From Suzuka to San Marino – Rating Alonso’s greatest Renault wins from 10-1 forward of his F1 return


With two-time Method 1 champion Fernando Alonso making a welcome return to the game with Alpine – previously Renault – this season after two years out of Grand Prix racing, we thought it was the right time to rank the Spaniard’s prime 10 Renault wins. See what you consider our checklist, and vote to your favorite Alonso Renault victory within the ballot beneath…

WATCH: 10 Nice moments from Alonso’s earlier stints with Renault

10. 2006 Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka hosted the penultimate spherical of 2006 and Felipe Massa was on pole in a Ferrari 1-2 forward of Michael Schumacher, whereas Alonso was fifth on the grid and degree on factors with Schumacher within the championship.

The Toyota of Ralf Schumacher – who began third – proved to be a cussed impediment and Alonso may solely move him on Lap 12 with a courageous Flip 1 dive, because the Ferraris consolidated their lead. However the Renault man was ready to pounce if the leaders faltered.

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And falter they did. Massa – who had been handed by Schumacher – was compelled to pit early on with a puncture, giving Alonso P2. He then gave chase to Schumacher who retired on Lap 36.

It was a vital victory, handed to the motive force who’d put himself in prime place to capitalise on Ferrari’s misfortune – and meant Alonso wanted only a single level from the season finale to clinch his second successive world championship, which he duly did on the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Wrapped up with a bow: Alonso wins in Japan to take a 10-point lead within the 2006 championship

9. 2006 British Grand Prix

Alonso took a second consecutive pole place at Silverstone, however not like in 2005 when Juan Pablo Montoya beat him to the win, this time he was decided to maintain maintain of that lead all the best way to complete line.

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And so dominant was the Spaniard, he solely misplaced the lead as soon as, to McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen throughout a pit cease, earlier than regaining it and shutting out the race with victory.

On paper, his fifth win of 2006 appears so easy – pole place, quickest lap and a race win – that the fixed stress Alonso confronted from Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher is straightforward to miss. Nonetheless it was one other completely assured, skilled present from Alonso, who was by then the reigning champ, and pushing onerous for his second title.

Alonso lastly gained at his house away from house in 2006

8. 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix

Temperatures of 42.5 levels Celsius made this scorcher of a race a take a look at of endurance and attrition for all of the drivers on the grid.

Alonso, nonetheless, saved his cool by taking pole place by an combination of 0.455s over Michael Schumacher, after qualifying was run throughout Saturday and Sunday morning.

WATCH: 5 forgotten moments from Bahrain GP historical past

As soon as the race began, Schumacher gave chase in his usually unflinching method, protecting tabs on Alonso till Lap 9 when he coasted again to the pits with a hydraulics problem. The Ferrari man can be one in every of seven retirements that day.

Alonso continued on, with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli doing his greatest to catch up. However the Renault driver’s lead was insurmountable. A win of over 13 seconds in testing circumstances was Alonso’s second victory of the season, because the Spaniard laid the foundations for his maiden world championship.

Alonso confirmed he may deal with the warmth on this Bahrain scorcher

7. 2006 Canadian Grand Prix

The one driver to qualify underneath 1m14s that weekend, Alonso beat crew mate Giancarlo Fisichella to pole place by a margin of over two-tenths in Canada. Desirous to wrestle the lead off Alonso, Fisichella jumped the beginning because the lights went out and was duly punished.

Alonso soaked up appreciable stress from a prowling Kimi Raikkonen early on, defending on the closing chicane masterfully from the McLaren driver on Lap 11 and retaining the lead at the same time as he ran broad at Flip 10. Raikkonen’s race was then undone by issues within the pits.

WATCH: 5 shock moments from Canadian GP historical past

Nonetheless, Jacques Villeneuve crashed on Lap 58 and Alonso had a Lap 64 Security Automotive restart to cope with. However in usually unflustered fashion the Renault driver handled that calmly, successful way more comfortably than his 2.1 second margin over Michael Schumacher implies.

Alonso missed out to Kimi Raikkonen in 2005 at Montreal however made no mistake in 2006

6. 2005 French Grand Prix

Since 2001, the Schumacher brothers had cleaned up on the French Grand Prix, with Michael successful thrice and Ralf as soon as – so it might take one thing particular to usurp them at Magny-Cours in 2005.

That one thing particular was Alonso within the Renault R25.

READ MORE: How the Renault R25 lastly ended Ferrari’s dominance and delivered Alonso’s first title

Taking pole over Toyota’s Jarno Trulli by a tenth, Alonso leapt away in the beginning, watching the ever-more-distant sight of Trulli and Michael Schumacher sparring in his mirrors whereas Kimi Raikkonen was left recovering from the again due to an engine failure in follow. Consecutive quickest laps adopted, and Alonso was so dominant that Sunday in July that he lapped everybody bar eventual podium finishers Schumacher and Raikkonen.

Renault had their first house win in 12 years due to the supreme Spaniard.

