After a recent run of success, speed and reliability, Kimi Raikkonen went to Monza with high hopes. Instead it was Juan Pablo Montoya who won for the second time in 2005, with Raikkonen again suffering an engine change and a grid drop to 11th.
Montoya looked imperious all afternoon until he suffered a delaminating tyre with just four laps to go. Just like the European Grand Prix, McLaren tried to work out what to do. Could the team afford to leave the leader out on track with Alonso catching? It meant that Montoya had to back off his pace and Alonso closed but Montoya was always high up in the bravery stakes. Despite the consequences of a tyre exploding, Montoya pushed on and Alonso had to settle for second place.
"I had a tyre problem," said Montoya, downplaying his plight. "That meant that I couldn't push as much."
Alonso tried as hard as he could but as long as he outscored Raikkonen, he was happy. With Alonso taking eight points for second and Raikkonen five for fourth place, the championship swung back in favour of the Spaniard. During the pit stops, Alonso was struggling with tyres that would not work and Raikkonen - out of sequence - was up with him. They clashed but with no ill effects.
"I think he was a bit unfair," said Alonso. "He cut the chicane and got the advantage." The second Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella took third while a special cheer went to Antonio Pizzonia. The Williams test driver deputised for Nick Heidfeld who crashed on Friday and complained of severe headaches. With no recent test mileage, despite his grandiose title, Pizzonia managed seventh.