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Raikkonen wins Spanish Grand Prix
May 08, 2005 19:34 IST
Last Updated: May 08, 2005 19:58 IST
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen ran away with the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday to dash Formula One leader Fernando Alonso's hopes of celebrating a fourth win in a row before his home crowd.
Alonso, the Renault driver who has set the championship alight and fired up a nation's dormant passion for Formula One, had to settle for a distant second place behind the Finnish 'Iceman'.
The McLaren crossed the line 27.6 seconds before Alonso after pulling away at a second a lap in the early stages.
Raikkonen's first win of the season, and third of his career, ended Renault's run of four victories in a row and made up for the disappointment of two weeks ago when he led at Imola from pole before retiring.
It also ended Michael Schumacher's hopes of a record-equalling success in Barcelona.
The seven-times world champion had a tyre nightmare, retiring for the third time in five races, while his team mate Rubens Barrichello was lapped by Raikkonen at half distance on an afternoon to forget for Ferrari.
Schumacher had won the last four Spanish Grands Prix and another win would have equalled the record of five in a row at a single venue set by the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna at Monaco from 1989-1993.
Italian Jarno Trulli was third for Toyota, his third podium finish of the season, to maintain his second place in the championship.
Toyota's Ralf Schumacher was fourth, ahead of Renault's Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and Australian Mark Webber in a Williams.
Watched by the King of Spain, and with most of the 115,000 capacity crowd willing him on, Alonso could at least take comfort in an extended overall lead and his fifth successive top three finish.
The 23-year-old now has 44 points to Trulli's 26. Raikkonen has 17. Renault have 58 to Toyota's 40.
The circuit lived up to its reputation of producing predictable winners, Raikkonen the 11th driver in 15 races there to win from pole.
Never has a driver won from outside the top three on the starting grid and they did not look like doing so on Sunday, with the pattern set from the start when Alonso scythed past Webber to settle in behind Raikkonen.
Schumacher, who chased the Spaniard all the way to the chequered flag in the last San Marino Grand Prix, did a longer first stint than the frontrunners and ran in second place briefly before the tyre problems.
Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was seventh for McLaren on his return from a two-race layoff due to injury, while Briton David Coulthard collected a point for Red Bull.
Fisichella could have been higher had he not been forced to make an extra stop while running second to change his front wing. Mechanics scrambled frantically under the car, trying to free something, as he waited for 35 seconds.
The safety car was deployed for a lap at the start after both Minardis were left stranded on the grid, apparently due to a software malfunction.
The field was reduced to 18 cars by the absence of the BAR team, who were starting a two-race ban for a breach of technical regulations at the last round in Imola.
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