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Formula One Race Report – Sao Paulo, Brazil – 22 October 2006

Today the curtain finally fell on an extraordinary 2006 season.

It was a day of heightened emotions for the paddock - particularly for Scuderia Ferrari.

Felipe Massa had a dream weekend, winning the Grand Prix in front of his home crowd. On the same day Ferrari and Formula One were also saying goodbye to seven times World Champion and racing legend, Michael Schumacher.

After the race Jean Todt commented: 'Today, I want to thank everyone in the Gestione Sportiva, Michael and Felipe for the great job they have done, with the support of our technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell.'

Ross Brawn also added: 'We staged a great comeback thanks to the work of the team and our technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell, to the extent that we had the best package as well as the best drivers.'

After an 18 race battle for both championship titles, the 2006 season trophies were eventually awarded to Renault. Alonso finished the race in second. Michael Schumacher crossed the line in fourth position following an eventful fight to the finish line. However this was enough for Renault to take the Constructors' Title and for Fernando Alonso to win the Drivers' Title.

The home crowd at Interlagos was left delirious on Saturday, as fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa added yet another pole position to his growing collection. However it was a bitter-sweet qualifying day for Scuderia Ferrari; during the final session a problem with the car meant Schumacher was consigned to the pits and forced to start the race from tenth.

By lap 6 of the race, Schumacher who had moved up into 6th position, was immediately pushing Fisichella, passing him with ease. Fisichella regained his position. It was soon clear that the Ferrari had a damaged left rear tyre and was consequently forced to come in for a premature pit stop, rejoining the track with the back markers.

By the mid-way point of the race Massa was still leading. The Brazilian's flawless driving witnessed in qualifying continued throughout the 71 laps. He maintained a comfortable lead and set a string of fastest times.

Michael Schumacher's challenge on the other hand, was just beginning.

Over the second half of the race the German pushed the limits, displaying astonishing skill and determination.

Despite the initial set back, he weaved his way through the mid- field and with just 14 laps remaining had moved up to 6th place and into Fisichella's slip stream. Under huge pressure from the German, Fisichella momentarily lost control enabling the Shell powered 248 F1 to take P5.

The final battle of nerves saw Schumacher take on Raikkonen and he completed a stunning manoeuvre to bring him into P4. However time was not on the German's side and he crossed the final finish line of his career, just missing out on a podium.

Juan Carlos Perez, General Manager of Shell Global Sponsorships said: 'It has been a memorable season! However after 18 exhilarating races it is our consumers who reap the benefits of Shell's technical partnership with Ferrari. I'd also like to add that Shell has been working with Michael since his very first day with Ferrari. We only have words of gratitude. He will be greatly missed.'

Renault wins the 2006 Constructors' Championship with 206 points, 5 points ahead of Scuderia Ferrari. Fernando Alonso takes the 2006 Drivers' Championship trophy with just 134 points to Schumacher's 121.