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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hill Spins, Schumacher Wins Race

HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- Formula One champion Michael Schumacher gained the lead when Damon Hill skidded off the track one lap into the race and held on to become the first home driver to win the German Grand Prix.


Hill, who started out of pole position Sunday after setting the fastest time in qualifying in his Williams-Renault, spun out of control at the end of the first lap, heading into the North Curve of the Hockenheim Ring.


In five pole starts this season, Hill has not won a race. The Briton has two wins, both of them coming from behind.


Schumacher's fifth victory of the Grand Prix season extended his lead in drivers' standings over Hill to 21 points. By picking up 10 points Sunday, he now has a total of 56, while Hill stayed at 35 after nine of the season's 17 races.


Schumacher, who started from the front row in second position in his Benetton-Renault, led for most of the race once Hill careened into the gravel and the wall of tires.


The German lost the lead only after making the first of his two pit stops at lap 18, but was back in the front on lap 24.


"Delighted is not the right word,'' Schumacher said after the race. "It's crazy to win at here, to win in Germany, in front of these fans, it's crazy, it's unbelievable, it's a dream.''


Commenting on Hill's spin, Schumacher said: "I thought the first corner could be quite slippery and I braked early. I saw Damon slide sideways and hit the wall and I couldn't believe it.


"This win here is more emotional for me than the world championship title," he said.


Hill, 34, was unable to explain what happened.


"I can't say exactly what happened at this stage, except that I was pitched into an oversteer very suddenly.


"I wasn't overdoing it. I changed down a gear for the bend, then suddenly the back end went away from me," Hill said.


"This is pretty devastating for my championship hopes,'' he said.


David Coulthard of Britain, Hill's Williams-Renault teammate, finished second, while last year's winner Gerhard Berger of Austria came in third in a Ferrari.


Berger was penalized 10 seconds for anticipating the start and climbed his way to the podium after dropping as far behind as 14th.


"I just put the car into gear and moved forward maybe 10 centimeters. I was still behind the white line and wasn't moving when the green light came on. I didn't feel I had a jump start,'' Berger said.


"But if you had told me before the race that I'd be third, I'd have been happy.''


The second Ferrari driver, Jean Alesi of France, went out with engine trouble on lap 12.


As Schumacher went across the finish line, 100,000 fans celebrated by shooting off flares and firecrackers and waving thousands of flags on a sunny, warm day.


Schumacher, 26, posted a time of one hour, 22 minutes, 56.043 seconds for the 45-lap race on the 6.823-kilometer circuit. Coulthard was 5.988 seconds behind Schumacher after the German eased up at the end of the race. Berger was one minute, 8.097 seconds behind.


(For other results, see Scorecard)