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Montoya in Monaco

Colombian claims second career win for Williams

Posted: Sunday June 01, 2003 10:03 AM
Updated: Sunday June 01, 2003 1:55 PM

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) -- Juan Pablo Montoya held off a fast-closing Kimi Raikkonen to win the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

By just 0.6 seconds, Montoya won his second career Formula One race, following his first at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix.

The Colombian driver also gave Williams-BMW its first victory on the tight, twisting 3.34-kilometer (2.08-mile) Monaco streets since 1983, by Keke Rosberg.

Montoya had the pole position here last year and seven in 2002, and never converted any.

 
Leading Results
Pos.  Name  Country  Team 
Juan Pablo Montoya  Colombia  Williams 
Kimi Raikkonen  Finland  McLaren 
Michael Schumacher  Germany  Ferrari 
Ralf Schumacher  Germany  Williams 
Fernando Alonso  Spain  Renault 
Jarno Trulli  Italy  Renault 
David Coulthard  Britain  McLaren 
Rubens Barrichello  Brazil  Ferrari 
  • For full results click here.
  •  

    "I have had chances to win. Melbourne I threw away so the pressure was on. Monza was great but this was fantastic," Montoya said.

    "It was the first time I finished in Monaco. First time I finished so that's pretty good."

    Raikkonen extended his lead over Michael Schumacher in the season standings by two points to four.

    "I was not very lucky with starting in second place," Raikkonen said. "I seem to get bad starts. I tried to get past but it's impossible here. Especially in the final laps.

    "It's stupid to take any risks here," he added. "Maybe on some other circuit."

    Ferrari's Schumacher, who'd won the season's last three races, was third 1.7 seconds behind Montoya, and missed tying Ayrton Senna's record of six Monaco victories.

    Schumacher paid for a poor fifth start off the grid, and tried to go for longer stints with heavier fuel loads.

    "Out of fifth to arrive in third is reasonable," he said. "We tried everything but this weekend probably we were not strong enough."

    Montoya's teammate Ralf Schumacher, who won the pole and led through the first 20 laps, was fourth, while Renault drivers Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli were fifth and sixth.

    McLaren's David Coulthard, who won the race in 2000 and 2002, was seventh, followed by Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari in eighth.

    Montoya denies report of move to Ferrari
    MONACO (Reuters) -- Monaco Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya denied an Italian newspaper report Sunday that he was being lined up as world champion Michael Schumacher's eventual replacement at Ferrari.

    "Someone told me to look at the Gazzetta dello Sport and see what's in it," said the Colombian, whose contract expires with Williams in 2004 after he signed a two-year extension last year.

    "I had a look and I couldn't believe it.

    "There's no talk for the moment, to be honest, there is nothing."

    Schumacher, chasing a record sixth world title, has a contract with Ferrari to the end of 2004. 
     
     

    The top four teams dominated the top eight places throughout the race.

    The only really changes of position on the course came in the opening seconds when Montoya moved from third to second past Raikkonen.

    That eventually decided the race, as the rest of the changes came during pit stops.

    Ralf Schumacher went into the lead easily by the first corner, followed by Montoya, and was building a lead of more than two seconds at the end of the first lap of 78.

    However Heinz-Harald Frentzen crashed his Sauber-Petronas and the safety car came out allowing the field to bunch up.

    At the start of the fifth, it was Ralf Schumacher, Montoya, Raikkonen, Trulli and Michael Schumacher.

    It stayed that way until the 21st, when Ralf Schumacher came into the pits first after his lead was dwindling, and Montoya took over.

    Over the next 10 laps, all the leaders pitted with Michael Schumacher the last at the end of the 31st.

    Then, it was Montoya first, Raikkonen second and Michael Schumacher third ahead of his brother.

    When Montoya and Raikkonen pitted by the end of the 52nd, Michael Schumacher led, and stayed there until the 60th, when he went in for fuel band tires.

    Montoya led Raikkonen by about a second with 18 laps to go, and they stayed that way until Raikkonen started edging closer in the last five laps.

    The last two laps brought the only real excitement of the race as Raikkonen closed to within a few car lengths of Montoya on the tight curves, and Michael Schumacher was lurking a few seconds back, ready to pounce on any mistake.

    Schumacher had a simple strategy: "Sit and wait. You never know what happens. To some degree you enjoy catching up and wait for the opportunity."

    However, the chance never came, and Williams won for the first time since Malaysia last year, a span of 22 GPs.

    Montoya became the fifth different winner this season in seven races. Michael Schumacher has won three, and Raikkonen, Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella and now Montoya once each.

    Ralf Schumacher was 28 seconds behind in fourth.

    After the top eight, Cristiano da Matta of Toyota was the best of the rest, but more than a lap behind.

    It was the 50th Monaco GP in Formula One history.

    The Canadian GP is in two weeks in Montreal.

    No fear of F1 after crash, says Button

    MONACO (Reuters) -- Jenson Button can remember little about the crash that forced him to miss Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix but the Briton has no fear about stepping back into a Formula One car.

    "I've never really had a big accident in F1 but it doesn't scare me at all, which is great," the BAR driver said, standing in the bustle of the shaded pit lane before the race as mechanics worked around him.

    "You never know if it will but it didn't scare me at all in this one.

    "I'm looking forward to getting back in the car but I also don't want to be silly about it," he added.

    "I want to go through all the training regime first and make sure everything's good. I don't want to get back into the car and hurt myself. We have to make sure everything's okay before I do that."

    Button was knocked unconscious in a crash on Saturday that was frighteningly reminiscent of one suffered in 1994 by Austrian Karl Wendlinger, who ended up in a coma for days.

    The Briton roared out of the tunnel at around 290kph before hitting the barrier, slewing across the track and slamming into the tire wall sideways in free practice.

    He was tended to in the car for 10 minutes before being taken to hospital, where he remained overnight.

    Little lost

    "I remember the car going a bit sideways to start with and then I remember being totally out of control and hitting the inside barriers," he said.

    "It didn't feel like it was hard and then I can remember seeing the wall coming towards me. After that I was a little bit lost.

    "After I hit the wall I was unconscious, I don't know for how long. I sort of came round and they (the rescue team) had already cut (through the seat) up to my arm, I might have been awake but I can't really remember.

    "I was speaking to (FIA medical head) Sid Watkins and he was saying that I was talking but I wasn't making any sense," said Button.

    "I said what's different? I mean, that's me all over.

    "I didn't have a clue where I was. I was just looking down and my legs were hurting."

    Button, third in Thursday's first qualifying, said he was disappointed not to start the seventh round of the championship but he would have other chances.

    "It is disappointing but then again if I'm not well for the race I don't want to race because I could be a danger to myself and everyone else," he said.

    "I had concussion yesterday and they kept me in overnight because of that.

    "I'd love to race here and everything's gone so well here this weekend, apart from the accident.

    "It just gets better and better every race, but I'm 23 and this is just one race in my career. There's a lot more better races to come."

    Button is due to test with BAR at Monza in Italy next week but he was unsure whether that would be possible, intending to stay in Monaco for a couple of days instead to work out in the gym of the Hermitage hotel.

    "I'm not sure if I'll be testing next week. I'll definitely be in Canada (the next race), 100 percent," he said.

     
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    Both the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

     


     
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