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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Montoya holds off Alonso for win
Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren leads Fernando Alonso's Renault during the Italian Grand Prix
1 JP Montoya (McLaren)
2 F Alonso (Renault)
3 G Fisichella (Renault)
4 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
5 J Trulli (Toyota)
6 R Schumacher (Toyota)
7 A Pizzonia (Williams)
8 J Button (BAR)
McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya won the Italian Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso extended his championship lead over Kimi Raikkonen by finishing second.

Raikkonen had to change a damaged tyre on his McLaren but still finished fourth after a one-stop strategy.

The Finn, who started 11th on the grid, is 27 points behind Renault's Alonso with only a maximum of 40 available.

Montoya also suffered tyre problems but held off Alonso, whose team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was third.

Montoya, who led throughout, appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win but began struggling in the closing laps with a damaged left-rear tyre - exactly the problem that had earlier hit Raikkonen.

Alonso started to close down the 11-second gap between the two men but Montoya was able to hold on to win by 2.4 seconds.

Colombian Montoya had never been more than 2.5secs ahead of Alonso before their first pit stops.

I could see the tyre breaking up and there was no grip, but we got to the end
Juan Pablo Montoya
But Alonso was delayed after his first pit stop by a battle with Raikkonen, who had not yet stopped and was attempting to move up the field.

Alonso managed to hold up his title rival for two laps before the Finn scraped by.

Raikkonen passed the Renault into the first chicane, only to run wide, with Alonso following him off the track.

Alonso nipped back ahead as the two got back up to speed, but Raikkonen reclaimed the place with a move around the outside at the second chicane.

That allowed Montoya to build his advantage, which was nearly 10 seconds by the time the first pit stops had been completed, an advantage he held until his late tyre problems.

"The first few laps I pushed hard, opened a gap which it became a case of maintaining, but then the car started to suffer from oversteer," said Montoya.

Michael Schumacher leads Jarno Trulli in the early stages of the Italian Grand Prix
Schumacher failed to score a point at Ferrari's home race
"I could see the tyre breaking up and there was very little grip."

Alonso added: "The team informed me of the tyre problem Juan Pablo was suffering and I tried to close, but it was too late.

"Second place is good and I'm on the podium again, so this is good for me for the championship."

Following Raikkonen's brief battle with Alonso, the McLaren driver made his first pit stop later than anyone else - on lap 25 of the 53-lap race - and leapfrogged up to fifth place in the process.

McLaren gave him enough fuel to take him to the end of the race, while everyone else had one more stop to make.

That, allied to the McLaren's speed as the fastest car in the field, would probably have moved him up to at least third place.

But he was back in the pits at the end of lap 28 to replace his left-rear tyre, which had suffered excessive wear on its outside groove.

That put him down to 12th place, behind Jacques Villeneuve, who had held up the Finn in the first part of the race after the Sauber beat the McLaren away from the start line.

Jenson Button leads team-mate Takuma Sato during the Italian Grand Prix
Button faded in the race after qualifying his BAR third
Raikkonen passed Villeneuve and then his Sauber team-mate Felipe Massa before climbing to fourth place behind Fisichella as other drivers made their second pit stops.

But no sooner had Raikkonen moved up on to Fisichella's tail than he spun at Parabolica on lap 45, dropping back into fifth behind Jarno Trulli's Toyota.

Raikkonen passed the Italian again two laps later but was unable to catch and pass Fisichella in the remaining six laps.

Trulli was followed home by team-mate Ralf Schumacher in sixth, with Antonio Pizzonia, an impressive substitute driver for Williams, in seventh.

The Brazilian drove well on Williams' late-stopping strategy to move up from 16th on the grid.

Jenson Button finished eighth for the final point in his BAR, proving his prediction that he would struggle in the race despite qualifying third.

Ferrari had a disastrous home race. Michael Schumacher finished 10th, losing time at the end of an uncompetitive afternoon following a spin.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello was 12th.

David Coulthard finished 15th after pitting at the end of the first lap to replace a damaged front wing.

The race was the first to feature no retirements from a full grid since the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix.

This year's US race also had no retirements, but only six cars started.

Results of Italian Grand Prix:

1 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes one hour 14 minutes 28.659 seconds
2 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault at 2.479sec
3 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 17.975
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 22.775
5 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 33.786
6 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 43.925
7 Antonio Pizzonia (Brz) Williams-BMW 44.643
8 Jenson Button (GB) BAR-Honda 1:03.635
9 Felipe Massa (Brz) Sauber-Petronas 1:15.413
10 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:26.070
11 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber-Petronas one lap behind
12 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Ferrari one lap
13 Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull-Cosworth one lap
14 Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-BMW one lap
15 David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Cosworth one lap
16 Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR-Honda one lap
17 Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan-Toyota two laps
18 Robert Doornbos (Ned) Minardi-Cosworth two laps
19 Christijan Albers (Ned) Minardi-Cosworth two laps
20 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan-Toyota three laps

Report: BBC Sport's Maurice Hamilton

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