3 August 2003
German GP 2003 - Montoya blazes trail to victory.
Battle was really joined on lap 55, when Trulli made enough of an error to allow Schumacher and Coulthard right on to his tail. With his rear Michelins showing clear signs of blistering in the heat, Trulli was little more than a sitting duck, and it was only the unintentional presence of a lapped Jenson Button that prevented the world champion diving to his inside at turn two three laps later.
Schumacher was not to be denied and, just one corner later, made his move to the outside of the new hairpin. Trulli, aware that he had little left with which to defend, opted to run the Ferrari out to the edge of the track and beyond, but Schumacher kept his foot in and was ahead of the Renault by the first part of the Mercedes stand complex.
Coulthard was not able to benefit from the move, having been held up by Button as the trio exited the second corner, but was in place to try and replicate Schumi's move a lap later. Trulli, this time, was wise to the trick, and held DC out for longer, the Scot unable to make the pass until the Renault slid wide at the following combination of corners.
Schumacher's one lap headstart appeared to have put the issue of podium places beyond doubt, however, and attention switched to seeing whether the hobbled Trulli could indeed hold on to fourth place, as team-mate Alonso began a late-race charge and the two Toyotas battled among themselves for the right to finish fifth. Even the right to a single point was being debated, with Webber having closed on to the back of Button, after the pair had swapped places with Heidfeld and Villeneuve during each round of pit-stops.
The battle for eighth was resolved in Button's favour when Webber went off the road and into the barriers with a few laps to run, but the Briton quickly became a possibility for seventh as the early race drama returned to grace the final few laps.
Seemingly certain of second and eight further points to put between himself and Raikkonen, Schumacher suddenly slowed to a crawl, his left rear tyre down to the rim. as he crawled the half lap back to the pits, the world champion was passed by both Renaults and the two Toyotas, and only had his massive lead over Button to thank for being able to emerge in front of the Briton after stopping for a change of rubber.
To add insult to injury, the Ferrari was put a lap down by the leader, whose serene progress had gone on as backdrop to the drama behind him. Only when Kiesa got a little sideways coming off the last corner kerb did Williams and BMW hearts jump, but Montoya rattled off the remaining miles to take his second win of the year.
The Colombian is now Schumacher's main challenger for the title, having racked up 50 points in the last six races.
That is a one hot streak.....
1. Juan Montoya Colombia Williams-BMW 67 laps 1hr 28min 48.769secs
2. David Coulthard Britain McLaren-Mercedes +1min 05.400secs
3. Jarno Trulli Italy Renault-Renault +1min 09.000secs
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault-Renault +1min 09.300secs
5. Olivier Panis France Toyota-Toyota +1 lap
6. Cristiano da Matta Brazil Toyota-Toyota +1 lap
7. Michael Schumacher Germany Ferrari-Ferrari +1 lap
8. Jenson Button Britain BAR-Honda +1 lap
9. Jacques Villeneuve Canada BAR-Honda +2 laps
10. Nick Heidfeld Germany Sauber-Petronas +2 laps
11. Mark Webber Australia Jaguar-Cosworth +3 laps
12. Nicolas Kiesa Denmark Minardi-Cosworth +5 laps
Rtd Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Jordan-Ford 60 laps completed
Rtd Jos Verstappen Holland Minardi-Cosworth 23 laps completed
Rtd Justin Wilson Britain Jaguar-Cosworth 6 laps completed
Rtd Ralf Schumacher Germany Williams-BMW 1 lap completed
Rtd Heinz-Harald Frentzen Germany Sauber-Petronas 1 lap completed
Rtd Kimi Raikkonen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 0 laps completed
Rtd Rubens Barrichello Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 0 laps completed
Rtd Ralph Firman Britain Jordan-Ford 0 laps completed
Juan Montoya Williams-BMW 1min 14.917secs lap 14
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