• German Grand Prix 2006

Schumacher storms to victory at home grand prix

David Addison
July 30, 2006
Ferrari celebrate Michael Schumacher's 89th F1 victory © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher's third straight win slashed another six points from Fernando Alonso's lead after the reigning champion could only manage fifth at the German Grand Prix. However, Schumacher's dominant display was overshadowed by the FIA's change of heart of over its own rules.

The FIA announced that Renault's mass dampers, declared legal earlier in the season, were illegal. The system allowed engineers to get the best out of the tyres by limiting vertical movement over bumps and thereby maximising the contact patch of the rubber. Renault appealed on the grounds that the FIA safety delegate and race director Charlie Whiting had declared them legal back in 2005. The FIA stewards ruled that the performance advantage of the mass dampers was negligible, but Renault had no choice but to run without them, as if they lost the appeal they would face further sanctions.

However, Renault's loss was the championship's gain. Schumacher won from Felipe Massa with Kimi Raikkonen taking third from Honda's Jenson Button. Schumacher's win allowed him to claw himself well and truly back into the title chase, just 11 points behind with six races remaining and Ferrari in the ascendancy.