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Ralf Schumacher wins

June 29, 2003 23:03 IST

Ralf Schumacher led a Williams one-two in the European Grand Prix after a dismal afternoon for Formula One's two title frontrunners.

Ralf's Colombian team mate Juan Pablo Montoya finished second on Sunday, ending local hopes of a Schumacher one-two finish when he nudged Ferrari's championship leader Michael into the gravel with 17 laps remaining.

It was Ralf's first win since Malaysia last year, his fifth career victory, and it came on the eve of his 28th birthday on Monday.

Ralf beat Montoya by 16.8 seconds in a race that exploded into action after a processional start. He led untroubled from the 26th lap when an engine failure ended Kimi Raikkonen's hopes of retaking the overall lead.

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello was third for Ferrari, ahead of Spain's Fernando Alonso in a Renault.

Michael Schumacher skidded off into the gravel after the collision with Montoya as the Colombian tried a daring overtaking manoeuvre on lap 43.

He kept the engine running, returning to the track in sixth place after four marshals pushed his car clear.

The five-times world champion, thwarted in his search for a 50th career win for Ferrari, moved up to fifth place three laps from the finish when McLaren's David Coulthard skidded off in a cloud of dust, narrowly missing Alonso.

The German almost took fourth place at the line, nearly touching the rear of Alonso's car as he desperately sought a way past, but he still became the first Formula One driver to score 1,000 points, taking his tally to 1,003.

Australian Mark Webber was sixth for Jaguar, a lap behind Ralf, with Briton Jenson Button seventh in a BAR and Germany's Mick Heidfeld eighth for Sauber.

McLaren's Raikkonen, still runner-up in the standings with 51 points to Schumacher's 58, started on pole for the first time and led from the start until a plume of smoke billowed out of his Mercedes engine.

He made no attempt to disguise his disappointment, pushing away a marshal who tried to help as he climbed from the car. After scrambling over a gate, he returned to the paddock on a scooter, pushing past reporters.

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