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Montoya Takes First Win with McLaren

Juan Pablo Montoya secured his first win for McLaren after absorbing intense closing lap pressure from championship leader Fernando Alonso to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday

Montoya, who won his last race with Williams in Brazil at the end of last season, made the most of his third place grid slot to ease into the lead at the start and never looked like giving up the win.

As his teammate Kimi Raikkonen worked his way through the field from 12th on the grid to claim third, crucially one place behind championship rival Alonso, Montoya made no mistakes to claim his fifth career victory.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella secured fourth place for Renault, missing out on a podium once again because of a problem in the pits, but he still pushed home hero Jenson Button down to fifth in the BAR-Honda.

World Champion Michael Schumacher had to settle for a sixth place finish, just ahead of Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello, while his brother Ralf Schumacher secured the final point for Toyota by finishing eighth.

Alonso made a clean getaway as Button failed to make the most of his front row start and Montoya flew past then, after running around the outside of Alonso through Copse, he made it past at turn two.

But BAR-Honda driver Takuma Sato had failed to make it to the grid, stopping at Luffield, and the safety car came out immediately after the start as his car was removed and returned to the pits.

The race was underway again after just one lap and Montoya maintained his lead ahead of Alonso with Button in third, Barrichello fourth and Fisichella fifth after a disappointing start for Trulli saw him drop to sixth.

Michael Schumacher made it up to seventh place while Raikkonen, who started 12th after a penalty for changing an engine, had already shot into the points-scoring positions in eighth.

With Sato back out on the track the first retirement of the race was Indian Narain Karthikeyan when his Jordan ground to a halt at the side of a track after just 11 laps.

Barrichello was the first driver into the pits, at the end of lap 17, as Montoya maintained a one-second gap over Alonso and Button dropped to around eight seconds behind before pitting from third at the end of lap 20.

Montoya made his first stop at the end of lap 22 to put Alonso into the lead then Alonso pitted one lap later and came out right alongside Montoya, but the McLaren driver's momentum allowed him to retake his position.

Fisichella was now in the lead but pitted at the end of lap 25, one lap after Michael Schumacher, and Raikkonen then pitted at the end of lap 26 having just made a clean pass on championship rival Alonso.

That left the order with Montoya ahead of Alonso by 2.5 seconds with Fisichella third, Button fourth, Barrichello fifth, Raikkonen sixth, Schumacher seventh and Trulli in the final points scoring position.

Barrichello pitted again on lap 32 but everyone else stayed out and Montoya set the fastest lap of the race on laps 40 and 41 as Raikkonen chased down Button for fourth place.

Button made his second stop at the end of lap 43, by which time Montoya had a 7.1-second lead over Alonso with Fisichella 10.5 seconds back and Raikkonen, now promoted to fourth, 21.8 seconds off the lead.

Montoya pitted on the following lap, followed by Raikkonen and then Fisichella, but the Italian suffered a repeat of the disaster he experienced in France when he stalled his Renault on the way out.

Alonso stopped at the end of lap 49, 11 laps from the race finish, and came out behind Montoya with Raikkonen capitalising on Fisichella's pit problems to move into a podium position in third.


The British Grand Prix
Silverstone, Britain;
60 laps; 308.355km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                   Time        
 1.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1h24:29.588
 2.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  +     2.739
 3.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  +    14.436
 4.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  +    17.914
 5.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  +    40.264
 6.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  +  1:15.322
 7.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  +  1:16.567
 8.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  +  1:19.212
 9.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  +  1:20.851
10.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  +     1 lap
11.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  +     1 lap
12.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  +     1 lap
13.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  +     1 lap
14.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  +     1 lap
15.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  +     1 lap
16.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  +    2 laps
17.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  +    2 laps
18.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  +    3 laps
19.  Friesacher    Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  +    4 laps

Fastest Lap: Raikkonen, 1:20.502

Not Classified/Retirements:

Driver        Team                  On Lap
Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota    (B)    11

World Championship Standing, Round 11:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso        77        1.  Renault           102
 2.  Raikkonen     51        2.  McLaren-Mercedes   87
 3.  M.Schumacher  43        3.  Ferrari            74
 4.  Barrichello   31        4.  Toyota             54
 5.  Trulli        31        5.  Williams-BMW       47
 6.  Montoya       26        6.  Red Bull-Cosworth  22
 7.  Fisichella    25        7.  Sauber-Petronas    13
 8.  Heidfeld      25        8.  Jordan-Toyota      11
 9.  R.Schumacher  23        9.  BAR-Honda           9
10.  Webber        22       10.  Minardi-Cosworth    7
11.  Coulthard     17       
12.  Button         9       
13.  Massa          7       
14.  Villeneuve     6       
15.  Wurz           6       
16.  Monteiro       6       
17.  Karthikeyan    5       
18.  Albers         4       
19.  Klien          4       
20.  de la Rosa     4       
21.  Friesacher     3       
22.  Liuzzi         1       
All timing unofficial

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