Barrichello again waited just one more lap before making his stop, and this time the pressure was on the Ferrari
crew to turn him around in double-quick time. The stop was better, even though new tyres were again the order of the day, but the Brazilian was only third when he rejoined the fray.
Now the scene was set for a Williams
one-two - provided Montoya's car and luck held together for the remaining laps - although Barrichello was trying everything in his power to prevent a blue-and-whitewash in front of the massed ranks of red-shirted tifosi
His pit-stop had returned him to the track not far behind Schumacher, and the Brazilian quickly caught the out-of-sorts German. Tucking into his slipstream rounding the Parabolica, Barrichello was able to slingshot to the inside approaching the Rettifilio for the 48th lap. Schumacher was not about to give up, and left his braking surprisingly late in an effort to stave off the Ferrari. In the end, it proved to be just too late, the Williams
having no option but to take to the concrete run-off on the inside of the left-hand part of the chicane. Although he held his position as a result, Schumacher quickly realised that this would constitute a penalty, and let Barrichello though approaching Grande Curve.
Once free of the Williams, the Brazilian put his foot down in an effort to reel in Montoya for a second time. The laps were running out, however, and, despite nicking tenths back here and there, there was insufficient margin for him to catch the Colombian. Yellow flags at Lesmo I, for the stranded Alex Yoong, made life a little more difficult, and Barrichello eventually had to give second best to his rival.
The gap was a mere five seconds - one less than he had lost with the pit-stop problem....
The other Ferrari
trailed home in fourth, its driver never really looking as though he wanted to be at Monza, let alone racing, and was followed at a distance by the Jaguar of Pedro de la Rosa
and Jacques Villeneuve's BAR-Honda.
Whatever problem has ailed the car of team-mate Irvine also appeared to be having an effect of de la Rosa as both Jaguars, sporting black airboxes in much the same way as Ferrari
had mournful nosecones, slipped slightly after good starts. The Spaniard, however, managed to recover and, stopping later than most, was in a position to take his second points of the season.
Villeneuve had more work to do, the Canadian surprisingly lifting off early approaching the first chicane and being swallowed up by both Arrows and Alesi's Jordan. He trailed the yellow car - which supported a sympathetic stars-and-stripes on its airbox - for some time, and benefited when Alesi had to make a second stop. The Frenchman was also passed by the subdued Raikkonen and finished eighth overall.
Fisichella and Heidfeld recovered from their delayed starts to follow the second BAR of Olivier Panis across the line, the whole group having been held up by the resolute Enrique Bernoldi in the first half of the race. The Brazilian dropped to an eventual 14th after problems late on, and was classified behind grand prix newcomer Tomas Enge and the leading Minardi of Fernando Alonso, which was delayed by a sticking wheel at his only pit-stop.
Montoya's celebrations were as muted as could be expected of a first time grand prix winner, particularly after the false starts he had endured in Brazil, Austria and Germany, but he retained a modicum of decorum bearing in mind the pre-race events in America and Germany.
Despite the joy boiling inside him, there was also no champagne shower on the podium for a second year at Monza.
1. Juan Montoya
53 laps 1hr 16mins 58.493secs