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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 October 2005, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Alonso steers Renault to F1 glory
CHINA GRAND PRIX RESULT
World champion Fernando Alonso celebrates his seventh win for Renault
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
3 R Schumacher (Toyota)
4 G Fisichella (Renault)
5 C Klien (Red Bull)
6 F Massa (Sauber)
7 M Webber (Williams)
8 J Button (BAR)
World champion Fernando Alonso won the China Grand Prix to help Renault claim their first constructors' title.

Alonso, who started on pole, finished ahead of McLaren rival Kimi Raikkonen in an incident-packed race in Shanghai.

The safety car was deployed twice, once after Juan Pablo Montoya hit a loose drain cover on the track and then when Narain Karthikeyan crashed heavily.

Montoya retired, effectively ending McLaren's title bid, as did Michael Schumacher after he spun out tamely.

There was better luck for brother Ralf, who showed astute tactics in his Toyota to hold onto the last podium spot ahead of Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella.

Fisichella finished fourth after he was forced to serve a drive-through penalty on lap 51 for obstructing Raikkonen in the pit lane entry.

But even that late setback could not detract from any otherwise flawless display from Renault.

Alonso had built up a massive 15.7-second lead just before Montoya's accident.

Although the Spaniard's lead was eaten into, he was never challenged as he notched up his seventh win of the season.

Maximum points for Alonso and five more for Fisichella were enough to see Flavio Briatore's Renault team wrap up the constructors' championship by nine points from McLaren.

Raikkonen and Montoya, who were carrying more fuel, never really got going in Shanghai and looked sluggish.

Their hopes of reclaiming the constructors' crown eventually went up in smoke when Montoya ran over a damaged drain cover on turn 10 and retired on lap 25 after two pit stops.

Montoya's bizarre accident had repercussions for Michael Schumacher, who inexplicably spun off the track under safety car conditions.

Michael Schumcher climbs out of his car after his collision on the warm-up laps
Michael Schumcher climbs out of his car after his early collision
The seven-time world champion, who had to start from the pit lane after a collision with Minardi's Christijan Albers in the warm-up, ended his season in dismal circumstances.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello, in his final race for Ferrari, also suffered car trouble late on and came home last in 12th.

The race was stalled for a second time when Karthikeyan ploughed his Jordan into a wall of tyres on lap 30.

The Indian driver walked away unhurt from the flames which engulfed his car, but again the second use of the safety car had its effect on the race.

The top order was reshuffled as various drivers opted to pit, Raikkonen taking the chance to leapfrog Fisichella.

Christian Klien benefited, too, claiming his best result of the season for Red Bull in fifth while Felipe Massa was sixth for Sauber.

It was probably the easiest race of the year
Fernando Alonso

Britons Jenson Button and David Coulthard started well but lost ground when the safety car was brought out for the first time.

Button clung on to score points for the 10th race in succession but Coulthard, who was aiming to surpass a career-points total of 500, was unlucky to finish ninth.

Minardi, who race as a junior Red Bull team in 2006, ended their Formula One career with Albers and Robert Doornbos 14th and 16th respectively.

The Shanghai race also saw Sauber and Jordan bow out before they return next season renamed as a BMW outfit and Midland respectively.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's motor racing correspondent Maurice Hamilton



SEE ALSO
Alonso revels in 'easy' China win
16 Oct 05 |  Formula One
Champion Alonso on top in China
15 Oct 05 |  Formula One


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