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Formula One revived by Trulli win
Alan Baldwin in Monaco | May 24, 2004 17:22 IST
Renault and Jarno Trulli have given Formula One the air it was gasping for by breaking Michael Schumacher's stranglehold.
It may not last long, with Schumacher's home European Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring next weekend, but the celebrations went on into the night on Sunday after the Italian's Monaco success.
Trulli is a driver whose career has promised much but delivered little over the years, often shining in qualifying and then falling apart on race day.
On Sunday, against the glittering backdrop of the millionaires' yachts bobbing in the Monte Carlo harbour, he came good in one of the toughest races of them all while Schumacher crashed in a tunnel.
"It is obviously good for the sport," said BAR's Briton Jenson Button, who had hoped to provide the breakthrough himself but ended up second.
"This is a race that a lot of people watch and it has got to really help the sport to have a different winner.
"On a circuit that you can't overtake on, if you have an exciting race then I think we have all got to look forward to the Nuerburgring," said Button.
"Today was a great day for F1 because you saw so much happening," added McLaren's David Coulthard.
"There was controversy which is always good, some silliness and some accidents but, thankfully, all the drivers are okay. And we have got a new winner."
Williams' technical director Patrick Head, whose team won in Monaco last year, was also in congratulatory mood: "I think it is a fantastic result. It has been coming for some time," he said.
"I am sure for him (Trulli) it is a great monkey off the back as he has been in F1 for a long time. It is a great result for him and a great result for F1 really."
Monaco is unlike any other race and Renault's form, while confirming them as Ferrari's main challengers in a one-sided championship race, changed little in the grand scheme of things.
Ferrari and Schumacher have not won in the principality's unforgiving streets since 2001. They lost there even in their last season of total domination in 2002, when they won all but two of the races when Coulthard triumphed against the odds.
McLaren, now 83 points behind Ferrari and sixth overall in the 10-team championship, were out of the game with neither of their cars finishing.
Williams also looked out of sorts with last year's winner Juan Pablo Montoya and Schumacher colliding in the tunnel behind the safety car.
That controversy, and several others, will rumble on and on but Schumacher can expect to come out on top next weekend at a circuit where Ferrari have won in three of the last four years.
"We've had a lot of good races in the recent past. And now, it just went a bit bad for us," said Schumacher.
"Now we have to use our strengths and take advantage of the strengths we have at the Nuerburging, the same way we've done it in the past."
Ferrari have been beaten, for the first time since August last year when Renault's Fernando Alonso won in Hungary, but the terminator that is Michael Schumacher will be back soon enough -- and this time with a vengeance.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage