Kimi Raikkonen took his third win of the season this afternoon at an enthralling Canadian Grand Prix, while Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello gave the Ferrari team their best performance of the year to bring home 14 World Championship points.
'A lot of hard work and a little bit of luck has culminated in our best result of the season,' said Mike Copson of Shell Global Solutions, 'considering we started from the front and the back of the grid today, the flexibility of Shell V-Power has once again been clearly demonstrated. Coupled with our awesome reliability in a race of attrition we are more than happy with the results.'
Jenson Button bounced back from his two race ban by grabbing pole position in yesterday afternoon's qualifying session. Current World Champion, Michael Schumacher, overcame a poor first sector to clinch second on the grid ahead of the 2005 Championship leader, Fernando Alonso. The second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello started the race from the pit lane when gearbox problems prevented the Brazilian from qualifying.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's famously difficult first corner did much to dispel its notoriety when the pack filed through unharmed on lap one. Track positions were anything but static as Fisichella charged through from the second row to take the lead, followed by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. The Ferrari of Michael Schumacher suffered from a poor start following a slow installation lap to fall back to sixth place.
Home town hero Jacques Villeneuve did little to inspire the Montreal crowd when the Canadian fell back five places to P13 when the lights went out.
Meanwhile, Rubens Barrichello put on a fantastic display to charge up the field to take P15 on lap 10. On lap 13 Michael Schumacher, following a three stop strategy, was first to pit for fuel followed by his younger brother, Ralf Schumacher and then Button on lap 15.
The first of what was soon to be many mistakes by the McLaren of Juan Pablo Montoya following his first pit stop saw the surrender of P2 to European race winner Alonso. However, just when things were going well for the championship-leader he ran wide into the wall on lap 31 and subsequently retired from the race with suspension problems.
With 22 laps to go, pole sitter Button ran wide making heavy contact with the 'wall of champions' as he went. As the BAR came to rest at the side of the track, the safety car was deployed allowing most of the field, including Ferrari, to take the opportunity to pit again. Barrichello was first to come in, quickly followed by Schumacher.
As the action got underway again it soon developed into a race of attrition when McLaren driver Montoya was excluded for driving through the red light on the pit lane exit during the safety car period. Raikkonen now led Michael Schumacher, Trulli and the second Ferrari of an elated Rubens Barrichello who had put in a phenomenal Shell-powered charge up the field.
Ferrari chose this moment to show the Canadian crowd exactly why they are reigning World Champions. Michael Schumacher hustled the Finn to the finish line, coming home ahead of team mate Rubens Barrichello. Felipe Massa took forth place followed by Webber, Schumacher junior, Coulthard and Klein. The title contenders for 2005 are still numerous as the Formula One season heads for the mid-way point. Renault leads the Constructors' Championship with Fernando Alonso topping the drivers' table.
The teams now continue south of the border to the USA and the Indianapolis circuit - the second transatlantic race in as many weeks.