Alonso accepts title is in sight
EUROPEAN GP RESULT
Fernando Alonso celebrates victory in the European Grand Prix
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 N Heidfeld (Williams)
3 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
4 D Coulthard (Red Bull)
5 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
6 G Fisichella (Renault)
7 JP Montoya (McLaren)
8 J Trulli (Toyota)
European Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso says he is on course to become Formula One’s youngest world champion.
The 23-year-old has now won four of this year’s seven Grands Prix and has a 32-point lead with 12 races to go.
“If we keep this consistency, every time we will have more and more points. It seems we can do it,” he said.
F1’s youngest world champion so far was Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, who was 25 when he won his first title with Lotus in 1972.
Under the current system, it will prove very hard for anyone to catch Alonso because a driver can pick up points even if he finishes in eighth place.
A win is worth 10 points, with second place earning eight.
Then it is six points for third, five for fourth and so on down to eighth place, which receives one point.
To be probably the best car on the grid again, is probably better news for the rest of the season than winning the race
Alonso was pleased that Renault had recovered from a poor performance last weekend in Monaco, where they were unable to keep pace with Raikkonen after suffering major tyre problems.
“I am extremely happy, more than the victory I am happy because after fourth place at Monaco the team and I were not happy at all,” he said.
“We had a very good car in Monaco and we didn’t take as many points as we believed were possible.
“To be probably the best car on the grid again, to manage the tyres in the race, is probably better news for the rest of the season than winning the race.”
Name Car Nat Points
1 Fernando Alonso Renault Spa 49
2 Kimi Raikkonen McLaren Fin 27
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota Ita 26
4 Mark Webber Williams Aus 18
5= Nick Heidfeld Williams Ger 17
5= Ralf Schumacher Toyota Ger 17
7= Giancarlo Fisichella Renault Ita 14
7= Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren Col 14
9 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Ger 12
10 David Coulthard Red Bull GB 10
11 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari Brz 9
12 Alexander Wurz McLaren Aut 6
13 Jacques Villeneuve Sauber Can 5
14 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren Spa 4
15 Christian Klien Red Bull Aut 3
16 Felipe Massa Sauber Brz 2
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Red Bull It 1
Constructors’ world championship
1 Renault 63
2 McLaren 51
3 Toyota 43
4 Williams 35
5 Ferrari 21
6 Red Bull 14
7 Sauber 7
Standings updated after BAR stripped of points won at San Marino Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen claimed a lights-to-flag victory in the Monaco Grand Prix for his second successive win this season.
The Finn beat Williams’ Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber into second and third.
Heidfeld took second with seven laps remaining when he passed Renault’s championship leader Fernando Alonso, who was passed moments later by Webber.
Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher was off the pace and finished seventh behind brother Ralf, while David Coulthard retired on lap 25 after a five-car jam.
Afterwards race winner Raikkonen said: “A few years ago I came close to winning but couldn’t get past Montoya.
“This time I did it and I’m very happy because it’s such a special place.”
The Finn started alongside Alonso on the grid but got away the better of the two. After a steady first few laps, he upped the tempo to pull well clear of his Spanish rival.
But the race changed dramatically on lap 24 when Minardi driver Christijan Albers spun causing a pile-up behind him.
It could have been better for me but this is very good for the team
Mark Webber David Coulthard had no choice but to come to an abrupt halt, with an unsighted Michael Schumacher ploughing into the Scot and ending his race.
Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya were among the other drivers caught up in the resulting melee.
Schumacher, though, rejoined the race after replacing his nose can as the safety car was employed to clear the track.
Renault pair Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella also opted to come in for their only pit stop of the race at the same time.
As a result, they both struggled late in the race, with the heavy fuel load causing the rear tyres to wear more rapidly.
Alonso held off the double Williams attack of Heidfeld and Webber for as long as possible, until Heidfeld found a way through coming out of the tunnel on lap 71.
Webber twice tried his luck on the ensuing laps and finally passed to put two Williams drivers on the podium.
Webber added: “It could have been better for me but this is very good for the team.”
Alonso nearly dropped further down the order as Montoya, who had been forced to start from the rear of the grid for his role in a practice crash, battled to find a way through.
The Colombian, though, failed to get through as Alonso, Montoya, Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello finished within a second of each other for fourth to eighth places.