Ralf Schumacher, the winner

Ralf Schumacher (centre), the winner, with Juan Pablo Montoya (left), who finished second, and Rubens Barrichello on the podium.-AP Ralf Schumacher (centre), the winner, with Juan Pablo Montoya (left), who finished second, and Rubens Barrichello on the podium.

Germany's Ralf Schumacher, in a Williams, clinched victory in the European Grand Prix in a dramatic race which turned out to be a disaster for world championship contenders Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher.

Juan Pablo Montoya, in the other Williams, took second place, 16.8sec behind, with Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, who won here last year, in third.

Fernando Alonso in a Renault was fourth with Michael Schumacher, in a Ferrari, Mark Webber, in a Jaguar, BAR's Jenson Button and Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who had started from last place, making up the points-scoring positions.

Raikkonen, who had started on pole for the first time in his career, had built up a comfortable lead of over four seconds on Ralf Schumacher when the engine on his McLaren blew on the 25th lap of the 60-lap race.

The car left a trail of smoke ending Raikkonen's hopes of a second win of the season after his victory in Malaysia.

But any hope that world champion Michael Schumacher, who was in second place at the time in his Ferrari, had of capitalising on the Finn's misfortunes were ended when he spun off the track on the 43rd lap as Montoya overtook him.

Michael, with a little help from the marshals, rejoined the race but had slumped to sixth place before finishing fifth to extend his lead at the top of the drivers standings.

Raikkonen had stormed into the lead from the lights but it was a disastrous start to the race for Michael Schumacher who slipped back into third spot from second after being passed by brother Ralf into the first bend.

Barrichello moved from fifth to fourth spot relegating Montoya down a place.

At the end of the third lap, Raikkonen had opened up a 2.687sec lead over Ralf Schumacher before he went onto clock successive fastest laps on the ninth and tenth.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve was enduring a miserable afternoon. Having started in 17th place in his BAR, he slipped back to last place on the ninth lap when he spun off the track at turn two.

The Canadian rejoined the race but found himself behind the two Minardis of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson.

As he fought back, he hit a bollard and needed to limp into the pits to change a damaged front wing.

He eventually retired with seven laps left.

As Raikkonen was building up his lead, teammate David Coulthard was struggling to make any impression back in eighth place.

The Finn and Michael Schumacher both pitted on the 15th lap, Barrichello on the 16th, Montoya on the 17th and Ralf Schumacher came in on the 20th but the leading order of the top five remained unchanged until disaster for Raikkonen struck. Ralf maintained his lead after the second round of stops before Montoya mounted his thrilling challenge on Michael Schumacher to snatch second spot.

With four laps remaining, Coulthard, who had battled to fifth place, spun-off and out of the race after he tried and failed to get past Alonso.

The European GP results (Nuerburgring, Germany, 60 laps, 5.148-kilometre-3.199-mile): 1. Ralf Schumacher, Germany, Williams-BMW, 60 laps, 1 hour, 34 minutes 43.622 seconds, 195.6332 kph (121.57 mph), 2. Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, Williams-BMW, 60 laps, 16.321 behind, 1:35.00.442, 3. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, Ferrari, 60 laps, 39.673, 1:35:23.295, 4. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Renault, 60 laps, 65.731, 1:35:49.353, 5. Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 60, 66.162, 1:35:49.784, 6. Mark Webber, Australia, Jaguar, 59, 1:34:54.232, 7. Jenson Button, Britain, BAR-Honda, 59, 1:35:09.235, 8. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 59, 1:35:31.084, 9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 59, 1:35:50.134, 10. Antonio Pizzonia, Brazil, Jaguar, 59, 1:35:50.844, 11. Ralph Firman, Ireland, Jordan-Ford, 58, 1:35:03.384, 12. Giancarlo Fisichella, Italy, Jordan-Ford, 58, 1:35:27.655, 13. Justin Wilson, Britain, Minardi-Cosworth, 58, 1:35:52,926, 14. Jos Verstappen, Netherlands, Minardi-Cosworth, 57.

Drivers' standings (after nine races): 1, Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 58, 2. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, McLaren-Mercedes, 51 points, 3. Ralf Schumacher, Germany, Williams-BMW, 43, 4. Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, Williams-BMW, 39, 5. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Renault, 39, 6. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, Ferrari, 37, 7. David Coulthard, Britain, McLaren-Mercedes, 25, 8. Jarno Trulli, Italy, Renault, 13, 9. Giancarlo Fisichella, Italy, Jordan-Ford, 10, 10. Jenson Button, Britain, BAR-Honda, 10, 11. Mark Webber, Australia, Jaguar, 9, 12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 7, 13. Cristiano Da Matta, Brazil, Toyota, 3, 14. Jacques Villeneuve, Canada, BAR-Honda, 3, 15. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber-Petronas, 2, 16. Olivier Panis, France, Toyota, 1, 17. Ralph Firman, Ireland, Jordan-Ford, 1.

Constructors' standings: 1. Ferrari, 95, 2, Williams-BMW, 82, 3. McLaren Mercedes, 76, 4. Renault, 52, 5. BAR-Honda, 13, 6. Jordan-Ford, 11, 7. Sauber-Petronas, 9, 8. Jaguar, 9, 9. Toyota, 4.