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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 July, 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Alonso eases to Magny-Cours win
FRENCH GP RESULT
Fernando Alonso crosses the line to win the French Grand Prix
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
3 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
4 J Button (BAR)
5 J Trulli (Toyota)
6 G Fisichella (Renault)
7 R Schumacher (Toyota)
8 J Villeneuve (Sauber)
Fernando Alonso maintained his grip on the Formula One drivers' battle with an emphatic win at the French Grand Prix.

Championship leader Alonso led from start to finish to become the first Renault driver to win a home Grand Prix since Alain Prost in 1983.

Kimi Raikkonen made up enormous ground after starting in 13th on the grid to claim second, while Michael Schumacher came third in his Ferrari.

Jenson Button won his first points of the season by coming home fourth.

With baking track temperatures in excess of 51C, the teams had to think carefully about tyre-wear and their plans for pit stops.

Renault came out with a three-stop strategy, which worked well - although it only paid dividends once Alonso avoided trouble at the start to race clear from pole.

The stands were full of people from the Renault factory - I crossed the line slowly to enjoy the win with them
French GP winner Fernando Alonso

The Spaniard made his first pit stop after lap 20, but any hopes his rivals had of taking advantage were effectively ended when the championship leader came back on to the track with an eight-second lead.

The real race was going on behind the leader.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli, who began second on the grid, lost ground after his first stop, while Ferrari's Schumacher, who stopped at the same time, blazed out in front of the Italian.

Trulli eventually had to settle for sixth, while Schumacher would have been pleased that his vastly improved Ferrari stayed the pace to finish in a podium position.

It was a mixed day for the McLarens, with Raikkonen brilliantly weaving his way through the traffic to find himself in second after the opening few laps.

The two-stop strategy worked for the Finn, although he never really looked like catching Alonso.

But team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya was less fortunate, retiring on lap 48 as a result of engine problems.

Montoya's bad luck, coupled with Trulli's misfortune and Giancarlo's Fisichella's eventual retirement, allowed Button to move up the field.

And the Briton, also on a two-stop strategy, duly grabbed his first points of this season - his third place from San Marino was annulled after BAR were disqualified in that race.


French Grand Prix result:

1 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1hr 31mins 22.232secs
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren + 11.8secs
3 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari +81.9secs
4 Jenson Button (Gbr) BAR 1 lap
5 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1 lap
6 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1 lap
7 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1 lap
8 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber 1 lap
9 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari 1 lap
10 David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull 1 lap
11 Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR 1 lap
12 Mark Webber (Aus) Williams 2 laps
13 Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan 3 laps
14 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Williams 4 laps
15 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan 4 laps

Did not finish: Juan Montoya (Col) McLaren 46 laps completed, Christijan Albers (Ned) Minardi 37 laps completed, Patrick Freisacher (Aut) Minardi 34 laps completed, Felipe Massa (Bra) Sauber 30 laps completed, Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull one lap completed




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC motorsport commentator Maurice Hamilton




SEE ALSO
Alonso grabs pole at Magny-Cours
02 Jul 05 |  Formula One
French Grand Prix photos
03 Jul 05 |  Photo Galleries
Magny-Cours, France
23 Feb 05 |  Circuit Guide


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