Coulthard wins Monaco GP in fine style

Coulthard wins Monaco GP in fine style

David Coulthard led the Monaco Grand Prix after beating pole position man Juan Pablo Montoya to the first corner in what was an entertaining race. In hot sunny conditions the McLaren driver kept his lead until the chequered flag, despite some ...

David Coulthard led the Monaco Grand Prix after beating pole position man Juan Pablo Montoya to the first corner in what was an entertaining race. In hot sunny conditions the McLaren driver kept his lead until the chequered flag, despite some worrying looking smoke escaping his engine for a few laps. For the first dozen laps it was a very close fight between the top eight or nine cars until Coulthard started to pull away.

First corner: David Coulthard leading Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
Jacques Villeneuve had some problem with his BAR, being pushed off the starting grid, rejoining the race a lap down and eventually retired. Jenson Button was also a victim of the start, dropping down to seventeenth. An over enthusiastic attempt to pass Villeneuve's team mate Olivier Panis at Ste. Devote put them both out of the race.

Takuma Sato made up four places off the grid but his race was cut short -- coming out of the tunnel sideways he narrowly missed Jordan team mate Gianarlo Fisishella and hit the barrier at the chicane. Fisichella went on to have a good race, fighting with Jarno Trulli for position and coming home fifth, Trulli finishing fourth for his first points of the season.

Looking down on the front straight.
Photo by Shell Motorsport.
The barriers claimed quite a few victims: Enrique Bernoldi managed to get his Arrows past Felipe Massa only to have the Sauber touch the back of him, sending them both off. Although they managed to continue, Massa stopped for a new nose cone and then was given a stop and go penalty for the incident. Near the end of the race Massa locked up the front wheels going into Ste. Devote and hit the barriers head on in a heavy impact. He took some time to get out of the car but appeared all right, if a little shaken.

Alex Yoong sent his Minardi into the barriers at the entry of Casino Square and Rubens Barrichello tried to take Kimi Raikkonen and hit the back of the McLaren. Unfortunately for Raikkonen his car was unable to continue after a pit stop and Barrichello was given a stop and go plus another penalty for speeding in the pit lane. He went on to fight with Heinz-Harald Frentzen for sixth but the Arrows driver held the position.

Juan Pablo Montoya in front of Michael Schumacher.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
At the front Michael was very close to Montoya while Coulthard had built up an eight second lead. Montoya later developed an engine problem and let team-mate Ralf Schumacher past then the BWM engine blew up, leaving him to retire in flames. "Well it was better than last year!" Montoya said afterwards, as last Monaco he ended up in the barriers. "I'm glad it wasn't my fault. It was pretty good fun though."

The Toyotas didn't fare so well after their good performances in practice: Allan McNish was an early victim of the Ste. Devote barriers while Mika Salo went off at the top of the hill before Casino, hitting the barriers quite heavily.

Race winner David Coulthard.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
After the round of pit stops Michael held second to the chequered flag, not able to get close enough to Coulthard to take his chances. Ralf had to stop with a tyre problem but was far enough ahead of Trulli to keep third for his first ever finish at Monaco. He had by far the quietest race, in the final few laps there were some on track battles although no one managed to get past. A good race with plenty to watch and a deserving win for Coulthard. Final top six classification: Coulthard, M. Schumacher, R. Schumacher, Trulli, Fisichella, Frentzen.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Minardi , Jordan