Schumacher wins Formula One title with Japanese GP victory

Michael Schumacher clinched the world Formula One driving title, the first for Ferrari in 21 years by winning the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday.

Michael Schumacher clinched the world Formula One driving title, the first for Ferrari in 21 years by winning the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday.

Schumacher is now 12 points ahead of his closest challenger, Mika Hakkinen, who won the title the last two years for McLaren-Mercedes. There is one race left in the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix on Oct. 22, and Hakkinen cannot catch up Schumacher even if Hakkinen won there.

"It is difficult to find proper words for such a feeling," Schumacher said. "The way we did it - a fight until the last corner - is simply outstanding."

"I understand it's sometimes other drivers' turn to win," Hakkinen said.

Hakkinen ended up second in the race by 1.8 seconds after leading most of the first 37 laps. He then pitted to give up the lead to Schumacher. When Schumacher pitted at the end of 40 laps, he came out ahead of Hakkinen and went on to victory and the title.

It would be the third world driving title for Schumacher, who won with the Benetton team in 1994 and 1995. He moved to Ferrari at the end of 1995 and has been pursuing that title since for the Italian carmaker.

With three world championships, Schumacher joins five other drivers with in the all-time career list in Formula One. Juan-Manuel Fangio of Argentina holds the all-time lead with five, followed by Alain Prost of France with four.

The race began with Schumacher trying to take advantage of his eight-meter head start to veer in front of Hakkinen, who held the inside position heading into the first curve. But the McLaren driver went wide to the inside of the track to avoid the challenge and powered into the lead even as puffs of smoke could be seen from his engine.

Hakkinen was about a second ahead of Schumacher through the first half of the 53-lap race as they pulled away from even third placed David Coulthard in the other McLaren.

Hakkinen stayed ahead through the first pit stops and was ahead by 2.9 seconds after 26 laps. But it started to rain after 29 laps, allowing Schumacher to close the gap.

Then Schumacher was within a second when Hakkinen went in to pit at the end of 37 laps.

Schumacher built up a lead to 26.8 seconds before he went in at the end of lap 40, stayed stationary for 6.0 seconds. When he built up speed coming out of the pits, he was ahead of Hakkinen. At the end of the next lap it showed Schumacher was 4.1 seconds ahead and the race - and the world title - belonged to Schumacher.

Schumacher has 43 victories in Formula One since beginning his career in this series in 1991. He qualified sixth in his first Formula One race, the Belgian Grand Prix, racing for Jordan-Ford. By the next race he was driving for Benetton and he went on to win two world titles for them.

In August 1995 Ferrari announced it had signed Schumacher in an attempt to return to the previous glories when it was considered the top name in racing.

After winning the world driving title nine times, Ferrari's last victory before Schumacher was only in 1979 when Jody Scheckter of South Africa took it.

Ferrari reportedly signed Schumacher for $25m a year in 1995 raising his salary to about $32m more than two years ago.

Schumacher had come close to the title twice before for Ferrari, losing in the final race of 1997 and 1998. He broke his leg midway through the 1999 season.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'