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Schumacher wins Japanese GP
Alastair Himmer | October 10, 2004 14:14 IST
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher powered to an easy victory in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday for his 13th win of the season.
The race took place in bright sunshine after a typhoon and torrential rains forced Saturday's qualifying to be postponed until the morning of the race for the first time in Formula One history.
Schumacher took it all in his stride, securing pole position before running away with his 83rd career win and sixth at Suzuka.
The all-conquering German, who had already clinched an unprecedented seventh world title in August, finished 14 seconds ahead of younger brother Ralf's Williams after slowing down at the end.
"Qualifying pre-determined the race I think," said Michael Schumacher.
"We had to be flat-out until the pit-stops but we have dominated all year and I didn't expect anything different here. We were superb."
Britain's Jenson Button finished third -- his 10th podium of 2004 -- for BAR in their 100th race since joining Formula One in 1999.
Japanese team mate Takuma Sato was fourth as BAR virtually secured second place in the constructor's standings ahead of Renault.
BAR have 116 points to 100 for Renault with just the Brazilian Grand Prix remaining.
"It's a pretty tall order," BAR boss David Richards said of Renault's chances of overtaking his team. "Renault have got to score (at least) a win and a third place to pip us in Brazil."
Renault scored just four points, with Spaniard Fernando Alonso fifth and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve 10th and out of the points again in his second race for the team since he replaced Italian Jarno Trulli.
France's Olivier Panis, in a Toyota, ended his Formula One career with 14th place.
Schumacher's runaway victory gave constructors' champions Ferrari a record-equalling 15th win of the season with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello winning the last two races at Monza and Shanghai.
Barrichello's hopes of a hat-trick ended when he collided with McLaren's David Coulthard at the fastest part of the circuit, forcing both cars off the track.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage