Montoya completes drivers' double

Published : Jun 14, 2003 00:00 IST

THE Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, which take place on either side of the Atlantic near the end of May, are two of the biggest races in the world. And Juan Pablo Montoya has won them both.

THE Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, which take place on either side of the Atlantic near the end of May, are two of the biggest races in the world. And Juan Pablo Montoya has won them both.

Montoya joined Graham Hill as the only driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 after winning the Monte Carlo, three years after winning in Indianapolis.

Montoya said he was thrilled with both achievements. "Winning in Monaco is a bit like when I was in America and I went to Indy," Montoya said. "It is the most special race you can win."

Canadian driver Jacques Villeneueve came close to the double. After winning the Indy 500 in 1995, the best the 1997 Formula One champion did at Monaco was a fourth. Racing legend Mario Andretti never won at Monaco, although he too won the Formula One World title.

Montoya held off a fast-closing Kimi Raikkonen to win in Monaco. By just 0.6 seconds, Montoya won his second career Formula One race, following his first at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix, and stopped five-time World Formula One champion Michael Schumacher's three-race winning streak this season.

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

Montoya had the pole position here last year and seven in 2002, and failed to convert any of them. "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 from two points to four.

Ferrari's Schumacher, who had 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.

"I could say that I might have been able to finish higher if I had not been stuck behind (Jarno) Trulli in the early stages," Schumacher said. He was fifth until the first pit stop, unable to pass Trulli's Renault.

"But our strategy was to go for a long first stint and that meant having more fuel, which is why I was behind him."

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

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 passed Raikkonen into second.

"As soon as I let the button go I had great traction and just had the jump on Kimi straight away," Montoya said.

"I just didn't get the traction and lost one place, almost two but I just managed to keep the Renault behind," Raikkonen said.

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 and tyres and came out third behind Montoya and Raikkonen.

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.

"I tried to get past but it's impossible here," Raikkonen said.

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

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 the Williams-BMW team won for the first time since Malaysia last year, a span of 22 GPs when Ralf Schumacher won.

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.

The results: (78 laps of 3.34 km) street circuit:

1. Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, Williams-BMW, 78 laps, 1 hour, 42 minutes, 19.010 seconds, 152.7723 kph (98.948 mph), 2. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, McLaren-Mercedes, 78, 0.62 seconds behind, 1:42:19.612, 3. Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 78, 1.72, 1:42:20.730, 4. Ralf Schumacher, Germany, Williams-BMW, 78, 28.518, 1:42:47.528, 5. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Renault, 78, 36.251, 1:42.55.261, 6. Jarno Trulli, Italy, Renault, 78, 40.972, 1:42:59.982, 7. David Coulthard, Britain, McLaren-Mercedes, 78, 41.227, 1:43:00.287, 8. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, Ferrari, 78, 53.286, 1:43:12.276, 9. Cristiano Da Matta, Brazil, Toyota, 77, 1:43:24.502, 10. Giancarlo Fisichella, Italy, Jordan-Ford, 77, 1:43:26.017, 11. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber-Patronas, 76, 1:42:42.341, 12. Ralph Firman, Ireland, Jordan-Ford, 76, 1:43:07.630, 13. Olivier Panis, France, Toyota, 74, 1:43:06.947.

Drivers' standings: (after seven races): 1 Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, McLaren-Mercedes, 48 points, 2. Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 44, 3. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Renault, 29, 4. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, 27, 5. Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, Williams-BMW, 25, 6. David Coulthard, Britain, McLaren-Mercedes, 25, 7. Ralf Schumacher, Germany, Williams-BMW, 25, 8. Jarno Trulli, Italy, Renault, 13, 9. Giancarlo Fisichella, Italy, Jordan-Ford, 10, 10. Jenson Button, Britain, BAR-Honda, 8, 11. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 7, 12. Mark Webber, Australia, Jaguar 4, 13. Cristiano Da Matta, Brazil, Toyota, 3, 14. Jacques Villeneuve, Canada, BAR-Honda, 3, 15. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 1, 16. Ralph Firman, Ireland, Jordan-Ford, 1.

Constuctors' standings: 1. McLaren Mercedes, 73, 2. Ferrari, 71, 3. Williams-BMW, 50, 4. Renault-42, 5. Jordan-Ford, 11, 6. BAR-Honda, 11, 7. Sauber-Petronas, 8, 8. Jaguar, 4, 9. Toyota, 3.

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