Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed victory in the penultimate race of the 2005 season at the Suzuka circuit in Japan after starting 17th. This was the team's sixth consecutive victory and Kimi's seventh of the season which means...
Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed victory in the penultimate race of the 2005 season at the Suzuka circuit in Japan after starting 17th. This was the team's sixth consecutive victory and Kimi's seventh of the season which means that Team McLaren Mercedes has won a total 10 races out of 18.
Juan Pablo Montoya retired from the race on lap one after an incident with Jacques Villeneuve. Kimi was on a two-stop strategy and came into the pits on laps 26 (8.3 seconds) and 45 (4.9 seconds). The team now heads for the last race in China trailing Renault by two points in the Constructors' standings.
"I think that was one of my best races ever with a lot of hard work and I really enjoyed myself. Considering all the problems we have had here to come away with a win is just fantastic. There was a lot happening on the first lap and both Juan Pablo and myself got involved, which is often inevitable when you are starting so far down."
"I was pushing as hard as I could and the car just got better and better. My seventh gear was a little too short which meant that the revlimiter sometimes kicked in and made it difficult to overtake. I knew that Webber and Button had to pit before me, and after the second stop I had gained enough on Fisichella to go for it and I did."
"I got past him on the last lap coming into the first corner, and it was one of those opportunities you have to take. Today's result means that I have the best possible position for qualifying in China, but as this weekend showed that is no guarantee. I look forward to Shanghai where we will do everything we can to win the Constructors' Championship."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"What a disappointment for me and my team. I would have liked to take part in this exciting race which I watched from the pitwall. We probably could have had a one-two today which would have been fantastic for the team. I got off the line well, but it was a bit crowded at the first two corners, and I think Kimi and I gently touched, but fortunately nothing happened."
"However then Villeneuve missed the chicane and pushed me off the track, and that was the end of my race. All in all a difficult weekend. However I'm now off to Shanghai to prepare for the last race of the year where hopefully we will win the Constructors' battle."
"Probably the best race of Kimi's career and a fantastic reward for the team's efforts in what has been a challenging weekend. The strategy was executed in a professional and disciplined manner and Michelin also performed to their usual high standard."
"Unfortunately Juan Pablo was the victim of an incident with Jacques Villeneuve which is currently being investigated by the Stewards, and we expect them to share our opinion. We now look forward to an exciting end to the season in Shanghai where our aim is to clinch the Constructors' title."
"Congratulations to Kimi and the entire team for an outstanding performance. Both drivers' had a big handicap starting from the back which meant that Juan Pablo was a victim of the traffic on the first lap. Kimi had to fight hard to make progress being hampered by lots of traffic."
"The team's strategy helped him and he gave it his all. Passing Fisichella on the outside of the first corner on the last lap was one of the greatest moves we have seen for a long time – probably since Mika's in Spa 2000. Thanks to Michelin for an excellent job and their first Formula One win in Japan and also to all the team members and let's go for it in China next week."