Williams rediscovers its winning ways

Victory at Monaco means a great deal to any team, with all the associated prestige. But, for Williams, it means even more as it puts the many-time champions back on the winning trail at a time when its future with BMW appears to be up in the air

Williams rediscovers its winning ways

Juan Pablo Montoya started third on the grid but blasted past McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen at the start, chasing after his team-mate Ralf Schumacher. Fast in and out laps either side of the first of his two pit stops put the Colombian ahead. Once there, he controlled the race for his first win since the Italian Grand Prix at the end of the 2001 season. Ralf slipped back to fourth.

"Today was the ideal day. The car worked well, the tyres worked well and the team did a fantastic job. We really needed this. It's fantastic. It's unreal. There were a few races where I was close to a win and then just didn't make it, like in Australia.

"The key today was the start, when I was able to jump in front of Kimi and then I set about widening the gap to him before my pit stops. After that, it was just a matter of pacing myself. I wasn't under too much pressure from Kimi in the closing laps, but I had to stay alert. Winning in Monaco is very special. It's a bit like winning the Indy 500 in the USA."

Ralf was understandably less elated: "Obviously it's disappointing to finish fourth when you start on pole, especially on a track like Monaco where being on pole means more than anywhere else. The balance of my car was, for some reason, not ideal after my first pit stop and I couldn't keep up with the pace of the leaders. Congratulations, though, to Juan Pablo and the whole team for a great result."

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen was delighted with the victory: "This is such a great result, it just feels so good. This success, including yesterday's pole position, means further motivation to our team. We've felt for a while that we're improving but haven't, until now, managed to turn this into results."

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