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   Sunday, 26 May, 2002, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Coulthard ends victory drought
David Coultard holds off Michael Schumacher in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix
Coulthard had Schumacher right behind at the end

David Coulthard has won his first Formula One race for more than a year with a superb drive at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Scot held off a late-race challenge from world champion Michael Schumacher to win his first race since last year's Austrian event.

Coulthard led from the start, when he got the jump on pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya away from the grid.

The Colombian's team-mate Ralf Schumacher benefited from Montoya's retirement to finish third.

In a tense, exciting race, Coulthard led Montoya and the two Schumachers in a four-car train for the first 30 laps before beginning to build a lead as they lapped backmarkers.

If we had not had some traffic for the first two laps after our pit stop it would have been very close

Michael Schumacher

The gap Coulthard established was just enough to give him a decisive advantage and ensure he could retain the lead through the pit-stop period.

That happened, despite a clever tactic by Ferrari to try to grab the lead for Schumacher, who spent the first half of the race behind Montoya.

Coulthard said: "It's unbelievable. I feel fantastic.

"We have had a difficult start to the season, and it was looking pretty difficult for us to win a Grand Prix, but we had our hopes pinned on Monaco and getting a good result."

Coulthard began building his lead over Montoya from about lap 30.

Schumacher was being held up by the slowing Williams and Ferrari called their star driver in on lap 43.

The tactic gave Schumacher some clear air so that he could run at his own pace and try to gain time on Coulthard.

Schumacher set a new lap record in the process, beating the previous mark by 0.8 seconds, but Coulthard managed to get out in the lead from his own pit stop on lap 51.

David Coulthard leads at the first corner of the Monaco Grand Prix
Coulthard leads Montoya and the rest at the start
Schumacher said: "If we had not had some traffic for the first two laps after our pit stop it would have been very close.

"But they (McLaren) did a great job today and David deserved to win."

Coulthard had Schumacher right behind him for the last 25 laps of the race, but secured the second Monaco win of his career.

The result ended a run of four consecutive victories by Schumacher.

But his six points for second place mean he now has a 33-point lead in the championship.

Ralf Schumacher now shares second spot in the standings with Montoya on 27 points.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Jonathan Legard
"Coulthard bowed only to Prince Rainier"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

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Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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