Alonso takes title to fulfil his destiny

In the end, courtesy of Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren got their long-awaited one-two result, but the real story was all about Alonso.

After drawing his blue and yellow car into parc fermé at the end of the 71-lap event, he clambered from the cockpit and waved his arms aloft with the pure elation of a man who has realised his destiny. Then, careless that the world might be waiting to hear his story, he ran to his delirious team and embraced them warmly. It was almost the most animated moment of an otherwise unremarkable race. In response, Renault teamsters held aloft a pit board on which they had mounted the words that said it all: "Bravo Fernando Alonso, 2005 World Champion."

On the podium he poured the victory champagne into his trophy from a great height, celebrating in the way that Spaniards do when they pour their cider in the Oviedo region.

As if to wash away the final embers of Michael Schumacher's tenancy of the title, there was a brief rain shower that had abated by the time that Alonso sat in front of a microphone.

In triumph he was gracious, calm and collected, tough clearly imbued with the inner strength and sense of achievement that truly great sportsmen savour.

"I am extremely happy and it is a very emotional day for me," Alonso said. "I come from a country that has no tradition in Formula One and I had to fight alone as I had no help from anybody through my career. I think this is the maximum I can achieve and it is thanks to three or four people. No more than that."

There is about the Spaniard, 24 years and two months old, the same quiet charisma of the great Brazilian that he supersedes as the youngest champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, who was 25 years and 10 months old when he took Jackie Stewart's crown in 1972.

Like Fittipaldi, he is a trailblazer for his nation, and few doubt that he will bring a welcome dignity to his time as champion. Though Raikkonen would also have made a deserving winner, Alonso is the right man at the right time.

As McLaren finally scored their first one-two for more than five years, there was one bittersweet moment for Renault. With a tally of 18 points for their afternoon's work, McLaren moved to 164 points in the constructors' world championship, for the first time this season surpassing Renault as the leader. But the French team are still in the hunt with 162 and this is the battle that will now be the primary focus of the two remaining races.

Once Montoya had taken the lead on the third lap, he surrendered it only during pit stops, each time to Raikkonen. As long as Alonso was third, Raikkonen's mathematical chance of winning the crown had evaporated, and it was soon clear that if that was the case there was no need for Montoya to hand over the initiative, as he had in Belgium two weeks ago.

When Raikkonen made his final stop on the 59th lap, Montoya, who had refuelled five laps earlier, just came through the first corner and regained the lead as Raikkonen was emerging from the pits. For a while they went at it, but with eight laps to go it was clear that both men had reduced their pace.

Montoya duly won the race for the second successive year, and in doing so drew level with Michael Schumacher, who finished fourth, in third place in the drivers' stakes. Alonso merely had to follow them home.

In their wake, Ferrari preserved their third place in the constructors' table thanks to Schumacher's fourth and Rubens Barrichello's sixth, while Alonso's team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella had a disappointing run to fifth. It was also a disappointing race for Jenson Button, who started fourth but could only manage seventh place in his BAR-Honda.

Alonso's success aside, the only other major talking point was a startline shunt that brought out the safety car for two laps after David Coulthard tried to squeeze his Red Bull between the Williams-BMW cars of Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia.

The Scot and the Brazilian (in another probationary race for his team) were eliminated on the spot; Webber rejoined the race 25 laps down after a long stop for repairs.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living