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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 June, 2003, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Ralf ends win drought
EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX
Ralf Schumacher celebrates his first win for more than a year
Ralf took his first GP win of 2003
1 R Schumacher (Williams)
2 JP Montoya (Williams)
3 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
4 F Alonso (Renault)
5 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
6 M Webber (Jaguar)
7 J Button (BAR)
8 N Heidfeld (Sauber)
Ralf Schumacher continued the Williams team's mid-season revival with a convincing victory at the European Grand Prix on Sunday.

The German led home team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya in a one-two for Williams just two days after they announced an extension of their engine deal with BMW until 2009.

Montoya was followed home by Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, but the Colombian was embroiled after the race in a row with the Ferrari team.

Ferrari described as "mad" a manoeuvre on lap 43 in which their lead driver Michael Schumacher spun while Montoya was passing him around the outside for second place.

Schumacher managed to rejoin the race with the help of a push start from the marshals and finished fifth, behind Renault driver Fernando Alonso.

Ralf Schumacher benefited from the retirement through engine failure of pole-sitter and early race leader Kimi Raikonnen.

The Finn streaked away into the lead at the start and held his advantage through the first round of pit stops before seeing his hopes go up in smoke on the 26th lap when his McLaren engine blew up.

His retirement paved the way for Ralf to answer the critics who have circling him since he drove a lacklustre race to second place behind brother Michael in Canada two weeks ago.

This proved a bad driver can win races
Ralf Schumacher

This time, Ralf turned the tables on his older brother, passing him at the start and holding him off until the first pit stops.

Ralf then won the advantage of a better strategy, pitting later than the Ferrari star and consolidating his second place before inheriting the lead when Raikkonen's engine blew.

Ralf took a swipe at his critics after the win, saying it proved that a "bad" driver could still prevail.

"This is great - it's been a long time," he said.

"I have had a couple of pole positions but been unable to turn them into victory and taken a bit of criticism, but this proved a bad driver can win races.

I gave him [Michael Schumacher] plenty of room but I wasn't going to give him all the track
Juan Pablo Montoya

"If you look at where we started [this season] I can't remember a team turning it round so much."

Of the controversial lap 43 incident Montoya said: "I don't know what was wrong with Michael but in the corner he was very slow.

"I gave him plenty of room but I wasn't going to give him all the track."

A costly lapse in concentration, meanwhile, cost Briton David Coulthard fifth place when he spun off the track while duelling with Alonso with three laps to go.

The incident, in which Coulthard lost control after seeming to be taken by surprise by Alonso, is under investigation by the stewards.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Legard
"Michael Schumacher recovered to finish fifth"


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