SportF1F1-China 2005: the day Renault touched the sky with...

F1-China 2005: the day Renault touched the sky with Alonso

The early 2000s were dominated by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, a combination that garnered five straight uncontested titles. However, in 2005, those of the Prancing Horse lowered the level and saw how McLaren and Renault surpassed them, leaving only the controversial United States Grand Prix of that season as the stage for the only victory of those from Maranello.

The fight between the French and the British had Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen as the main protagonists, above all because they were two young men who revealed themselves before the period in which the ‘ Kaiser ‘ was the king of Formula 1. Despite the efforts of the Finn, the unreliability of that MP4-20 combined with the regularity of the Spaniard and the R25 made the Spaniard become the youngest driver to win the championship in history at the remembered Brazilian Grand Prix, with two races still to be played.

However, the biggest prize for the teams was still at stake, the constructors’ world championship, which actually counts for the economic benefits, since the prizes are distributed according to the positions at the end of the year. This is how the Chinese Grand Prix was reached, which closed a very nice course with Renault and McLaren fighting for the loot.

In qualifying, Fernando Alonso took the lead with a pole position achieved with authority over his teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella. The Enstone duo was ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button’s BAR-Honda, who was sandwiched between the Woking single-seaters, with Juan Pablo Montoya fifth and Michael Schumacher sixth.

The action was starting even before the race started, as the Ferrari German had an accident on the grid entry lap after a misunderstanding with Christian Albers, but as a third spare car was allowed back then , both were from the start from the Shanghai pitlane.

Once the traffic lights went out, Fernando Alonso defended his first place from the first to the last lap to certify a constructors’ championship that had resisted Renault since his arrival in Formula 1 back in 1977 .

With the victory of the already Spanish champion, they did not have much to do with their second driver, who finished fourth and added another 5 points to the 10 of the Asturian to place the French at the top with 191 units after 19 grand prix. In McLaren they left with a bitter taste in their mouths, and that is that their hopes, despite being only two points before the start of the Chinese event, vanished when Montoya’s engine said ‘enough’ on lap 24 , while that Raikkonen occupied the second step of the podium, followed by Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota.

That October 16 was the first time for Renault touching glory, something that would be repeated a single season later with Alonso and Fisichella as the main assets, in addition to the leadership of one of the most recognized faces of the paddock, the team manager, Flavio Briatore .

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