McLaren 1-2 in Brazil; Alonso Champion

Fernando Alonso secured this year's world title when he eased to third place in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix as Juan Pablo Montoya claimed victory for McLaren at Interlagos

McLaren 1-2 in Brazil; Alonso Champion

Spaniard Alonso needed a podium to secure his championship crown and despite seeing his Renault team outclassed by McLaren once again he did enough to bring home the trophy and end Michael Schumacher's reign at the top.

It was McLaren's race, as Montoya led home Finnish teammate Kimi Raikkonen in the team's first one-two finish for more than five years, but it has been Alonso's championship as he proved his consistency once again.

With Alonso set to secure the title sitting in third the McLaren pair were free to race and Montoya, who took the lead from second place, made Raikkonen settle for second best on two accounts.

The title battle is now over for Raikkonen but it is well and truly alive for McLaren with their one-two finish putting them two points ahead of Renault in the Constructors' Championship with two races to go.

Outgoing World Champion Michael Schumacher finished a respectable fourth for Ferrari with Giancarlo Fisichella fifth in his Renault and Rubens Barrichello sixth in the second Ferrari.

Jenson Button managed only seventh place for BAR-Honda, his team's improvements failing to push him higher, and Ralf Schumacher came home in the final points-scoring position for Toyota.

Alonso made a clean getaway to lead Montoya into the first corner and Raikkonen also made a strong start from fifth to climb into third with Fisichella fourth and Button dropping behind Michael Schumacher into sixth from third.

There was carnage behind the lead pack when Antonio Pizzonia, starting from 13th on the grid, collided with David Coulthard's Red Bull Racing machine and was spun into his Williams teammate Mark Webber.

The safety car was deployed due to the debris on the track and Pizzonia and Coulthard were immediately out with Webber pulling into the pits for repairs at the end of the first lap before going back on track later in the race.

The safety car came back in at the start of lap three and Alonso timed it perfectly to lead Montoya into the first corner but the Colombian made it past to take the lead on the run up to the fourth corner.

Montoya raced into the distance while Alonso fended off the challenge of championship rival Raikkonen before pulling away and holding the gap to Montoya to a relatively constant three seconds.

Alonso pitted from second at the end of lap 22, Fisichella was in on the next lap as was Rubens Barrichello while Michael Schumacher and Button waited four more laps before both pitting on lap 26.

Montoya came in from the lead on lap 28, six laps later than Alonso, but Raikkonen continued to set fastest laps before finally coming into the pits at the end of lap 31.

Raikkonen came out just behind teammate Montoya in second, having jumped Alonso through the stops, and with the pack re-shuffled Fisichella had also lost out to Michael Schumacher and dropped to fifth.

Robert Doornbos pulled into the pits on the leaders' 35th lap to retire his Minardi with an apparent engine failure after telltale smoke signals had been emitted a few laps earlier.

Takuma Sato finally pitted at the end of the 37th lap having fuelled up and changed his engine before the race and his first stop, the last of all the cars, put him out in tenth place.

Barrichello was hounding Button for sixth place and the two future teammates enjoyed an aggressive battle before Barrichello made it past in a slick move through the first set of turns on lap 44.

Montoya and Raikkonen held station up front separated by around three seconds with Alonso 11 seconds back in a lonely third and Fisichella pushing Schumacher for fourth place 28 seconds behind the McLaren pair.

Alonso made his second stop on lap 48 with Fisichella following the previous trend and coming in one lap later, Montoya made his final stop on lap 54 at the same time as Michael Schumacher and Button came in on lap 56.

Raikkonen stayed out and finally pitted on lap 59 but he still failed to do enough to get past Montoya, who eased back in front as the Finn came out of the pits in turn one to leave the McLaren pair on for an easy finish.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil; 71 laps; 305.909km; Weather: Cloudy. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time  1. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1h:29:20.574 2. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) + 2.527 3. Alonso Renault (M) + 24.840 4. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) + 35.668 5. Fisichella Renault (M) + 40.218 6. Barrichello Ferrari (B) + 1:09.173 7. Button BAR-Honda (M) + 1 lap 8. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) + 1 lap 9. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth(M) + 1 lap 10. Sato BAR-Honda (M) + 1 lap 11. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) + 1 lap 12. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) + 1 lap 13. Trulli Toyota (M) + 1 lap 14. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) + 2 laps 15. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) + 3 laps Fastest Lap: Raikkonen, 1:12.268 Not Classified/Retirements: Driver Team On Lap Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 56 Webber Williams-BMW (M) 45 Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 35 Pizzonia Williams-BMW (M) 1 Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth(M) 1 World Championship Standing, Round 17: Drivers: Constructors:   1. Alonso 117 1. McLaren-Mercedes 164 2. Raikkonen 94 2. Renault 162 3. M.Schumacher 60 3. Ferrari 98 4. Montoya 60 4. Toyota 81 5. Fisichella 45 5. Williams-BMW 59 6. Trulli 43 6. BAR-Honda 33 7. R.Schumacher 38 7. Red Bull-Cosworth 27 8. Barrichello 38 8. Sauber-Petronas 17 9. Button 32 9. Jordan-Toyota 12 10. Webber 29 10. Minardi-Cosworth 7 11. Heidfeld 28 12. Coulthard 21 13. Villeneuve 9 14. Massa 8 15. Monteiro 7 16. Wurz 6 17. Karthikeyan 5 18. Klien 5 19. de la Rosa 4 20. Albers 4 21. Friesacher 3 22. Pizzonia 2 23. Liuzzi 1 24. Sato 1 All timing unofficial 
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