Michael Schumacher clinched an unprecedented seventh Formula One title at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps yesterday despite not winning for just the second time in 14 races this season.
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was the winner on the hilly Spa circuit for the Finn's second career victory. Schumacher came in second and earned his fifth straight title.
"It's a great day for all of us, and I'm just delighted and happy," Schumacher said. "Obviously, I would rather have wrapped up the championship with a victory, but we weren't strong enough in the right moment."
Schumacher finished second to Raikkonen by 3.1 seconds after falling back early to sixth place. He needed to score only two more points than Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello to take the title.
Barrichello was third, 4.3 seconds behind the winner on the 4.3-mile circuit. He was followed by Sauber's Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella, and Christian Klien of Jaguar.
Schumacher's title completes a Ferrari sweep of the season.
* IRL: Dan Wheldon took advantage of a fiery mishap during a pit stop by leader Sam Hornish Jr. and extended Honda's winning streak to 12 races with a record-setting victory in the last race at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.
Wheldon's third career victory and third of the season came in the Firestone Indy 225 -- the IRL's 100th race. It was an emotional victory for car owner Michael Andretti, a lifelong resident of this Lehigh Valley village who won the first race at the track in 1987.
Wheldon beat teammate Tony Kanaan, the IRL points leader, by 3.5553 seconds. The victory moved Wheldon within 72 points of Kanaan with three of 16 races remaining.
Dario Franchitti, a winner a week earlier at Pikes Peak International Raceway, made it a top-three sweep for Andretti Green Racing -- the first in IRL history.
"This is the biggest win in my career as a team owner for sure," Andretti said. "And to do it in style, one-two-three. That's awesome."
* CHAMP CAR: Bruno Junqueira got back into the title chase.
The Brazilian driver, all but out of the championship picture in a season dominated by Newman/Haas Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais, won the Montreal Molson Indy by staying out of trouble.
"This is going to give me and my team a lot of confidence going into the last four races of the season," Junqueira said. "We're going to work hard and try to catch Sebastien for the championship. I think I can."
With his title hopes on the brink of extinction, Junqueira finally had some good luck after a season filled with misfortunes and disappointments.
"This team has been working hard all season, we've been fast, but today we finally got a break," Junqueira said.
"We've finished in second place four times this season and we've had the strongest car at least three times and didn't win. Now, luck came to our side at least once and I hope this win is going to give us momentum."