Only eleven cars made it to the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix, but Kimi Raikkonen drove a flawless race and took the chequered flag ahead of Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

Only eleven cars made it to the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix, but Kimi Raikkonen drove a flawless race and took the chequered flag ahead of Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.


And, by notching up his third win of the season, Raikkonen closed the gap to Renault’s Fernando Alonso to 22 points in the driver’s championship and McLaren-Mercedes was 13 points behind the French team in the constructors’ standings.


At the start of the race, the Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Alonso moved into first and second positions respectively as Schumacher slipped down to sixth and Jenson Button (BAR Honda), who had started from pole, fell to third.


On lap 12, Schumacher was the first driver to make a pit stop. The German was clearly on a three-stop strategy and was followed in on the next lap by Button, who had adopted a similar ploy to help him secure pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session.


With the Renaults still in the lead, McLaren stepped up the pressure as Raikkonen and Juan-Pablo Montoya’s first pit stops approached. Raikkonen went fastest on lap 23 before making his first pit stop at the same time as Alonso. On the next lap Fisichella made his stop from the lead, followed by Montoya. The Colombian almost spun when he ran wide at turn two on cold tyres.


Alonso was desperate to get past his team-mate and take the lead. Alonso did not have to wait long as Fisichella's hydraulics failed on lap 32, releasing the championship-leader into first place.


Alonso led Montoya and Raikkonen until the Spaniard ran wide in the first sector and smacked his rear right tyre against the barriers. The damage to his car’s suspension was terminal.


Montoya took the lead and was comfortably ahead of Raikkonen, but Button ran too deep into the final chicane, bounced over the kerbs and crashed into the wall. His BAR Honda was stranded on the pit straight and the safety car was deployed.


Raikkonen made his final pit stop immediately. Montoya had to follow the safety car around for a lap before making his stop and rejoined the race behind his Finnish team-mate. Schumacher made his third and final stop of the afternoon and was up to third place.


Race stewards then disqualified Montoya for leaving the pit lane under a red light. Raikkonen retained the lead and, despite a final charge by Schumacher, won the race by just over one second.


Barrichello claimed third place after starting from the pit lane and Felipe Massa rounded a great result for Sauber with fourth. The Brazilian held of a final lap charge from Australian Mark Webber who had to settle for fifth place in his Williams-BMW.


Ralf Schumacher brought his Toyota home in sixth ahead of the two Red Bulls of David Coulthard and Christian Klien. Home favourite Jacques Villeneuve never really recovered from a first lap collision and ended the race ninth ahead of Tiago Monteiro and Christijan Albers.