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Schumacher builds big gap.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER is now odds-on favourite for the World Drivers' Championship in all lists after his win in yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix, writes Kevin Pullein.

Sports Betting's 6-4 selection finished 30.4sec ahead of team-mate Eddie Irvine (16-1) - the pair completed the first-ever Ferrari one-two at Monte Carlo - and another 37.4sec ahead of reigning champion Mika Hakkinen (5-4), who had set off in pole position.

Schumacher had practised dozens of starts in testing and was rewarded for his diligence when he beat Hakkinen to the first bend.

The German gradually pulled away and, by the 42nd lap, he was 45sec ahead - an advantage which enabled him to come in for a long pit stop and still exit with a 27.7sec cushion.

Hakkinen had to come into the pits himself for fuel and tyres after 48 laps and that is when he surrendered second place to Irvine, who was able to get a pit stop without losing position on the 56th lap and then the race was essentially decided.

Schumacher cruised over the final 20 laps maintaining a margin of more than half a minute over Irvine.

The German extended his lead in the drivers' standings to eight points - he now has 26 points, compared to Irvine's 18 and Hakkinen's 14.

Schumacher is a top-price 4-6 with Surrey to win the championship.

He has now won two successive Grands Prix, bringing his career total to 35.

The next race is the Spanish Grand Prix near Barcelona on May 30.

To win the World Drivers' Championship

(Points so far) HILLS LADBROKES STANLEY SURREY

M Schumacher (26) 1-2 4-7 8-15 4-6

M Hakkinen (14) 2 7-4 7-4 6-4

D Coulthard (6) 12 12 12 12

E Irvine (18) 20 16 10 22

H-H Frentzen (13) 100 66 33 66

Win only (Stanley 1/5 odds 1,2,3) Others on request
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Pullein, Kevin
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 17, 1999
Words:310
Previous Article:Scotland make 7-2 Aussies toil.
Next Article:RESULTS ROUND-UP.


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