Monaco: Schumacher stops and Trulli wins
Jarno Trulli became the first driver other than Michael Schumacher to win in Formula One this season by taking the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday after Schumacher had a bizarre crash.
Schumacher's bid to become the first driver to win the first six races of a Formula One season ended with a wheel dangling from his damaged bright red Ferrari. It was the first race this season that Schumacher, a six-time champion, did not win. The victory was the first in 119 Grand Prix races for Trulli, who drives for Renault.
Schumacher was following the safety car, which was on the circuit after Fernando Alonso of Renault crashed on Lap 42, when he was apparently bumped from behind by Juan Pablo Montoya of BMW-Williams. That shunted Schumacher into a barrier.
The incident happened in the long tunnel of Monaco's narrow, twisting circuit, making it hard to see clearly what happened. But Trulli, who was behind, said Schumacher had braked to keep his tires warm just as Montoya accelerated.
Ferrari's technical director, Ross Brawn, confirmed that account. Stewards met with Schumacher and Montoya after the race.
"He was hit by Montoya from behind," Brawn said. "He was just warming up the brakes" for the restart.
Schumacher limped into the pits, retiring for the first time since April 2003, at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He still leads the championship with 50 points earned from his perfect first five races.
Trulli, 29, led at the start, keeping the advantage from the first pole position of his career. He held off a late surge from Jenson Button of BAR-Honda, who placed second.
"It's amazing," said Trulli, ecstatic with his victory at the shortest but most glamorous circuit in Formula One. "I won in Monaco, the best race probably in the world."
Schumacher's Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, placed third. He is still second in the driver standings, with 38 points.
Button, Ferrari's strongest challenger this season, is third, with 32 points, followed by Trulli, with 31.
Renault, also the last team to beat Ferrari, at the Hungarian Grand Prix in
August 2003, had been on course for a one-two until Alonso plowed into the
barriers as he lapped Ralf Schumacher, Michael's younger brother.