In Formula One
Juan Pablo Montoya finished his
four years with Williams in style as he won the season-ending
Brazilian GP at Interlagos.
The Colombian, who joins
rivals McLaren next season, took control of the race after the first
set of pit-stops and held off the advances of future team-mate Kimi
Raikkonen to take the checkered flag.
The victory, by a one second
margin, was the first of the season for both Montoya and the team and
was the driver's fourth of his Formula One career, which began with
BMW Williams in 2001.
Raikkonen hounded Montoya to
the finish line but he could not find the speed to overtake and grab
Home favorite Rubens
Barrichello, who started on pole ahead of the pair, had to settle for
third as he finished the Brazilian race for the first time since 1994.
Thank you, Frank
Juan Pablo Montoya left BMW
Williams as a winner in Brazil on Sunday, even if he had hoped for
greater things before the season started.
The Colombian had wanted to
take the world champion's number one with him to McLaren next year but
that dream was shattered by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher when the
championship was still in its infancy.
Williams had looked in
danger of drawing a blank for 2004 until Sunday, their last win being
Montoya's triumph at Hockenheim in August 2003.
They had struggled with the
radical-looking 'tusked' car early in the season, before abandoning
the style, and were hit by Ralf Schumacher's absence through injury
for six races over the European summer.
On Sunday, at the closest
thing to a home circuit for the driver from Bogota, Montoya provided
the best parting gift he could come up with, his fourth win for the
"It's been four years with
Williams, we've had ups, downs and everything and I think to close
those four years with a win is unbelievable," he said.
"I really want to thank
The team, fourth in the
championship, was duly grateful.
"What a fantastic way to
finish the season," said technical director Sam Michael. "He didn't
put a foot wrong, the pit crew and the engineers got everything right
"It's been a hard season for
us and this is a great reward." Montoya, fifth in the championship
after challenging for the title last year, could claim his win at
Interlagos was personally long overdue as well.
"It's awesome to finish the
season like this," he said after the Colombian and British national
anthems, for the winning constructor, had been played.
"It really pumps me up for
next year and I'm really looking forward to working with Kimi (Raikkonen)
next year. I think the position we are in for next year could be
Raikkonen, his future team
mate who finished overall runner-up last season, was second for
McLaren at Interlagos.
"I think it was a tough
race," said Montoya. "I came into the race thinking Kimi was going to
be the guy that had the chance to win the race.
"Before the race there are
always rumors as to who's got more fuel than whom and when I heard how
much fuel -- supposedly -- Kimi had I thought 'phew, he'll be hard to
Sam Michael (Technical
What a fantastic way to finish the season, with a superb drive from
Juan Pablo! He didn't put a foot wrong, the pit crew and the engineers
got everything right as well. With tricky conditions at the start of
the race fuel loads were critical. Ralf also did a good job.
Unfortunately he lost some time in the pits, but regardless he didn't
give up and overtook a couple of cars during the race. Michelin's
intermediate tyre performed well at the start of the race. It's been a
hard season for us and this is a great reward for all the people who
worked hard in the Grove and Munich factories and at the circuit to
turn the FW26 around. Finally, all the best to Juan Pablo and Ralf for
Mario Theissen (BMW
This was a great relief for the team after a long and tough season. I
am proud of our team's recovery from a difficult situation and we have
now come back to former strengths. My compliments to both the drivers
who gave everything at their last race for the team. Juan's race was
just perfect. This progress is of great importance for our technicians
as it is exactly the right motivation for the development of the new
car and engine. The tenth victory feels as good as the first one. We