3 July: French Grand Prix - Race Report - Renault F1
wins, Fisico sixth; first French victory for a Renault car in 22 years.
Fernando Alonso took a dominant victory for the
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team in this afternoon's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. The Spaniard led every lap of the race to take his
fifth victory of the season, and the first for a 100% Renault car in the French Grand Prix since 1983. He has extended his lead in
the drivers championship by two points, and now has 69 points, 24 ahead of nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen.
Fisichella endured a troubled afternoon, suffering problems at two of his three pit-stops and damage to his car which cost him grip
from mid-race onwards. He nevertheless delivered a tenacious performance to take sixth position, and further extend the team's
advantage in the Constructors' Championship. The team now leads McLaren by 18 points, with a total of 89 points.
Alonso, Winner "I am very proud to win here today, for the team, for Renault, for Michelin who have had a difficult time
in the last two weeks, and for all the fans who came to support us. The race was quite easy: I pushed until the first stops, and
then controlled the gap, only making small adjustments to the car. I am really pleased to win again, but this still does not change
anything for the championship. I have quite a good gap to Kimi, but there is still a very long way to go. Anything can happen, and
we know our rivals will be very quick in Silverstone next weekend. But for the moment, I am going to enjoy what we achieved
Giancarlo Fisichella, 6th position "I actually think this was a good race for me – in spite of
the finishing position. I had a problem with the fuel rig at my first stop, which cost me a lot of positions; then the support for
the undertray of the car broke in the middle of the race, which cost me a lot of grip and downforce; and at the last stop, the
engine cut out when I tried to pull away. So really, with all of these things, I think sixth is a good result. Of course, I am
frustrated because today could have been a podium for me, but the main thing is that we scored more points than the other teams, and
improved our situation in the championship."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director "The team gave a fantastic
performance today, and Michelin did the same – after the events in Indianapolis, it was great to see them come back so strongly
and dominate the weekend. Fernando drove a perfect race, but we are sorry for Fisico and the problems he had again, which were our
fault. But even though he did not finish as high as he could have done, his points have made the difference this afternoon, and
helped us build the lead to McLaren and Ferrari. Finally, we are delighted for the spectators, and our colleagues who came to the
race today – we were proud to offer them this victory."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "Congratulations
go to Fernando on a superb fifth win of the season. He dominated the weekend, and fully deserved this result. But as a team, we have
to focus on why we lost what should have been a double podium finish, through three separate incidents for Giancarlo. The fact that
he finished sixth in spite of these is an indication of quite how good a race he drove this afternoon."