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Montoya beats Raikkonen to Brazilian victory
(F1Racing.net)
Updated: 2004-10-25 09:57

Juan Pablo Montoya beat his 2005 team mate Kimi Raikkonen to victory in today's Brazilian Grand Prix. The Colombian leaves the BMW WilliamsF1 team with their sole victory of the season and his fourth career win. Raikkonen pushed him all the way to the line to finish second while Rubens Barrichello finished third.

The race started on a wet circuit though the rain had eased off for the start of the race. With air temperature up at twenty-four degrees Centigrade the drivers all started the race on intermediate tyres. Fernando Alonso risked starting on dry weather tyres.


BMW Williams Formula One team driver Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia drives out of the pits in the first free practice of the 2004 Brazil GP at Sao Paulo's Interlagos race track, October 22, 2004. [Reuters]

Barrichello made a strong start while Montoya fell back behind Massa. Barrichello ran wide in the third corner allowing Kimi Raikkonen to get a run on him and passed him on the inside of turn four to take the lead.

At the end of lap one Raikkonen led Barrichello, Button carved his way to third as Massa and Montoya scrapped for fourth with Sato sixth. Michael Schumacher had already moved up from eighteenth to tenth but his charge was short lived as he lost control of his car when he touched the white line on the inside of turn two and spun on lap three.

Meanwhile on lap three Jenson Button's Honda engine blew while he was third and Rubens Barrichello drove past Kimi Raikkonen down the pit straight and into turn one.

On lap five it became apparent that the track was too dry for intermediate tyres and the entire field pitted over the course of the next two laps as Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa led the race briefly. Massa inherited the lead for just a lap but Fernando Alonso was the man on the move after starting on dry tyres the Spaniard was setting a searing pace and cutting his way up the order.


Ferrari Formula One team driver Rubens Barrichello of Brazil drives out of the pits during the first free practice of the 2004 Brazil GP at Sao Paulo's Interlagos race track, October 22, 2004. [Reuters]

With the switch to dry tyres complete Fernando Alonso found himself leading the race with an eight second advantage over Montoya and Raikkonen. Ralf Schumacher was fourth ahead of Sato, Barrichello, Villeneuve and Coulthard.

Fernando Alonso made his first pit stop of the afternoon on lap eighteen releasing Montoya into the lead just as the Colombian set the fastest lap of the race.

Montoya continued to lead Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher as Alonso rejoined the race in sixth while on lap twenty-two Christian Klien didn't see Mark Webber charge down the inside of turn one and squeezed in on the Australian sending him out of the race while Klien pitted for a new front wing.

Montoya pitted from the lead on lap twenty-eight for his second stop of the afternoon releasing Raikkonen into the lead though the Finn made his second stop on the next lap.

On lap thirty-five Montoya led Raikkonen by five seconds with Alonso a further ten seconds behind the Finn. Ralf Schumacher was up to third ahead of Rubens Barrichello, Takuma Sato, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve.

Montoya made his final stop on lap 49 releasing Raikkonen into the lead. The Colombian rejoined the race in second but the Finn put the hammer down and was on a charge to show his future team mate who would be boss at McLaren in 2005. Raikkonen dived into the pits on lap 54 with a 19.5s lead over Montoya. A very quick stop and Raikkonen was on is way as Montoya barrelled down the pit straight and weaved through the first two corners and snatched back the lead from McLaren.

Kimi Raikkonen pushed hard all the way to the chequered flag but could not distract Montoya from taking his first F1 victory since Germany 2003. McLaren chief Ron Dennis looked on knowing that the drivers who finished first and second would be team mates at his team in 2005.

While Montoya and Raikkonen took the spoils, pole sitter Rubens Barrichello ended the race third, a full twenty-three seconds behind the leaders and while it wasn't the win he so desperately wanted, it was at least a finish and a podium at his home venue.

Fernando Alonso finished the race a credible fourth keeping Ralf Schumacher at bay for most of the afternoon as the German came home fifth. Takuma Sato took sixth for BAR Honda ahead of Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa claimed the final point for Sauber.



 
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