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Montoya wins British GP
Alan Baldwin |
July 10, 2005 19:42 IST
Juan Pablo Montoya won the British Grand Prix for McLaren on Sunday to chalk up his first success of the Formula One season.
While the Colombian opened his account with the Mercedes-powered team after winning last-year's Brazilian season-ender with Williams, Renault's Formula One leader Fernando Alonso was also smiling.
The Spaniard forged further ahead in the championship, finishing second to ease 26 points clear of McLaren rival Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn, whose chances of winning evaporated when he collected a 10-place penalty on the starting grid for an engine failure in Saturday practice, powered up from 12th place to third.
With eight races remaining, Alonso has 77 points to Raikkonen's 51.
The race was dictated by the first few seconds.
Alonso, starting on pole position for the fourth time in 11 races, had no reply as Montoya surged from third place on the grid to run side by side with the Spaniard through the first corner.
The fiery Colombian, determined to put a troubled first half of the season behind him, made the move stick and the remaining 59 laps came down to the pitstops.
That was where Renault's hopes of getting both their drivers on the podium for only the second time this year came unstuck, with Alonso's Italian team mate Giancarlo Fisichella again cursed by misfortune.
Fisichella was in third place, and heading for his first appearance on the podium since he won the Australian season-opener in March, when the Renault stalled after his second pitstop.
The Roman ended up fourth, ahead of BAR's Briton Jenson Button -- the overwhelming crowd favourite on a sunny afternoon -- and Ferrari's seven times world champion Michael Schumacher.
That was Schumacher's worst result at Silverstone since he broke his leg there in a 1999 crash. In 14 races at the circuit, he had never finished lower than fourth.
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello was seventh for Ferrari with Toyota's Ralf Schumacher claiming the final point.
Montoya, who has now won five grands prix since his debut in 2001, crossed the line 2.7 seconds ahead of Alonso.
Renault continue to lead the constructors' standings with 102 points to McLaren's 87.
A minute's silence was held before the race as a mark of respect for the London bomb victims.