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Hungary Grand Prix adds to Sauber’s “best ever” season

Nick Heidfeld speeds round the track for the Sauber-Petronas team Keystone

The Swiss motor racing team, Sauber-Petronas, had something to celebrate on Sunday following their performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

Sauber’s two drivers finished in the top seven and the Swiss team took fourth place in the constructors standings in what is being dubbed their best ever season.

Sauber driver, Nick Heidfeld, stormed past the chequered flag in sixth place closely followed by teammate Kimi Raikkonen in seventh place. Both drivers finished a lap behind the winner, Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.

German-born Heidfeld is now joint seventh in the drivers standings, a position he shares with Canada’s Jacques Villeneuve. For his part, Raikkonen is ranked joint ninth with Italy’s Jarno Trulli.

Their combined performance in Hungary’s Grand Prix put the Sauber team in fourth place in the constructor’s standings behind Williams-BMW in third place, Mclaren-Mercedes in second and Ferrari in first place. With 17.5 points, Sauber is just half a point off equalling its greatest ever tally of 18, which it clocked up during the 1995 season.

Schumacher clinches driver’s title

But the true star of the day was Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher. As he crossed the finish line, he didn’t only win the race, he equalled Alain Prost’s record of 51 Grand Prix victories and clinched the overall 2001 drivers title.

The German driver’s points, with Sunday’s win, was enough to make him the indisputable champion of the 2001 season, even though there are four races still to go. It is Schumacher’s second consecutive world title, bringing his world trophy tally to four.

His performance along with fellow Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, who finished second, was enough to clinch the overall constructor’s prize for the Ferrari team for the second year in a row.

With 140 points the Italian team is the clear champion with almost twice as many points as second placed Mclaren-Merceds which has 72 and Williams-BMW which has 62.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR