04 September: Italian Grand Prix - Race Report - Renault F1
second and Fisico third in Monza this afternoon, the team's first double podium since Melbourne.
The Mild Seven Renault F1
Team scored its second double podium finish of the 2005 season – and its first since the opening race of the season in Melbourne
– this afternoon at the Italian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso took a strong second place, pressuring Juan-Pablo Montoya's McLaren to
the flag, while Giancarlo Fisichella climbed from eighth position to third, his second podium finish of the season and the first
podium for an Italian driver at Monza since Michele Alboreto in 1988. Both drivers ran two stop strategies, with Fernando stopping
on laps 19 and 39, while Giancarlo pitted on laps 21 and 40. Fernando Alonso extended his lead in the World Drivers' Championship by
three points, and now leads Kimi Raikkonen by 27 points with four races remaining, while in the Constructors' race, Renault lost one
point to McLaren – and maintains an eight point advantage in the overall standings.
Fernando Alonso, 2nd position "I
am really happy with second place here this weekend. In these final races of the season, our strategy has been to make sure we get
on the podium, so this is the perfect result for me. The fact that we both finished in front of Kimi makes it even better. The car
was nearly perfect all through the race – I had some oversteer on the first stint, but after that we didn't touch anything at all
on the settings. The team was keeping me informed about the gap to Kimi (Raikkonen) all the way through the race, so I knew how his
race was developing as well, and then they told me Juan (Montoya) had problems with his tyres. I really pushed hard in the final
laps, and we turned the engine revs back up to try and catch him, but there were not enough laps left. But we did the job we needed
to today, so I am very pleased."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 3rd position "This is a great day for me – to be
on the podium at my home race in Monza, and to see the crowd cheering during the ceremony, was such a special feeling. The balance
of the R25 was fantastic today, but the grip levels were quite bad and that meant it was a really hard race. But from eighth on the
grid, I think we had a perfect strategy and it is great to finish on the podium after starting so far back. The race was what I
expected really – we knew that BAR and Ferrari would stop earlier than us on the first stint, and the only concern was with
Trulli. Luckily, he stopped one lap earlier than me and in that space, I really pushed and got past him. I think that was the moment
that got me third place this afternoon. It is a great result for the team as well to have both of us on the podium, and the next
track should suit our car well – plus Spa is a great circuit for me too. This afternoon showed we are still competitive, and
attacking all the way to the last race."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director "The team had a great race
this afternoon. Two drivers on the podium was what we wanted this weekend, and we achieved it. Monza is always a tough circuit for
engines, but ours were perfect all the way through; the tyre performance from Michelin was very good; and we had the right strategy.
I want to congratulate Giancarlo on a fantastic drive from eighth on the grid to finish on the podium at his home Grand Prix.
Fernando did a superb job, and is in a stronger position for the championship now. There is a 27 point gap, but we are taking it
week by week and not getting excited. Spa will be another important race in one week's time, so let's see what happens."
Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "Tactically, this was a very tricky race – as it always is when your main
competitors are spread throughout the field, and in this case also running different strategies. In those circumstances, you have to
be able to think on your feet. The whole team did a great job this afternoon, not least the drivers who pushed from start to finish
to make the most of their strategies, and they earned a fabulous double podium finish. Fernando's race was relatively
straightforward, but with Giancarlo we had to try and respond to Raikkonen's chase from behind – and also deal with the threat
that Trulli posed all the way through. Fisico did a great job to get ahead of Jarno, and hold off Kimi to the flag. It was a tough
afternoon – which makes the result all the more satisfying."