Sauber back on track in Canada

Peter Sauber (left) celebrates with Raikonnen after Sunday's race Keystone

Switzerland's Sauber motor racing team have picked up another three championship points after Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen completed the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix in fourth place.

This content was published on June 10, 2001 - 21:13

Recording his second fourth-place finish of the season, Raikonnen drove like an experienced pro throughout Sunday's race, despite it being only the eighth Grand Prix of his career.

In the closing stages, the 21-year-old was rewarded for his mature approach, when a late exit by Jarno Trulli allowed Raikonnen to move up from fifth place.

"I'm really pleased to finish in fourth place again," said a delighted Raikonnen. "After Verstappen passed me on the opening lap I settled down to a good rhythm until my rear tyres began to go off. Then Zonta hit the back of my car on the straight and I was really lucky not to go off.

"Once we got a new set of tyres on the car it began handling really well again and I was able to pace myself easily to keep Alesi behind me in the closing stages. I think we proved again today what a good car the C20 is."

The young Finn's performance has lifted him to eighth in the drivers' championship, and pulled the Hinwil-based team up to fourth in the constructors' standings, immediately behind Formula One giants Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-Williams.

Less than halfway through the Formula One calendar, Sauber are now just three points short of matching their greatest ever tally - the 18 points won during the 1995 season.

"This is another fantastic result for us," beamed Peter Sauber, "to score another three points and to reaffirm our competitive form while moving up to fourth place in the World Championship for Constructors. Kimi Räikkönen did a great job, especially with a damaged rear wing."

Raikkonen's team-mate, Nick Heidfeld had less to smile about, after a minor collision with Britain's Eddie Irvine ended both driver's chances on the opening lap.

Sunday's race in Montreal saw German defending champion Michael Schumacher beaten into second place by his younger brother Ralph, although the older Schumacher's performance was enough to extend his overall championship lead over Britain's David Coulthard to 18 points.

Coulthard's team-mate Mika Hakkinen provided the McLaren team with some consolation after finishing in third place.

swissinfo with agencies

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