Juan Montoya scored an unexpected win in the final race of the 2000 Formula One world championship, ending his relationship with the Williams-BMW team on a high point, but denying Kimi Raikkonen victory in Brazil for the second year running.

The triumph also silenced the samba drums of the crowd, as polewinner and home hero Rubens Barrichello was demoted to third place by the chequered flag. Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen duelled for victory over the final half of a rain-affected race, with the Colombian coming out on top by just over a second as Raikkonen's late charge coming up just short.

The Finn was the first to show his hand, bolting past Barrichello on lap one, but the weather had the biggest say in the early going. Heavy drizzle started to descend on Interlagos with an hour to go to the 'green light', sparking fears of a repeat of last year's atrocious conditions. The precipitation never got any heavier, however, and stopped not long after the grid began to form up. There was still a decision to be made over tyres, though, and, in the end, only David Coulthard and the two Renaults opted for dry weather rubber.

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In the opening laps, the choice appeared to be the wrong one, with only Fernando Alonso able to make use of his tyres. Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve began by duelling over last place on the road, the Canadian having run wide as early as turn one. By this stage, Raikkonen was already opening out a healthy gap on Barrichello, with Felipe Massa making the most of his second row slot to get the jump on Montoya.

The Colombian retaliated quickly, but found Massa in no-nonsense mood, and their scuffle allowed Jenson Button take advantage. The Briton was in trouble, though. His BAR-Honda had begun smoking on the grid and, despite moving in to third spot, was already beginning to tighten up. No sooner had the team begun to clear a space in the garage for the ailing machine than Button was forced to park up.

If the Montoya/Massa battle was intriguing, it was being repeated all down the field as the drivers got to grips with the ever-changing conditions. Even the world champion, a renowned 'rainmaster' was struggling as he fought his way through from a lowly 18th on the grid. Michael Schumacher had opted not to start his race from the pit-lane, and the choice appeared correct as he blasted up to twelfth on the opening lap. However, a move on Christian Klien saw the two cars make light contact and, a lap later, Schumacher spun while attempting to repass the Austrian.

It was not all bad news for Ferrari, however, as Barrichello retook the lead on lap four, but things were about to get complicated as the teams decided that the time had arrived to switch from inters to 'slicks'. Ralf Schumacher was the first to stop, but opened the floodgates as those who had gone for the same rubber followed suit.

The question now was the timing of the stops and for some, like Barrichello, the moment was crucial. While the Michelin-shod frontrunners poured into the pits on lap five, Ferrari left the race leader out for another tour - a move which allowed Montoya, Raikkonen, Ralf and Takuma Sato to rejoin ahead of him. Felipe Massa inherited the lead when Rubens finally stopped, enjoying glory in front of his home crowd for a lap before making his own pit-call. The tyre change dropped the Brazilian well down the order, however, and he had to battle hard just to make it back into the points by the end.

In front when the dust settled was Alonso, the Spaniard having kept his head during the opening few laps, before banging in times several seconds quicker than his rivals. The Renault driver stayed at the head of the field for ten laps before making the first of his scheduled two stops, rejoining in sixth as he strived to give his team every chance of overhauling the now one-car BAR squad in the constructors' points. Team-mate Villeneuve continued to dice with David Coulthard, but was now doing so at the tail end of the top eight, immediately behind Barrichello.

Montoya assumed the lead on lap 18, having acquired the advantage over Raikkonen after the pair had gone head-to-head as the exited the pit-lane after the early stops. The Colombian was driving like a man on a mission, trading lap records with the undoubtedly frustrated Barrichello, as he attempted to break clear of the chasing pack. Michelin appeared to have the upper hand, however, with the top five filled by cars running its products.

Nick Heidfeld reduced Bridgestone's options after retiring with transmission failure on lap 17, but Mark Webber did his bit to even the numbers by getting involved in an incident which guaranteed that Jaguar Racing would bow out of Formula One on a sad, and slightly embarrassing, note. Stuck behind rookie team-mate Klien, the Australian attempted an optimistic move heading into turn one on lap 23. The move required Klien to see and react to what was happening, but the youngster had little chance of avoiding the second Jaguar on his inside and both cars ended up losing a front wing. While Klien was able to return, slowly, to the pits, however, Webber was a passenger as his R5 tobogganed across the infield before coming to rest against the tyre wall. The distraught Australian spent the rest of the race watching from the trackside bank, looking for all the world as if it was his last grand prix and not the team's.

The three-stoppers - basically those who has started on inters - began the second round of stops not long afterwards, but there was little movement in the running order, save for Alonso rising back to third. The Spaniard, however, was now at the head of an angry train comprising Ralf, Sato and Rubens - as the rain began to fall again.

Any thoughts of a dramatic finale to the season were quickly dashed when the drizzle stopped almost as abruptly as it had started, but Montoya and Raikkonen were determined to put on a show for the crowd before teaming up in 2005. Barring incidents, the victory was almost certain to fall to one or other, but the outcome remained in doubt until the closing couple of laps.

Behind the front two, Barrichello used Alonso's final stop to effectively cement a podium finish - Interlagos jinx permitting - while a four-car train duelled over fourth place. Alonso was again at its head, fending off the BAR of Sato, while Ralf did the same with brother Michael, who appeared on course for another subdued finale as he proved unable to bridge the gap to his younger sibling.

With the race winding down, Ralf made sure that he would not be passed by the Ferrari, taking advantage of a slip by Sato to claim fifth place. The Japanese driver then fell into the clutches of the world champion, but managed to hold on to a 0.4secs gap at the flag.

Further back, Massa had moved back into the final point-scoring position, the memories of leading the race all but erased by the desire to at least add to Sauber's tally on home ground. The Brazilian had team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella for company over the closing stages, the two Swiss cars claiming eighth and ninth places ahead of Villeneuve's Ferrari.

The Canadian was the first of the lapped runners, having been caught by the flying Montoya and Raikkonen in the closing stages, but came home three seconds clear of race-long rival Coulthard, Toyota twins Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta were next up, with Klien, nose change notwithstanding, heading Timo Glock and the two Minardis home.

Montoya continued to lead through to his final pit-stop on lap 50, but Raikkonen remained on track for a further five tours in an attempt to open out enough of a gap to snatch the advantage for good when he returned to the track. Montoya was unable to repeat the new lap record he set ahead of his in-lap, but Raikkonen had left himself just too much of a task, and resumed a second behind the Colombian.

The gap shrank and stretched with the vagaries of traffic, going out to 1.4secs as JPM got a break, and closing to as little as 0.6secs as Kimi fought back. An error at Bico do Pato, while pushing hard to close the gap even further, effectively sealed the Finn's fate, however, and consigned him to a second successive runners-up finish at Interlagos. This year, at least, the result was clear for all to see...