Tiago Monteiro's unfortunate accidental brush with Juan Montoya's McLaren-Mercedes in the closing stages of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul left the Colombian not only ruing the loss of second place, but also in the firing line when he returned to the pits.

Whether his spin two laps from home was the direct result of having his diffuser re-arranged by the nose of Monteiro's late-braking Jordan, or rather the effect of pushing too hard to ensure that he kept ahead of the steady Fernando Alonso, remains to be seen, but the two points conceded to the Spaniard could be crucial when it comes to the final totting-up in both drivers' and constructors' championships.

While Montoya is not really a factor in the former, team-mate Kimi Raikkonen did all he could to prolong Alonso's probable coronation by winning in Turkey, only to see JPM allow the Spaniard to claw back two vital points at the death. Similarly, team boss Ron Dennis will not have been pleased to see Renault maintain a slim seven-point advantage in the teams' standings - even though he directed his immediate disappointment in Monteiro's direction.

Now, in the wake of the race, comes stories from Germany that none other than out-going world champion Michael Schumacher has been spotted in talks with Mercedes boss Norbert Haug. While the latter insists that they were merely passing the time of day putting the F1 world to rights, others see the 'talks' as more meaningful. Schumacher wants Ferrari to up its game for 2006, while McLaren wants its drivers - notably Montoya - to remain at the top of theirs for the rest of this season and beyond....

 

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