Wearing a personalised diamond-studded helmet, McLaren-Mercedes ace Kimi “Iceman” Raikkonen dominated the Monaco Grand Prix and, flanked by Williams-BMW’s Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber, the Finn held a jewel-encrusted gold winner’s trophy aloft on Sunday.

Wearing a personalised diamond-studded helmet, McLaren-Mercedes ace Kimi “Iceman” Raikkonen dominated the Monaco Grand Prix and, flanked by Williams-BMW’s Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber, the Finn held a jewel-encrusted gold winner’s trophy aloft on Sunday.

Starting from pole position, Raikkonen beat championship-leader Fernando Alonso into the first corner. Webber was sluggish off the line and dropped to fifth allowing Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli (Toyota) past. Marshalls had relegated Juan-Pablo Montoya to the back of the grid for causing an avoidable accident in Saturday’s final practice session, but the Colombian made a good start and moved from sixteenth up to twelfth on the first lap.

Raikkonen led Alonso at the end of the first lap with Fisichella up to third. Trulli held fourth ahead of Webber and Heidfeld. Red Bull Racing veteran David Coulthard held onto seventh ahead of Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.

The first third of the race was a procession, but on lap 24 Minardi’s Christijan Albers spun at Mirabeau. The Dutchman's Minardi was left at a right angle to the barriers and blocked the track. Approaching the corner Coulthard took evasive action but Michael Schumacher could not react in time and slammed the rear of the Red Bull car. A car-park formed at that point on the track as drivers tried to squeeze through the narrow gap while the safety car was deployed.

Some drivers pitted under the safety car period including both Renaults, but Raikkonen and Trulli stayed out on track. Coulthard recovered to the pit lane and retired and Schumacher pitted for a new front wing and resumed the race in thirteenth.

After four laps the safety car was called in and Raikkonen led Trulli, Alonso, Webber, Hedifeld, Felipe Massa, Jacques Villeneuve (both Sauber) and Fisichella. Schumacher was thirteenth, but running between Raikkonen and Trulli having been lapped.

The order remained steady with Alonso falling behind Raikkonen. Trulli pitted from second on lap 39 when Alonso was 30 seconds behind the leader. Meanwhile, down in thirteenth Michael Schumacher started setting fastest laps dropping the pace down into the 1m15s.

Raikkonen made his single planned pit stop on lap 42 with a 35-second lead over Alonso. The Finn’s McLaren emerged comfortably in the lead ahead of Alonso. The last drivers to make a fuel stop were Barrichello and (Red Bull Racing) Vitantonio Liuzzi on lap 45 and Montoya on lap 46. Barrichello stalled his Ferrari and lost some time while the team fired up his engine.

After the entire field completed its first fuel stops, Raikkonen led Alonso by 14 seconds. Webber and Heidfeld were third and fourth, ahead of Massa, Fisichella, Trulli and Montoya.

Barrichello was slapped with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane after he hastily pulled away from his pit-stop stall.

With fifteen laps to go, Fisichella held up a string of seven cars with just seven seconds separating fifth and twelfth. Villeneuve tried to pass team-mate Massa down the inside of Ste Devote, but the Canadian slid off into the tyre barrier and the Brazilian ran wide.

There was more action as Trulli dived down the inside of Fisichella at the Lowes hairpin. Fisichella dropped from fifth to tenth in a matter of corners. Trulli's brave move saw the Italian’s car mount the pavement, causing terminal damage to the Toyota’s suspension.

With seven laps to go Heidfeld caught Alonso napping on the exit of the tunnel and passed him under braking for the chicane. Webber passed Alonso in the same position in the next lap but ran too deep into the corner. Alonso cut the corner to avoid the Williams and re-took the position. The same happened on the next lap and Webber managed to retain third place.

"I think I was just lucky when I came in earlier for the second stop and Alonso obviously had big problems with his tyres and I could get past Mark," Heidfeld said. "The car worked really well and when we were stuck behind people I tried to save the car and engine and when I saw Alonso had some problems I just turned up the engine a bit to get past”.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen cruised to his second victory of the season and the fourth of his career. Heidfeld’s second place was the best finish of his career and Webber notched up his first F1 podium. Alonso struggled in the final two laps as Montoya homed in on the Renault. The championship leader held onto fourth place by just 0,1s from the Colombian. Ralf Schumacher just held onto sixth place as brother Michael mounted a final corner charge to take seventh. Rubens Barrichello claimed the remaining point in eighth.

"It (the victory) was very nice," Raikkonen said. "Actually I was a bit worried when the safety car came out because I'd just passed the pit lane when I found out it had come out. Then I just needed to get a twenty second lead or so before my pit stop so I pushed really hard to increase the lead and then after the pit stop I was just driving around. I had to try to keep some pace up to keep the tyres up to temperature otherwise you can lose grip and it gets tricky."

"The first two laps after the safety car it took some effort to get some heat in the tyres and get the pressure up and then I went as quick as I could," he added. "That was a crucial part of the race and it went well for us. The car went really well all weekend and the tyres lasted.

"It's a special place to win," Raikkonen continued. "I got so close a few years ago but couldn't get past Montoya. I'm very happy it finally happened - you still get the same ten points but everyone looks at it like a special race."

Original article from Car