The 2006 Chinese Grand Prix may not be remembered among Formula One’s greatest races, and yet still there is significance.
Michael Schumacherâ€™s race win in Shanghai took him to the head of the driverâ€™s standings for the first time that season. This was particularly apt, since one round earlier he had announced his retirement from Formula One.
This was also the Germanâ€™s first victory at the Shanghai International Circuit, one of the few Grand Prix venues that had not been kind to him over the years. At the inaugural running, for example, Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello ran away with the race while an error-struck Schumacher coasted home in 12th. The following year, the German collided with Christijan Albers’ Spyker on the warm up lap.
A damp race in 2006 also provided some tense racing action. On the final lap, Jenson Button hauled his Honda past team-mate Barrichello into fifth and set off after BMWâ€™s Nick Heidfeld. Neither expected Super Aguriâ€™s Takumo Sato to play a partâ€¦
Most significantly though, the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix was the last time Michael Schumacher took the F1 chequered flag at the front. Come the end of 2012, that may still be the case >>>