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Schumacher takes hollow USGP victory.

The Michelin teams pull back into their pit garages at the start of the United States Grand Prix
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Formula 1 » Schumacher takes hollow USGP victory.

Sunday, 19th June 2005

Michael Schumacher was officially credited with having won the 2005 United States Grand Prix but, with only six cars taking the start, even the German appeared underwhelmed by his 'achievement'.

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Michael Schumacher was officially credited with having won the 2005 United States Grand Prix but, with only six cars taking the start, even the German appeared underwhelmed by his 'achievement'.

There was no trademark leap onto the podium, and no champagne shower afterwards, as Ferrari toned down celebrations for its 1-2 result. Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello duly lapped the field, with Jordan's Tiago Monteiro taking his first podium in joyless circumstances. Sympathy for the Portuguese rookie, who didn't know whether to celebrate or not before embarking on a one-man acknowledgement of the jeering crowd, was widespread.

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Team-mate Narain Karthikeyan and Minardi drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher all racked up their first F1 points after all seven Michelin teams acceded to the tyre company's advice and withdrew at the end of the formation lap.

Indeed, with the exception of a close call right at the start - which could have reduced the field by a third - and another as Schumacher robustly regained the lead from his team-mate at two-thirds distance, the 'action' took place before the lights went out.

Even before the race, there was confusion as to exactly what was going to happen. Would there be a race at all? Would the Michelin runners defy the advice of their tyre supplier and race? Would the FIA relent and allow a chicane to be built between turns twelve and 13?

As time ticked down towards the scheduled start, and the all-important television companies to be satisfied, it became clear that the latter option wasn't an option at all, with no time for construction, let alone testing. In the end, all 20 cars lined up on the dummy grid, but no-one - least of all the Michelin runners - were willing to divulge anything. Maybe they didn't really know what was going to happen, maybe they just weren't telling...
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Related Images
The Michelin teams pull back into their pit garages at the start of the United States Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher crosses the yard of bricks to win the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis
Michael Schumacher and Tiago Monteiro on  the podium at the United States Grand Prix
Ferrari fans at the USGP
The top three give interviews after the USGP
Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Tiago Monteiro on the USGP podium
A fan shows his anger as Bernie Ecclestone leaves Indianapolis during the USGP
A US fans shows his dissatisfaction by trying to burn the Michelin logo on his shirt at the USGP
All cars make the start for the warm-up lap, but only six would return for the start of the USGP
All cars make the start for the warm-up lap, but only six would return for the start of the USGP
All cars make the start for the warm-up lap, but only six would return for the start of the USGP
Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Tiago Monteiro on the USGP podium
Bernie Ecclestone talks with Colin Kolles, Tsutomu Tomita, Nick Fry and Christian Horner prior to the USGP
USGP grid girl at Indianapolis
USGP grid girl at Indianapolis
USGP grid girl at Indianapolis
USGP grid girl at Indianapolis
USGP grid girl at Indianapolis
Rubens Barrichello looks suitably confused on the USGP podium
Renault security guard the team motorhome whilst the drivers and team bosses discuss a possible re-run of the USGP.
Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell at the USGP
Juan Montoya, Jenson Button and Mark Webber in first corner crash at 2006 USGP
Scott Speed climbs out after first corner crash at USGP 2006
Nick Heidfeld airborne at first corner crash at USGP 2006
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