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Rediff.com  » Sports » Alonso wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Alonso wins Bahrain Grand Prix

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April 03, 2005 19:07 IST

Formula one championship leader Fernando Alonso won the Bahrain Grand Prix to hand Renault their third triumph in three races.

The young Spaniard, triumphant for the second race in a row, was simply unstoppable on Sunday as Ferrari's hopes of winning on their new car's debut evaporated in the shimmering desert heat.

Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher, who had raised Ferrari's hopes by qualifying on the front row of the grid alongside pole man Alonso, retired after 12 laps with suspected hydraulics failure.

Until then the German had hounded Alonso but his departure took the pressure off the Spaniard in a race full of incident and overtaking.

Italian Jarno Trulli crossed the line 13.409 seconds behind Alonso to take Toyota's second top three finish in succession, with Finland's Kimi Raikkonen following for McLaren's first podium of the season in third place.

Germany's Ralf Schumacher was fourth for Toyota.

Alonso leads the championship with 26 points to Trulli's 16. Michael Schumacher, winner of 13 of the 18 races in 2004, has just two points after two retirements in three races.

Renault lead the constructors' standing with 36 points to Toyota's 25 and McLaren's 19.

Ferrari, champions for the past six years, are sixth with just 10.

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, standing in for injured Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, was fifth for McLaren after overtaking Australian Mark Webber's Williams two laps from the chequered flag.

Webber had run third before he spun off.

Rejoining in fifth place, he did his best to hold off De la Rosa whose aggressive performance provided one of the highlights of the race.

Ferrari's woes with their new car were compounded five laps from the finish when Brazilian Felipe Massa, in a Ferrari-powered Sauber, passed Rubens Barrichello for seventh place.

Barrichello was then lapped by Alonso and passed by Red Bull's Briton David Coulthard on the last lap for eighth place -- leaving both Ferrari drivers out of the points for the first time this year.

Alan Baldwin
Source:
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