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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Raikkonen keeps title hopes alive
BELGIAN GP RESULT
Kimi Raikkonen celebrates victory
1 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
2 F Alonso (Renault)
3 J Button (BAR)
4 M Webber (Williams)
5 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
6 J Villeneuve (Sauber)
7 R Schumacher (Toyota)
8 T Monteiro (Jordan)
Kimi Raikkonen kept the championship title race alive for another two weeks with victory at the Belgian Grand Prix.

His McLaren team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya led for most of the race only to crash out just after Raikkonen had taken the lead after a late pit stop.

However, championship leader Fernando Alonso's second place means he remains favourite to take the overall title.

BAR's Jenson Button recovered from a poor start to take third while Michael Schumacher crashed out on lap 25.

The victory was Raikkonen's sixth of the season and his second successive triumph at Spa-Francorchamps.

Although Montoya had dominated the race after a quick start, the Finn was in second and lapping quicker than his team-mate when the Colombian pitted on lap 33.

We had a perfect race and it was unfortunate for the team what happened in the last few laps
Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen pitted himself two laps later and had given himself enough of a cushion to come out of the pits well clear in first.

There was no way that Montoya would have been able to catch his team-mate but he was poised to secure McLaren's first one-two in five years.

However, Montoya, who was heading for second in Turkey this year before a clash with Tiago Monteiro, was involved in another incident with Williams driver Antonio Pizzonia to end his hopes.

"We had a perfect race and it was unfortunate for the team what happened in the last few laps because we could have had a one-two and we deserved it," said Raikkonen.

Alonso had needed to beat Raikkonen by four points in Belgium to claim the title and looked to be settling for third when disaster struck for Montoya.

An angry Michael Schumacher leaves the circuit before the end of the race
It's not the first time Sato has been involved in an incident like this, so it's not good
Michael Schumacher

However, his second place means the Spaniard now requires one third-place finish in any of the final three races to become the youngest world champion.

The 24-year-old takes a 25-point lead to the Brazilian Grand Prix in two week's time.

Behind him, Button struggled to cope with the wet conditions early on but settled into the race and slowly made his way up the field.

The highlight for the Briton was a stunning move on the outside of Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve on lap 24.

The race's first major incident came on lap 11 when Giancarlo Fisichella, who had been making steady progress up the field after being demoted to 13th, lost control of his Renault at Eau Rouge.

He smashed into the tyres at high speed but was able to walk away unscathed from the wreckage.

With the safety car deployed, the teams took the opportunity to pit with Raikkonen cleverly holding up the line of cars as they entered the pits to allow team-mate Montoya, who was already with the mechanics, to finish his stop.

Drivers such as Button, Sato and Michael Schumacher all decided to gamble with a switch to dry tyres.

However, they only lasted a lap as they returned to the pits as they found it impossible to keep hold of their cars on the damp track.

Toyota's Ralf Schumacher also gambled with the dry tyres when he pitted from second but he could not even complete his out lap and ran on to the grass at Les Combes.

Giancarlo Fisichella walks away from the wreckage of his Renault
Fisichella crashed out after getting out of shape at Eau Rouge

He returned to the pits to leave Montoya and Raikkonen in front and eventually finished in seventh.

However the German fared better than brother and reigning world champion Michael Schumacher.

He had been lapping faster than the McLaren duo but his miserable 2005 continued when he was hit from behind by BAR's Takuma Sato under braking on the approach to turn one.

The incident ended the race of both drivers and Schumacher showed his frustration by walking over to Sato, who was still in his car, and giving him an angry lecture.

"I'm not very happy," said Schumacher. "It's not the first time Sato has been involved in an incident like this, so it's not good."


Results of Belgian Grand Prix:

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren one hour 30 minutes 01.295secs
2 Fernando Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:30:29.298
3 Jenson Button (GB) BAR 1:31:01.298
4 Mark Webber (Aus) Williams 1:32:10.299
5 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Ferrari 1:33:28.300
6 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber 1:34:55.304
7 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:36:22.309
8 Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan 1:36:22.309
9 Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull 01:36:22.309
10 Felipe Massa (Bra) Sauber 1:36:22.309
11 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan 1:36:22.309
12 Christijan Albers (Ned) Minardi 1:36:22.309
13 Robert Doornbos (Ned) Minardi 1:36:22.309
14 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren 01:36:22.309
15 Antonio Pizzonia (Brz) Williams 1:36:22.309
16 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:36:22.309
17 David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull at 26 laps
18 Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR at 31 laps
19 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari at 31 laps
20 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault at 34 laps




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC motorsport commentator Maurice Hamilton



SEE ALSO
Schumacher fury after Sato clash
11 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Dennis clears Montoya over crash
11 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Montoya heads McLaren front row
10 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Alonso hits back in Spa practice
10 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Raikkonen fastest at rain-hit Spa
09 Sep 05 |  Formula One
I can still win title - Raikkonen
31 Aug 05 |  Formula One


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