Alonso delivered a primary Renault house win since Alain Prost’s 1993 triumph at Magny-Cours

5. 2006 Monaco Grand Prix

Greatest remembered for qualifying drama that noticed Michael Schumacher come to a controversial halt at Rascasse, thus stopping his rivals from beating him to pole place, the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix was additionally Alonso’s first win within the Principality.

READ MORE: 5 shock moments from the Monaco Grand Prix

Quickest in follow, Alonso was handed pole place after Schumacher was relegated to the again of the grid for his suspicious qualifying stoppage; closest rival Kimi Raikkonen had not been capable of match the Spaniard in Q3.

Within the race, Raikkonen retired whereas Schumacher made a spirited restoration from final to fifth, however out in entrance Renault’s champion-to-be constructed up a dominant 14.5 second hole over McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya for a maiden Monaco triumph.

Monaco 2006 – Schumacher penalised in qualifying and Alonso wins

4. 2006 Spanish Grand Prix

An authoritative win delivered in entrance of his house followers: Alonso claimed pole place over crew mate Giancarlo Fisichella on Saturday in Barcelona, then dashed off the road as soon as the lights went out on Sunday.

Inside 4 laps, Alonso had a four-second lead however there was a looming risk as Michael Schumacher turned on the afterburners in an try and catch him. The Ferrari driver pitted on Lap 23 and emerged second – about 11 seconds off the Spaniard.

WATCH: 5 moments you may need forgotten from Spanish GP historical past – together with an enormous shunt for Kovalainen

However Alonso, seemingly untroubled by the Ferrari, constructed his result in 13 seconds and stopped once more on Lap 40 – six laps earlier than Schumacher – to go on to win by a shocking 18.5 seconds, to the delight of his adoring followers who had packed out the grandstands.

Alonso must wait till 2013 for one more Spanish GP victory

3. 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix

Alonso arrived in Hungary that weekend nonetheless in search of his first ever F1 win. However he began as he meant to go on, by securing pole place by over 0.25 seconds from Ralf Schumacher in second, to turn out to be the youngest pole-sitter the game had ever seen.

Alonso’s majestic begin – on the cleaner facet of the grid – noticed him enter Flip 1 untroubled with the Jaguar of Mark Webber far behind.

WATCH: Hungary – 5 forgotten moments from F1 historical past

The Renault driver had a 21-second lead by Lap 14, when he stopped and emerged in P2 behind McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen. When Raikkonen pitted, the lead was returned to Alonso and he continued with blistering tempo.

Alonso even lapped champion-elect Michael Schumacher on his solution to an excellent maiden win – 16.7 seconds separating the Renault driver and runner-up Raikkonen on the end.

At simply 22 years and 26 days outdated, Alonso turned, on the time, the youngest ever Grand Prix winner – and there was far more to come back…

Traditional Hungary: 2003 Alonso vs Schumacher

2. 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso went head-to-head to open the 2006 Method 1 season with a duel within the desert. Schumacher took pole forward of crew mate Felipe Massa, whereas Jenson Button put his Honda third – one place forward of Alonso – on the grid.

On Lap 1, Alonso shot as much as P2 however Schumacher started to drag away and the race was very almost over for the Spaniard when a spinning Massa almost took him out on the first nook.

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The Renault driver determined to remain out longer than Ferrari’s chief – a technique that appeared to be paying off as, after the primary stops, Schumacher’s lead stabilised.

The second set of stops had been essential as Alonso once more pitted 4 laps after Schumacher and emerged side-by-side with the Ferrari, holding the German off via Flip 1. Schumacher gave chase however Alonso’s tempo was superior. He held on to win this good Bahrain bout by simply 1.2 seconds.

F1 Vault: Alonso and Schumacher combat to the end in Sakhir, 2006

1. 2005 San Marino Grand Prix

By no means rely Michael Schumacher out, even when he does begin the race thirteenth and get caught in a ‘Trulli Practice’.

When pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race at Imola on Lap 9, it appeared that Alonso – who began from second on the grid – would breeze to victory.

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However Schumacher’s pace was threatening all through and he was in P3 by the point he stopped on Lap 27. He had the tempo to win.

Alonso pitted on Lap 42, Schumacher on Lap 49, to arrange one in every of Method 1’s most nail-biting finishes ever, because the pair discovered themselves separated by simply 1.5 seconds after their stops.

The Renault was simply in entrance of the Ferrari and there was no mercy from Schumacher in the direction of the younger pretender to his throne. That was evident in the best way Schumacher hounded and harried Alonso from Flip 8 throughout the Acque Minerali bends.

However Alonso refused to be cowed by his illustrious rival, and held on to win by 0.215s, securing a legendary victory via sheer resilience over F1’s undisputed king. It was a symbolic second as a lot as something: Schumacher’s run of championship wins was over, whereas Alonso’s was nearly to start.

Fernando Alonso fights Michael Schumacher at San Marino 2005

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