enough of a gap between himself and the Scot to enable him to retain the lead after stopping a second time.


The home crowd's hopes of a Ferrari one-two finish evaporated with Eddie Irvine's retirement, and the subsequent disappearance of Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan) allowed Rubens Barrichello to take third spot for Stewart. Damon Hill, in the second Jordan, Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton) and Jean Alesi (Sauber) rounded out the top six.


A fully detailed report will follow shortly....

 

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