Colombian Juan-Pablo Montoya scored his first victory for McLaren-Mercedes by repelling a dogged challenge from Spaniard Fernando Alonso in the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Colombian Juan-Pablo Montoya scored his first victory for McLaren-Mercedes by repelling a dogged challenge from Spaniard Fernando Alonso in the British Grand Prix on Sunday.


Montoya started from third position, but seized the lead of the race on the opening lap when he overtook Alonso’s Renault with a brave move into the Maggotts corner. Although Alonso attempted to pass Montoya at both of his pit stops, the Colombian stayed in front.


Kimi Raikkonen, who was demoted 10 places on the grid as a penalty for changing his engine, stormed back to finish third, followed by Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella's and BAR's Jenson Button.


The Ferrari duo of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello trailed home in sixth and seventh, and Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher finished in the final point-scoring position.


Raikkonen made later pit stops than his rivals and set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour. After starting 12th, the young Finn made up three places at the start, including passing Sauber’s Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher at the very first corner.


But his chances of challenging for the lead were lost when he was held up behind Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari during his first stint. After his first pit stop, Raikkonen set the pace and made up a 13-second deficit to Button in as many laps.


The Finn passed Button’s BAR Honda when the Briton made his final pit stop on Lap 43, but was too far adrift to catch Montoya and Alonso in the remaining 17 laps of the grand prix.


Alonso had been 7,1 seconds behind Montoya when the Colombian made his final stop on lap 44. However, Alonso stayed out five laps longer, enabling him to close the gap.


Crucially, the Renault driver was held up by Toyota's Jarno Trulli while lapping the Italian and lost almost two seconds.


When Alonso completed his late pit stop, Montoya flashed past as the Renault rejoined the track.


“I had a good start and I knew Fernando was not able to risk too much and I was willing to risk more on that first lap,” the Colombian said. "The team did a good strategy and called me in a lap early for my final stop and Fernando got some traffic as expected and that was enough."


Alonso did not blame his former team-mate for holding him up: "The (warning) blue flags (for slower cars) didn't work at all. I think with Jarno but it was not his fault because there were no blue flags and he probably didn't know I was fighting for the victory."


Fisichella was also in the battle for the lead until his final stop, when Renault brought him in early. However, Fisichella stalled leaving the pits, losing the final podium place to Raikkonen.


Schumacher dropped back rapidly from Raikkonen during his second stint, but managed to finish ahead of team-mate Barrichello, who did one more stop than the German.