TWO COLOURS: BLUE AND YELLOW

Fernando Alonso has got no problems: Win on Renault´s homeground

Superior Fernando Alonso, taking the championship lead at the second round in Malaysia never handing over it to anybody else, has won exactly the half of the 2005 Grand Prix so far at the half-time of the worldchampionship. At Renault´s home territory on the Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours Alonso scored an impressive flag to flag victory - the first home win for the French team since Alain Prost had won in Paul Ricard back in 1983. The last win with a Renault powered car in France had taken place in 1996: Damon Hill, the same year world champion, had won in a Williams. 6000 employes of the former state owned group were on the grandstands in the traditional colours of the team, blue for the Grande Nation (and Renault F1´s commercial sponsor Mild Seven) and yellow for the French car maker. On the podium Alain Prost handed over the trophy to winner Alonso and also Renault´s new president Carlos Ghosn and former Grand Prix driver and team owner Guy Ligier were at the track in the heart of France, that had been restructured by the country´s late president Francois Mitterand at the beginning of the nineties. It was the first time since 1966, that no driver of the mother country of Grand Prix Racing was competing, so Toyota had decided to appoint Olivier Panis (who had been their regular driver in 2003 and 2004) third driver of the team for Friday´s free practice at least. CART star Sebastien Bourdais from Le Mans was seen in the pit lane as a guest talking to many people.

An engine defect on Friday caused by a broken bearing of the crankshaft was the reason for Kimi Raikkonen being 13th instead of third on the grid. After the blow up the Finn had gone back to the normal specification of the Mercedes Ilmor engine and then the Iceman drove one of his best races ever to second place on the podium. Juan Pablo Montoya in the other McLaren Mercedes also batteling for a top position sustained a very small hydraulic leak to retire in lap 46.

At Ferrari former chief designer Rory Byrne had given some modifications to the aerodynamics of the F2005 after the controversial win at Indianapolis, the cars from Maranello showed additional winglets on nose, turning vanes and sidepods for better air-flow. Ferrari has become quicker since the beginning of the season, no doubt, but they are still not fast enough to challenge Renault or McLaren Mercedes. Michael Schumacher was happy being third in the finish, but he is realistic enough to conceed, that Red has got a lot of work to be done.

Two days after Indianapolis BMW had announced in a Munich news conference to buy the majority of Swiss team Sauber for 2006 to run a Grand Prix team of theirown. They also had offered Williams F1 to be supplied with customer engines for the years to come, but the atmosphere has become frosty meanwhile between Bavaria and their British partners. Williams had brought a new aerodynamic package to Magny-Cours, but the cars had not become quicker, but the contrast of it was the bitter reality. Worse grid positions were followed by poor race results. Nick Heidfeld was suffering under an undrivable car, differential and steering problems and misfires. The Rhinelander, second in Monaco and the Nuerburgring, was pretty disappointed being 14th in the finish, with six pit stops lapped four times, while his team mate Mark Webber was only two positions ahead of him (and twice lapped). Later on Sunday Heidfeld became a father for the first time, the name of his daughter born in Switzerland is Juni.

After the Imola scandal BAR Honda scored their first points of the year 2005 with Jenson Button on fourth place. Also Takuma Sato finished (11th), but with two times in the gravel trap no points were available for him. Toyota brought both their cars home in the points (Trulli 5th, Ralf Schumacher 7th). The Italian is suffering under sleepless nights at home since his son Enzo was born, Schumacher celebrated his 30th birthday in Southern France, but he is missing his little dog Scoopy. It is not clear, if he had run away or he had been kidnapped.

Both Minardi Cosworths of Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher retired from the same reason: Punctures of the left rear tyres caused by defect valve caps. Michelin being responsible for only the six Bridgestone supplied cars of Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi competing in 2005 United States Grand Prix, promised to compensate the fans. On Wednesday before the 2005 the F.I.A. World Council, negotiating the case of Indianaoplis, considered the teams of McLaren, Williams, Renault, Toyota, Sauber, Red Bull and BAR guilty in two of five charges, but they postponed announcing the penalty until 14th September 2005, to give both the teams and the French tyre maker the chance, to make things good again.

Niki Lauda, who had received a kidney from his brother Florian in 1997, once again had to undergo a transplantation, again very secretly. This time the donor was his girl-friend Birgit, the charismatic threetimes world champion is living with four kidneys.

J S

 

Starting Grid
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1 F Alonso 1:14.412

2 J Trulli 1:14.521

3 M Schumacher 1:14.572

4 T Sato 1:14.655

5 R Barrichello 1:14.832

6 G Fisichella 1:14.887

7 J Button 1:15.051

8 JP Montoya 1:15.406

9 F Massa 1:15.566

10 J Villeneuve 1:15.699

11 R Schumacher 1:15.771

12 M Webber 1:15.885

13 K Raikkonen 1:14.559

14 N Heidfeld 1:16.207

15 D Coulthard 1:16.434

16 C Klien 1:16.547

17 N Karthikeyan 1:17.857

18 P Friesacher 1:17.960

19 T Monteiro 1:18.047

20 C Albers 1:18.335

 

Results
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2005 Grand Prix de France, Circuit Magny-Cours Nevers, 70 Laps ŕ 4.627 km = 308.586km, Weather: Air 31°C, Track: 53°C, Humidity 38%

1 F Alonso 1:31:22.233

2 K Raikkonen +11.805

3 M Schumacher +1:21.914

4 J Button +1 Lap

5 J Trulli +1

6 G Fisichella +1

7 R Schumacher +1

8 J Villeneuve +1

9 R Barrichello +1

10 D Coulthard +1

11 T Sato +1

12 M Webber +2 Laps

13 T Monteiro +3

14 N Heidfeld +4

15 N Karthikeyan +4

 

Retirements

JP Montoya, Lap 46: Hydraulics

C Albers, 37: Puncture

P Friesacher, 33: Puncture

F Massa, 30: Hydraulics

C Klien, 1: Fuel Pressure

 

Fastest Lap

K Raikkonen 1:16.423 (Lap 25)

 

 

Worldchampionship Standings
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Drivers

 

1 F Alonso 69

2 K Raikkonen 45

3 M Schumacher 40

4 J Trulli 31

5 R Barrichello 29

6 N Heidfeld 25

7 M Webber 22

8 R Schumacher 22

9 G Fisichella 20

10 D Coulthard 17

11 JP Montoya 16

12 F Massa 7

13 T Monteiro 6

14 A Wurz 6

15 J Villeneuve 6

16 J Button 5

17 N Karthikeyan 5

18 C Albers 4

19 P de la Rosa 4

20 C Klien 4

21 P Friesacher 3

22 V Liuzzi 1

 

Constructors

 

1 Renault 89

2 McLaren Mercedes 71

3 Ferrari 69

4 Toyota 53

5 Williams BMW 47

6 Red Bull Cosworth 22

7 Sauber Petronas 13

8 Jordan Toyota 11

9 Minardi Cosworth 7

10 BAR Honda 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos © Ferrari Press Office, West McLaren Mercedes, Sauber Motorsport, Red Bull Racing and British American Racing

 

© 2005 by researchracing

 

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