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Almost, not quite, for Williams. 09 Mar 2003

Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams BMW FW25 
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 7 March 2003

"S**t happens," was how Juan Pablo Montoya summed up his Australian Grand Prix after the Columbian spun his Williams while leading the race.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Williams team, which seemed to lose out through the deployment of the safety car and problems during the team's pit stops. "I got screwed twice," Montoya explained, in reference to the safety car.

With Rubens Barrichello's early retirement from the race and Michael Schumacher's subsequent problems with apparent accident damage, Montoya had looked good for the race win before throwing it away at turn one.

Ralf Schumacher had something of a nightmare race after a lengthy pit stop saw him fall back through the grid. Despite starting on dry tyres, Schumacher was not able to make the most of what should have been a big advantage and finished the race in the last points scoring position of eighth.

The Williams had seemed off the pace all weekend so two points scoring finishes are a real result for the team. Montoya however will be sorely disappointed, with so many drivers suffering from strategic dificulties and race penalties, he was not able to maximise his advantages by taking the race win.

What can be taken from the result though is that both Williams and McLaren seem to be on a par with one another, and that this level does not appear to be terribly far behind the race-spec Ferraris.