Ralf Leads Montoya for Another Williams 1-2 - France

German Ralf Schumacher secured a second successive victory to blow the World Championship wide open as his BMW-Williams team scored another one-two finish in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Ralf Leads Montoya for Another Williams 1-2 - France

German Ralf Schumacher secured a second successive victory to blow the World Championship wide open as his BMW-Williams team scored another one-two finish in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Schumacher followed his first win of the season at the Nurburgring last weekend with a dominant victory in France as he led from start to finish to claim the sixth win of his career.

He led home teammate Juan Pablo Montoya to add to the one-two finish they enjoyed in the European Grand Prix as Williams closed to within three points of title leaders Ferrari.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher claimed the final place on the podium after outwitting McLaren in the final of three pit-stops and extend his own Championship lead by a point.

Kimi Raikkonen, second in the Championship, finished fourth to pick up another five-point haul, while Ralf Schumacher is now only 11 points behind his brother in the standings.

McLaren's David Coulthard came home fifth after fuel hose problems during his final stop, with Jaguar's Mark Webber a distant sixth as his run of form continued.

Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello finished seventh following a spin on the opening lap which left him last and Toyota's Olivier Panis scored the final point in eight.

Ralf Schumacher and Montoya made the perfect start from the front row as Raikkonen got ahead of Michael Schumacher into the first turn.

Barrichello spun at the final chicane as he completed the opening lap and dropped to last place after allowing his rivals past, including Minardi's Justin Wilson who had started from the pit-lane.

The Brazilian weaved his way through the field to move up to 14th by the end of lap nine as Ralf continued to lead Montoya with a 3.7 seconds cushion over the Colombian.

Ninth-placed Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia was the first of the top-ten runners to pit on lap 14, and Coulthard stopped from fifth place the following lap.

The remainder of the leaders all stopped on laps 17 or 18 and McLaren's quick work with Coulthard's car allowed the Scot to jump ahead of Michael Schumacher to fourth.

Ralf's stop of 6.4 seconds allowed him to pull out more time on Montoya, who lost time after a minor problem when he pitted, with the lead extended to 6.7 seconds after 20 laps.

Briton Jenson Button retired from the race on lap 23 when he parked his BAR-Honda at the side of the track after running into problems.

Raikkonen was the first of the frontrunners to stop for a second time at the end of lap 31 and dropped down from third place and Coulthard pitted the following lap.

Montoya then stopped from second place before Ralf and Michael both came in, with the race order remaining the same. Barrichello, meanwhile, moved up to 10th at mid-race distance.

Montoya closed the gap on Ralf to four seconds after 41 laps as a battle ensued for third place between McLaren teammates Raikkonen and Coulthard behind the lead pair.

Renault's Fernando Alonso, running sixth at the time, suffered an engine failure on lap 44 to put him out of the race and Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella endured the same fate the following lap.

The retirement of Alonso put Barrichello in the points, and the Spaniard's teammate Jarno Trulli pulled off the track on lap 47 with flames at the back of his car to complete a miserable home race for Renault.

Raikkonen and Coulthard both stopped in consecutive laps but the latter was pulled away while the fuel hose was still connected and two team members were thrown to the ground before waving the Scot on.

Montoya, who has closed to within 2.5 seconds of Ralf, then made his final stop and the leader then followed him in the next lap and emerged marginally in front.

Michael Schumacher was the final man to pit and a quick stop put him out in front of both McLaren drivers into third place.

From there the two Williams drivers coasted to take the chequered flag and World Champion Schumacher pulled out a bigger lead over Raikkonen to claim a podium for Ferrari.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The French Grand Prix Magny Cours, Nevers; 70 laps; 308.586km; Weather: Hot and dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team-Engine Time 1. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1h 30:49.213 2. Montoya Williams BMW (M) + 13.813 3. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) + 19.568 4. Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) + 38.047 5. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) + 40.289 6. Webber Jaguar Cosworth (M) + 1:06.380 7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1 lap 8. Panis Toyota (M) 1 lap 9. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1 lap 10. Pizzonia Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1 lap 11. da Matta Toyota (M) 1 lap 12. Frentzen Sauber Petronas (B) 2 laps 13. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 2 laps 14. Wilson Minardi Cosworth (B) 3 laps 15. Firman Jordan Ford (B) 3 laps 16. Verstappen Minardi Cosworth (B) 4 laps Fastest Lap: J.Montoya, 1:15.512, lap 36 Not Classified/Retirements: Driver Team On Lap Trulli Renault (M) 46 Alonso Renault (M) 44 Fisichella Jordan Ford (B) 43 Button BAR Honda (B) 22 World Championship Standing, Round 10: Drivers: Constructors: 1. M.Schumacher 64 1. Ferrari 103 2. Raikkonen 56 2. Williams-BMW 100 3. R.Schumacher 53 3. McLaren-Mercedes 85 4. Montoya 47 4. Renault 52 5. Barrichello 39 5. BAR-Honda 13 = Alonso 39 6. Jaguar-Cosworth 12 7. Coulthard 29 7. Jordan-Ford 11 8. Trulli 13 8. Sauber 9 9. Webber 12 9. Toyota 5 10. Fisichella 10 = Button 10 12. Frentzen 7 13. Villeneuve 3 = da Matta 3 15. Panis 2 = Heidfeld 2 17. Firman 1 All timing unofficial

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French Grand Prix: Second win in eight days for Ralf
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