Alonso wins Chinese GP, Renault takes Championship

Start, Chinese GP 2005

Start, Chinese GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

New World Champion Fernando Alonso won the Chinese Grand Prix, in Shanghai, in dominant fashion, never relinquishing the lead in his Renault. Kimi Raikkonen finished second, fourth seconds behind in his McLaren-Mercedes with Ralf Schumacher 25 seconds behind in third for Toyota.

The results clinched the Constructors' Championship for Renault over McLaren-Mercedes.

Fourth place went to Giancarlo Fisichella in his Renault, followed by Christian Klien in his Red Bull in fifth, Felipe Massa in his Sauber-Petronas in sixth, Mark Webber in his Williams-BMW in seventh and Jenson Button in his BAR-Honda taking the final point.

On the way to the grid, Michael Schumacher and Christijan Albers collide, forcing both men to start from the pitlane in their spare cars.

At the start, Montoya got by Button into the first corner, while Alonso got the jump on the field taking a two second lead on the first lap with Fisichella protecting him from behind. Takuma Sato jumped the start and was given a drive through penalty.

By lap 5 Alonso's lead was up to six seconds, and he was followed by Fisichella, Raikkonen, Montoya, Button, Coulthard, Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Webber and Trulli in 10th.

By lap 10 Alonso's lead was up to 11.2 seconds, and extending it to 15.7 seconds by lap 15.

Coulthard was the first of the leaders to pit from 6th place along with Trulli on lap 17.

On lap 17 Montoya struck loose drain cover on the curbing on the exit of the final corner forcing him pitting for a new tyre.

Montoya and Button pitted on lap 18 and just after the Safety Car was deployed for the marshals to clear the drain cover and check the others and everyone except Michael Schumacher pitted (Montoya for a second time to get fuel).

On lap 20 the order was Alonso with his lead erased, followed by Fisichella, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Webber, Button, Coulthard, Massa and Michael Schumacher in 10th, with Montoya falling back to 14th.

On lap 22, while still under the Safety Car period, Michael Schumacher spun off the track and got stuck in a gravel trap, ending his season.

The race resumed on lap 24, with Alonso again leaping out into the lead with Raikkonen all over the back of Fisichella. Meanwhile Montoya retired to the pits.

At half distance on lap 28, Alonso lead Fisichella by four seconds, followed by Raikkonen, Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Webber, Button, Coulthard, Massa and Klien in 10th.

On lap 29, Narain Karthikeyan crashed at high speed, Jacques Villeneuve narrowly missing being hit as his car came back across the track, littering it with debris, and bringing the Safety Car out for a second time.

Most of the field dove into the pits for their second stop, except for Ralf, Massa and Klien who stayed out. Raikkonen made a fast stop and got past Fisichella in the pitstop. Under the Safety Car the order was Alonso in the lead, Ralf Schumacher in second, followed by Massa, Klien, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Barrichello, Sato, Webber, Monteiro, Button and Coulthard in 12th.

On lap 34 the race restarted, Sato car experiencing a mechanical problem and retiring.

On lap 40, the order was Alonso three seconds ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Massa, Klien, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Barrichello and Webber.

On lap 44 Massa made his second stop, while Barrichello locked up his brakes and lost seventh place to Webber and Button.

On lap 45 Klien made his second stop, and Coulthard got past Barrichello as well.

On lap 46 Barrichello pitted for a new left front tyre and Ralf Schumacher pitted from second and rejoined in fourth place.

On lap 50, Alonso lead Raikkonen by 11.8 seconds, followed by Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Klien, Massa, Webber, Button, Coulthard and Villeneuve in 10th.

On lap 52 Fisichella was given a drive through penalty for holding up the field in the prior Safety Car period and dropped from 3rd to 4th.







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