• 2005 San Marino Grand Prix

Alonso beats Schumacher at Imola

David Addison
April 24, 2005
Fernando Alonso in celebratory mood © Sutton Images

How better to tweak the nose of Ferrari than to beat the Italian team on home soil? That was what Renault and Fernando Alonso managed to achieve by winning the San Marino Grand Prix.

It was a superb battle over the last 12 laps with Alonso leading Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. The German was quicker, but the less experienced Alonso refused to be rattled and steadfastly defended his lead.

"I knew that Michael was a second faster than me," said the victor. "I had to back him up in the corners but we had backmarkers ahead and I had to keep braking early to look after my tyres and keep Michael behind me."

Alonso's third win in four races was his most impressive yet. To withstand the pressure applied by the German was no mean feat and it also indicated the level at which Renault was now operating.

Third on the road was the Honda of Jenson Button but there was controversy after the race when the car was deemed to be underweight. The stewards declared the car legal but the FIA appealed the decision of its own people and the cars of Button and team-mate Takuma Sato were - eventually - excluded from the race. That elevated Alex Wurz to third, the Austrian being this race's stand-in for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya. His result salvaged something for McLaren: pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen had retired on lap nine when a driveshaft failed.