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Italian Grand Prix
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Race Report - Results
Rubens Barrichello wins his 3rd race of the season ahead of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button and Olivier Panis make the top 6.
In what was hoped to be a thrilling race turned out to be
thrilling for the first few laps. At the start Ralf Schumacher managed to make
a brilliant start and got ahead of Michael Schumacher and then Juan Pablo
Montoya at the first chicane, Rubens Barrichello also managed to get ahead of
Michael Schumacher for 3rd.
Rubens Barrichello managed to get ahead of Juan Pablo and a lap later Michael Schumacher gets ahead of him. The 2 Ferraris then started building a gap and it was clear at that stage that the Williams in race trim wasn't close enough to Ferrari even on this type of track.
Barrichello starting pulling a gap to Michael and it became
clear that he was on a two stop strategy. Just before his first pit stop, he
was over 16 seconds ahead of Michael.
Around lap 30, the single stoppers went in and following
that Rubens Barrichello regained the lead ahead of Michael Schumacher with
Juan Pablo Montoya in 3rd and a long way behind.
On lap 34 Juan Pablo pits for an unscheduled stop and
retires with a suspension problem possibly as a result of riding the kerbs.
On lap 37, Barrichello pits for his second and final stop and rejoins just ahead of Michael. Once that was settled the Ferrari drivers were just having fun. Rubens and Michael would take turns in slowing down and even letting other drivers un-lap them!.
In the end Rubens slowed down to let Michael close and they crossed the finish line in formation. Even then they finished over 50 seconds ahead of 3rd placed Eddie Irvine.
Irvine finishing in 3rd gave a huge boost to his team. They
have now achieved 2 strong results and will likely do well in the final 2
races of the season. Similarly, both Renaults managed to finish in the points
as they seem to have managed to get their cars a bit more reliable so as to
cross the finish line. Jarno Trulli who finished in 4th was particularly
impressive after having to start the race from the back of the gird.
So with Barrichello winning the race he now extends his lead over Montoya to 17 points and with just 2 races to go, his second place in the Championship is all but sealed. He just needs 3 points from the next 2 races even if Montoya manages to win both which is pretty unlikely.
By failing to score any points, Williams failed to clinch second in the Constructors championship but again with just 2 races to go, they just need to score 3 points even if McLaren manage to finish 1st and 2nd in both races which is pretty unlikely too.
Renault are now 9 points ahead of Sauber and that almost secures 4th place for them while Jaguar have come from almost nowhere to take 6th and threat even Sauber for 5th.
Click here of the Drivers' Championship table for this season
Next stop: The US GP on the 29th of September.