Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher led from pole position in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix to finish ahead of his brother, Williams’ Ralf Schumacher, at a Suzuka circuit largely unaffected by the weekend’s tropical storm.

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher led from pole position in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix to finish ahead of his brother, Williams’ Ralf Schumacher, at a Suzuka circuit largely unaffected by the weekend’s tropical storm.

Starting from second on the grid, Ralf Schumacher was unable to match his brother’s pace and trailed him across the finish line by 14 seconds to take his first podium position since last year’s Magny Cours. It was older brother Michael’s thirteenth win this season.

In Honda’s home race, the BAR duo of Jenson Button and Takuma Sato finished third and fourth. Racing in front of his 130 000-strong home crowd, Sato had hoped for a possible win. However, with BAR’s constructor’s rival Renault in poor form, the team has essentially secured second place in the battle for second spot.

Fernando Alonso finished fifth in the Renault after starting the race in eleventh position, while team-mate Jacques Villeneuve was off the pace again and only finished tenth.

Kimi Raikkonen had a trouble-free race and finished in sixth position. His McLaren team-mate David Coulthard came to blows with Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello and both drivers were forced to park there cars with mangled front suspensions.

Juan Pablo Montoya finished seventh adding two more points to BMW Williams’ sheet. Giancarlo Fisichella handed Sauber the final point, finishing eighth ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa in ninth position.

In his race début for Toyota, also competing in its home race, Jarno Trulli started from sixth position and had a promising first few laps but lost his pace in the second half of the race. Toyota’s second driver Olivier Panis quietly ended his F1 career finishing two laps down on Trulli in fourteenth position.