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GP Week : Issue 159
Michael Schumacher survived a post-race stewards investigation to record his first podium finish in almost 50 races and his first since his return to the sport in 2010 after coming from 11th place with just 13 laps remaining to finish third. The German was nowhere near the pace of the front runners in the opening stint of the race, and lay 13th after nine laps, over 26 seconds behind leader Vettel. But the emergence of the Safety Car on lap 28, coupled with a number of high-profile retirements allowed the seven times champion to climb the order and record his 155th career podium finish. So chaotic were the final laps of the race that Schumacher hadn’t known he finished on the podium until he was told over the radio. His final pitstop on lap 41 had dropped him to 11th place. “I didn't actually think about a podium at all at the end of the race. It was crossing the line that I asked my guys 'where did we finish?',” Schumacher said. “I saw Webber's pit board and close to the end it showed him eighth and seventh and I knew I was one place ahead of that one. And then boys told me 'that's third, that's podium'. I can't believe that! It's something I didn't really expect.” He said the podium was all the more enjoyable given the difficult weekend he and the team had been enduring up until that point. “All weekend, I predicted this to be a difficult one for us and it started to be difficult yesterday in qualifying, mainly because of my own mistakes and to recover from where we are, getting to third position is just awesome,” he continued. “The team and myself have been criticised here and there, particularly lately, and this is the best way to answer criticism.” Schumacher was the subject of a post-race stewards investigation having been seen to use his DRS in a yellow flag zone, but was adjudged to have slowed sufficiently not to incur a penalty. SCHUMACHER STORMS TO FIRST PODIUM IN 48 RACES F1 >>> EUROPE 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: