Coulthard wins Australian Grand Prix

McLaren's David Coulthard won Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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For the first time in 20 races, Michael Schumacher wasn't on a Formula One podium. McLaren's David Coulthard took advantage of a spinout by leader Juan Pablo Montoya and a black flag to earlier leader Schumacher to win Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Schumacher, winner of 11 races last season while his Ferrari team took 15 of 17, had not missed a podium appearance for first, second or third places since the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2001. Ferrari had been on every podium since September 1999, and Schumacher had not relinquished a lead in Formula One since the US Grand Prix in September 2000. All that changed on Sunday when McLaren won his 13th career race. Coulthard, trailing Montoya by nearly three seconds with 11 laps to go, watched as Montoya's Williams spun out on turn 2 of the Albert Park circuit, allowing Coulthard to take the lead for good. Montoya had taken the lead only two laps earlier when Schumacher, trying for his fourth consecutive win in Australia, was black-flagged by race officials because the barge board from the side of his cockpit was dragging under his Ferrari. Schumacher had damaged the underside of his car after being forced off the track two laps earlier trying to pass McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. Coulthard's victory margin in the 58-lap race around the 5.303-km circuit was 8.6 seconds in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 42.144 seconds. Montoya finished second, Raikkonen third and Schumacher fourth. (AP)