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banner Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Coulthard shines in Brazil thriller
Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher
Montoya (r) put Schumacher in the shade
Brazilian Grand Prix
Click here for full results

David Coulthard grabbed his and McLaren's first win of the season as world champion Michael Schumacher had to settle for second in Brazil.

The Interlagos circuit was host to high drama from start to finish as Scot Coulthard kept his patience through stormy conditions for a deserved victory.

For half the race Colombian rookie Juan Pablo Montoya led and it seemed that he would land his first Formula One win.

But the 25-year-old's hopes were dashed when Dutchman Jos Verstappen rammed into the back of his Williiams.

Ferrari's Schumacher, trailing Montoya for most of the race, looked out of sorts and survived a number of spins to finish second.

Sauber's German star Nick Heidfeld held on for a shock third place to give him another four points to the three he collected in Australia.

Frenchman Olivier Panis finished fourth in his BAR, Jordan's Jarno Trulli fifth and Giancarlo Fisichella claimed a point in his Benetton.

Ralf Schumacher who began on the front row suffered a crash early on which dented his hopes while McLaren's former world champion Mika Hakkinen retired after stalling at the start.

Juan Pablo Montoya
Montoya can count himself unlucky

The race promised thrills and spills from the off and it duly delivered.

Championship hopeful Hakkinen stalled on the grid in his McLaren, as the cars sped away with Ferrari's Schumacher taking the lead from Montoya.

The Colombian, who started fourth on the grid, showed all the pedigree which his Williams team saw in the driver when they signed him for the 2001 season.

With the McLaren still stuck, the safety car was soon called into service.

But as soon as the pace car left, that was when the action started.

Montoya darted past Schumacher, in an aggressive overtaking manoeuvre reminiscent of former Formula One champion Nigel Mansell, to take a surprise early lead on lap three.

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, who was using the spare car after difficulties prior to the race, showed a lack of maturity as he tried to sneak past Ralf Schumacher's Williams.

The home favourite crashed into the back of Schumacher which effectively ended the Brazilian's race, with the German having to re-enter the race after extensive repair work on the car's chassis.

Brazil Grand Prix
Interlagos was treated to a thrilling start
Coulthard, seeking his first win of the campaign, set the fastest lap after 12 as he looked to stay in touch with the top two.

But the Interlagos crowd were being wowed by boy-wonder Montoya.

The 25-year-old, touted as the most exciting prospect in Formula One, took advantage of Schumacher's two-stop strategy to increase his lead as the championship leader rejoined the race, behind BAR's Olivier Panis, in fourth.

Montoya looked to be cruising but this was not to be fairytale story for the South Americian as Arrows' driver Verstappen inexplicably careered into the back of the leader to take both himself and the Montoya out of the race.

The path was left clear for Coulthard, who after making his pit-stop, came out seven-tenths of a second ahead of Schumacher on lap 40.

But the drama did not end there as the rain came teeming down forcing the cars to change to wets.

Schumacher, a master in the wet, had the advantage, but a Coulthard move which usurped that of Montoya's as "the best overtake of the season", gave the Scot the lead again.

And from then on the Scot did not look back, and as Schumacher faded, the road was clear to enter his hat firmly into the world championship arena.


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Results from the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos

  • 1 D Coulthard (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 305.909 km in 1hr 39min 0.834secs
  • 2 M Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari at 16.164secs
  • 3 N Heidfeld (Ger) Sauber-Petronas one lap
  • 4 O Panis (Fra) BAR-Honda one lap
  • 5 J Trulli (Ita) Jordan-Honda one lap
  • 6 G Fisichella (Ita) Benetton-Renault one lap
  • 7 J Villeneuve (Can) BAR-Honda one lap
  • 8 J Alesi (Fra) Prost-Acer one lap
  • 9 T Marques (Bra) European Minardi three laps
  • 10 J Button (Gbr) Benetton-Renault seven laps

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