Maiden F1 title for Montoya at Monza

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya scores maiden win of his Formula One career with victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Monza, Italy:

Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya scored the maiden win of his Formula One career with victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sunday. The Williams-BMW driver, 26 next Thursday, triumphed in his 15th race by 5.1 seconds from the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello. Williams teammate Ralf Schumacher was third a place ahead of older brother Michael. Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza began on a somber mood overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in the United States but the excitement of the game soon caught up. Jenson Button accelerated hard and made up several places from eleventh on the grid, only to collide with Jarno Trulli, taking the Italian out of the race. Coulthard had inherited Trulli's fifth place, but this was not to last long. On the eighth lap the Scot was forced out of the race with smoke billowing from the rear of his McLaren. As the disappointed driver trudged back to the garage, closest rival for second place in the championship. Rubens Barrichello was the fastest man on track, and on the next lap he passed Montoya to take the lead. The Brazilian was to encounter trouble, though, on his first pit stop - a stuck fuel nozzle costing him vital time. He rejoined the race back in third place. Two further laps had passed when Mika Hakkinen was forced to retire with gearbox problems, sealing a disastrous weekend for McLaren. Having exerted continuous pressure on the younger Schumacher, Barrichello eventually took the Williams driver to move into second behind Montoya. Malaysia's Alex Joong, meanwhile, limped out on lap 44 of his debut Grand Prix. Joong is the first ever Malaysian Formula One driver. Spain's Pedro de la Rosa was going well, the Jaguar driver standing fifth ahead of BAR's Jacques Villeneuve in sixth. Montoya's first Formula One victory, in his fifteenth race, duly arrived. "I'm so happy, you know. First of all I want to thank everyone at Williams and BMW - they have done a fantastic job for me and I'm just so pleased with the result," said Montoya after his win. And this win is particularly satisfying to the former CART driver, having come on Ferrari's home territory - the fastest circuit in Formula One and one that he had never before raced on. Rubens Barrichello took second place, with Ralf Schumacher third, a place ahead of brother Michael.

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