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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Sunday, 14 May 2006 14:33 UK

Spanish glory for champion Alonso

Fernando Alonso
1 F Alonso

2 M Schumacher

3 G Fisichella

4 F Massa

5 K Raikkonen

6 J Button

7 R Barrichello

8 N Heidfeld
(BMW Sauber)

Fernando Alonso gave the partisan crowd at the Spanish Grand Prix just the result they were looking for by claiming victory in his home race.

The reigning world champion dominated from the start in Barcelona to finish ahead of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher, who had won the last two races to cut Alonso's championship lead, came home 18 seconds adrift.

Alonso's Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was third, with Jenson Button taking sixth spot in his Honda.

It was Alonso's 11th career victory and third this season, extending his lead at the top of the standings.

He became the first Spaniard to win his home grand prix, much to the delight of King Juan Carlos and the 130,000-strong crowd.

To finish in front of my people, my supporters, I think was my best feeling so far in a Formula One car
Fernando Alonso

The 24-year-old revealed that winning on the Circuit de Catalunya felt even better than clinching the world title in Brazil last year.

"It was fantastic," he said. "For the last five or six laps, I saw Michael was slowing down too and not pushing anymore, so I cruised to the end.

"To finish in front of my people, my supporters, I think was my best feeling so far in a Formula One car.

"The Grand Prix of Brazil where I won the championship - I finished third with a lot of problems and I didn't enjoy it so much as I did here."

Schumacher, who has won six times at the Circuit de Catalunya, was attempting to record his third successive victory this season.

The home crowd at the Circuit de Catalunya celebrate Alonso's win
Alonso's win gave the 130,000-strong crowd plenty to cheer about

But the German had to settle for second place and is now 15 points behind Alonso after six rounds.

The 24-year-old Spaniard, who has 54 points to Schumacher's 39, has now also finished the last 12 races on the podium.

But it was mixed forturnes for MacLaren, who saw just one of their drivers complete the race.

Kimi Raikkonen made up for a lacklustre qualifying lap to pick off four cars on the opening lap and move up to fifth - his eventual finishing position, behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

But team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya endured a miserable weekend as he spun out of contention.

Button won the battle of the Hondas after pipping team-mate Rubens Barrichello to sixth, but still blamed the car's qualifying performance for not finishing higher.

"It all comes from qualifying and the problem we had with the front end of the car," said the Englishman, who started the race in the eighth position.

"We should have been fifth position on the grid and, if we'd been there, we'd have been one place higher in the rows.

"That's as good as the car gets at the moment - I'd say we're equal with the McLaren, maybe a little bit better, but the two top teams are just too far ahead."

Nick Heidfeld rounded out the points for BMW-Sauber, while David Coulthard could not mark his 200th grands prix with a result to celebrate and brought his Red Bull home 15th.

Spanish Grand Prix result:

1. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1hr 26mins 21.759secs
2. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:26:40.261
3. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:26:45.710
4. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:26:51.618
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:27:18.634
6. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:27:20.106
7. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda at 1 lap
8. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber at 1 lap
9. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-Cosworth at 1 lap
10. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota at 1 lap
11. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Cosworth at 1 lap
12. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW Sauber at 1 lap
13. Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull-Ferrari at 1 lap
14. David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull-Ferrari at 1 lap
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Cosworth at 3 laps
16. Tiago Monteiro (Por) Midland-Toyota at 3 laps
17. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda at 4 laps

R Christijan Albers (Ned) Midland-Toyota 48 laps completed
R Scott Speed USA Toro Rosso-Cosworth 47 laps completed
R Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 31 laps completed
R Juan Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes 17 laps completed
R Franck Montagny (Fra) Super Aguri-Honda 10 laps completed

see also
Spanish GP photos
14 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
Spanish GP as it happened
14 May 06 |  Formula 1
Coulthard rues poor 200th F1 race
14 May 06 |  Formula 1
Alonso snatches Spanish GP pole
13 May 06 |  Formula 1
Spanish qualifying as it happened
13 May 06 |  Formula 1
Schumi leads in Spanish practice
13 May 06 |  Formula 1

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