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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Schumacher crashes in wet Japanese GP practice

October 08, 2005 14:32 IST

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher crashed in a wet free practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.

The seven times world champion lost control on the slippery surface, spun and clattered into the tyre barrier at the S-curve. He stepped out unhurt and hitched a lift back to the pits on a motorbike.

The German was the only driver to have set a timed lap at that point, 13 minutes into the 45-minute session, and his lap of one minute 46.543 remained the fastest time as a steady drizzle fell at Suzuka.

Renault's 24-year-old Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who became Formula One's youngest champion at the last race in Brazil, and Italian team mate Giancarlo Fisichella did not venture out on to the circuit.

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McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who will incur a 10-place penalty after qualifying due to an unscheduled engine change after Friday's first practice, was second quickest ahead of Colombian team mate Juan Pablo Montoya.

McLaren are two points ahead of Renault in the constructors' standings and can win the title in the year's penultimate race on Sunday if they finish first and second while Renault score no more than one point.

The title will otherwise be decided at the final round in China the following weekend.

Ferrari have won the last five Japanese Grands Prix but that streak looks sure to end at Suzuka with the outgoing champions struggling to match the pace of the McLarens and Renaults.

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