MCLAREN-MERCEDES F1 TEAM FORMULA 1 : GP ITALY MONZA RACE

05.09.2005: MCLAREN-MERCEDES F1 TEAM FORMULA 1 : GP ITALY MONZA RACE

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Juan Pablo Montoya won today's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which he had started from pole position. It is the first victory for Team McLaren Mercedes at Monza since 1997, Juan Pablo's second win of this season and the sixth of his Formula One career. His team mate Kimi Raikkonen came home fourth in the 53-lap race. Both drivers pitted twice, however Kimi was on a one-stop-strategy and his second stop was caused by a problem with his left rear tyre and the team had to change it on lap 28 (5.0 seconds). Juan Pablo came in for fuel on laps 20 (8.2 seconds) and 40 (7.1 seconds), whilst Kimi's regular pit stop was on lap 25 (11.5 seconds). Kimi remains second and Juan Pablo fourth in the Drivers' World Championship with 76 and 50 points respectively. Team McLaren Mercedes are second in the constructors' ranking with 136 points.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA

"It is great to win here in Monza especially after such an exciting race. I had a good clean start getting off the line and down to the first corner without any problems. I pushed really hard in the opening stages to build a gap between me and Fernando Alonso but after a couple of laps I really started to suffer from understeer and the car became very difficult to drive. Towards the end I had a severe problem with my left rear tyre. This left me with very little grip in the closing stages, and I just couldn't go on pushing, but it was enough to get me to the line in first place. I want to thank all in the team for their fantastic support and I am looking forward to the next race at Spa."

KIMI RAIKKONEN

"This was a very disappointing day for me which could have ended much better. Due to an engine change I had to start from 11th, and then a tyre problem caused an additional stop which prevented me from benefiting from our one stop strategy. I had one spin when I hit the curbs in the last stage of the race, but that didn't influence the outcome too much. I pushed very hard throughout and the speed of the car, even with a heavy fuel load, was excellent. So it is a pity that the result does not reflect our performance. Even though my World Championship chances are not looking so good I will continue to fight."

RON DENNIS

"A stressfull race, Juan Pablo did a great job especially looking after the tyre in the final laps of the race. We knew it was not dangerous, and we had the race in control. It was disappointing as our strategists had calculated that Kimi, without his tyre problem, would have moved up to second place after Fernando Alonso's final pitstop. All in all we had a great strategy, and Kimi drove an excellent race. The mathematics clearly demonstrate that we are still capable of winning both World Championships, but of course it is going to be somewhat challenging. As history shows, we love a challenge."

NORBERT HAUG

"Congratulations to Juan Pablo and the team on a great race victory. Kimi's performance was outstanding and he was the never stopping to fight until the very end and it was impressive how he compensated the big gap, due to traffic he experienced coming from 11th place. With the one-stop strategy the team had applied even a victory was possible for him today despite his starting position after the engine of yesterday. Unfortunately a tyre problem prevented him from making best use of the strategy. The condition of Juan Pablo's left rear tyre got worse during the last laps of the race but he kept his cool and controlled the race to the finish line. We will keep on fighting for both World Championships as long as there is a mathematical chance to win them and we are now looking forward to the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa."

- Ellen Kolby - Wolfgang Schattling -

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05.09.2005 / MaP

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