Alonso steals rivals' thunder
Hamilton takes third as Ferrari celebrate one-two / Returning Schumacher edges out champion Button
Monday 15 March 2010
If he was not quite the forgotten world champion, Fernando Alonso nonetheless enjoyed far less attention in the build-up to this season than perhaps he deserved. Yesterday, he reminded the racing world of his qualities, rushing to victory in his first race for Ferrari and leading a one-two for the Italian team with Felipe Massa in second.
The Spaniard got his world championship campaign off to the best possible start after overtaking Massa's car in the first corner and then chasing down Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull. The German appeared to have the race in his pocket until his engine suffered a broken exhaust, and after passing him on the 34th lap Alonso drove away to an easy victory. Lewis Hamilton finished third, Michael Schumacher sixth and current world champion Jenson Button had to settle for seventh.
"It is a very special day for me," Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 champion, said. "It is not always easy coming to a new team, so to be able to reward all of the people who have done so much to contribute to this special moment really means a lot."
Massa also overtook Vettel at the start of the 35th lap but could not challenge Alonso because of temperature and fuel problems with his car. After a troubled qualifying, Hamilton was able to push his McLaren much harder in the race to deny Vettel a podium three laps later.
Schumacher's return to Formula One was marked by a steady if unspectacular drive, but the 41-year-old German was unable to match the pace of his younger team-mate Nico Rosberg all weekend. Rosberg was fifth.
The race marked the first without any refuelling stops for 17 years, and came to life after an initially dull start when all of the cars were heavy with a lot more fuel than they carried in recent seasons. BBC commentator Martin Brundle said: "It made it worse, it was boring." Fellow former driver Jacques Laffite was also dismissive, but Hamilton thought it made the race more interesting. "It creates a different challenge and it definitely did make the racing more exciting, in terms of being able to overtake," he said. "We have an interesting season ahead and the critical part will be trying to understand the tyres and knowing when to attack and when not to."
Joey Barton joins Burnley: Ex-QPR midfielder signs one-year deal, immediately regrets tweet criticising living the Lancashire town last year
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: Wolfsburg admit they can't compete with 'astonishing' £200,000-a-week offer as £58m deal nears
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn