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Champ's record remains perfect

Associated Press
Published April 26, 2004

IMOLA, Italy - Michael Schumacher had to drive from behind, but it hardly mattered. Formula One has run four races this season, and Schumacher has won them all.

He captured the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday, and there was hope for his rivals. But it lasted all of eight laps.

Schumacher, the four-time defending series champion, overtook pole-sitter Jenson Button in the first round of pit stops and led the rest of the way for his 74th career win and sixth in Imola.

"At the start, Jenson set a mind-blowing pace," Schumacher said. "It was as though I was driving in the wet and he was in the dry."

Button, of BAR, finished second for his best career result, 9.702 seconds behind Schumacher's Ferrari. The German had front-running wins in Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain.

Schumacher leads the standings with a maximum 40 points, followed by Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello (24), Button (23) and Juan Pablo Montoya (18), whose Williams-BMW came in third, 21.617 seconds back. He lost a wheel-to-wheel battle with Schumacher on the first lap in which each driver's car was nearly pushed off the track.

F1 SPLIT?: Five carmakers involved in F1 racing said they are scrapping an agreement with billionaire series leader Bernie Ecclestone, reviving the possibility that they might start a rival series. Ford, Fiat (Ferrari), BMW, DaimlerChrysler (Mercedes) and Renault ended talks with Ecclestone's SLEC holding company, which owns commercial rights to the series.

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