Michael Schumacher's title hopes may have taken one final fatal blow after picking up a puncture on lap nine of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the German seemingly picking up debris from an earlier accident.

Having made a superb opening few laps, Schumacher was up to sixth from tenth place but locked up whilst passing Fisichella, and squirming as he exited the first corner.

With the tyre delaminating quickly, Schumacher completed the lap and entered the pit lane for a replacement, emerging some 70 seconds behind leader Felipe Massa.

It had been thought that Fisichella had glanced the back of the Ferrari as Schumacher passed, but it is now believed the debris from Nico Rosberg's Williams, which crashed heavily at the end of the first lap, caused the problems.

Rosberg meanwhile escaped unhurt from a massive shunt at the start of the finishing straight, having already put his team-mate Mark Webber into retirement when he hit the back of the Australian earlier in the lap.

Both Toyotas are also out of the race, with Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher retiring on the same lap from third and ninth with mechanical problems.

Massa leads from Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Fisichella, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.