Originally created 06/30/03

Ralf Schumacher leads a 1-2 BMW-Williams finish in European GP



NUERBERGRING, Germany -- Ralf Schumacher took advantage of the misfortunes of his brother and polesitter Kimi Raikkonen to end a 24-race winless streak.

Ralf Schumacher led a Williams-BMW 1-2 finish at the European Grand Prix on Sunday, claiming his first victory of the year and fifth of his career.

Five-time series champion Michael Schumacher became the first Formula One driver to surpass 1,000 career points. He was bumped off the track in the 43rd lap, but rallied to finish fifth.

Ralf Schumacher, one of two non-Ferrari winners last year, started third and beat Juan Pablo Montoya by 16.9 seconds for his first win since the Malaysian Grand Prix in March 2002.

The Williams team capitalized on the engine troubles of Raikkonen, who dropped out midway through the race, and Michael Schumacher being bumped off the track by Montoya on the 43rd lap.

"This is great. It's been a long time," Ralf Schumacher said. "I have had a couple of pole positions but been unable to turn them into victory and taken a bit of criticism, but this proved a bad driver can win races."

Ralf Schumacher was criticized after the Canadian GP two weeks ago for not making attempts to pass his brother, who won the race.

"We have taking an amazing step," he said. "If you look at where we started, I can't remember a team turning it around so much."

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was third, 39.6 seconds back, in the 60-lap race at the 3.199-mile circuit in the German Eifel mountains. Fernando Alonso of Renault moved past Michael Schumacher in the final straightaway for fourth.

On the 43rd lap on a tight turn, Montoya was on the outside entering the curve with Schumacher on the inside.

Schumacher ran out of room and drifted slightly into Montoya's path.

"He was faster than me, tried to pass, gave me just enough room to survive," Schumacher said. "Maybe I could have wished for a little more space, but I have no problem with Juan Pablo over this. No one was to blame."

Schumacher's Ferrari spun and was halfway on the track and in the grave. He waved his hands to get help and he was pushed back onto the track.

Michael Schumacher retained his lead in standings with 58 points. Raikkonen is second at 51, and Ralf Schumacher is third with 43 points.

Michael Schumacher raised his career point total to 1,003 in 188 starts. France's Alain Prost is second in career points with 768.5 in 200 starts.

The next race is the French Grand Prix on July 6.