• 2005 French Grand Prix

Alonso proves his class in France

David Addison
July 3, 2005
High five for a dominant Alonso © Sutton Images

After the shameful United States Grand Prix, it was good to see a full grid roar past at the end of lap one in France. It was headed by Fernando Alonso and his Renault would be ahead when the flag fell on lap 70.

Alonso had taken pole position and gave Renault its first win on home soil since 1982. He led by over a second at the end of lap one, by two seconds at the end of lap two and on it went. He pulled further and further away and did not have to break sweat. "It was quite an easy race," he said. "I pushed until the first round of pit stops but then I could control the gap."

Had Kimi Raikkonen started from third (where he qualified) things may have been different. However, an engine change earned him a 10-place grid penalty and the Finn battled his way to second place to stay in touch for the title.

Over at Ferrari, there were signs of recovery as Michael Schumacher took third place while Jenson Button's fourth position gave BAR cause for celebration after a poor season plagued by unreliability.

Giancarlo Fisichella celebrated his 150th Grand Prix start but sixth was the best he could do, his win in Australia a distant memory.