Fernando Alonso third and Giancarlo Fisichella fifth this afternoon in Brazil. The Spaniard becomes the youngest world champion in F1 history. Fernando Alonso today became the youngest world champion in Formula One history, after his thirteenth...
Fernando Alonso third and Giancarlo Fisichella fifth this afternoon in Brazil. The Spaniard becomes the youngest world champion in F1 history.
Fernando Alonso today became the youngest world champion in Formula One history, after his thirteenth podium finish of the 2005 season in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Starting from pole position, the Spaniard drove a characteristically aggressive, consistent race to claim third position at the flag. With a championship lead of 23 points, and only two races remaining in the 2005 season, he therefore has an unassailable lead in the drivers' championship.
At 24 years old, he therefore will become the youngest world champion in F1 history, in addition to the records of youngest holder of pole position and youngest race-winner he already holds.
Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella suffered a more complicated race, after struggling with oversteer that limited his pace. After starting third, the Italian finished fifth, just behind Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team now occupies second place in the constructors' championship with 162 points, 2 behind McLaren Mercedes. An all-out fight for the constructors' crown will be the object of the final two races of the season.
Fernando Alonso: 3rd
"It is too early to realise what is happening to me, and I think I will only understand properly in the days to come. So far, I have spoken to the King of Spain, the Prince and the Prime Minister -- it is impossible to really say anything about it now."
"I thought we could fight with the McLarens today but it was clear after the first stops that we couldn't keep their pace, so I just concentrated on controlling Michael Schumacher behind me, and managing the tyres."
"The engineers were also worried it might rain, so in the last laps I was really focusing on that, and preserving the tyres, and I was sure there were strange noises coming from the car, so it was only when I crossed the line that I realised I had become world champion!"
"I want to dedicate this championship to my family, and all my close friends who have supported me through my career. Spain is not a country with an F1 culture, and we had to fight alone, every step of the way, to make this happen."
"A huge thank you to the team as well: they are the best in Formula 1, and we have done this together. It will say that I am world champion, but we are all champions, and they deserve this."
"Now, I can go to the last two races and enjoy them a bit more. We made some conservative decisions in some of the last races, and now we will be able to race with nothing to lose until the end of the season.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 5th:
"I had poor rear end grip at the beginning of the race, and that meant I was struggling with oversteer in the high speed and low speed corners, and just trying to keep the car on the circuit."
"To be honest, I was a little disappointed to finish fifth because we should have been able to beat the Ferrari today, but the really important thing is Fernando becoming world champion. I am very happy for him, he has done a great season with no mistakes, and I wish him all the best."
"But we still have a second crown to race for, and we need to keep fighting against McLaren to get back the lead. I though we were much closer to them this weekend, so their pace in the race was a surprise. We're not giving up though, and we will fight to the very end of the season.
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"I am just delighted today. For Fernando of course, who has been fantastic all season, and for the team as well. They have produced a fantastic car and even if McLaren has been quicker, the points tell the only story that matters, over nineteen races."
"Fernando is just 24 years old, and he has been an incredible leader in this championship. The team works to make the car quicker, and he transforms that into results: that gives the team amazing motivation."
"Of course, we have to thank the team back in Enstone and Viry, all the partners who have supported us to make this championship possible, and everybody at the Renault group: they have all been part of a fantastic adventure."
"Now, we need to do our best in the constructors' championship, with Fisico and Fernando both pushing hard. We are doing our best to get closer to McLaren, and to take it down to the final race."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"Fernando is a worthy champion, and thoroughly deserves every success he has achieved this year. The race itself was not dramatic for either driver, but it certainly produced a spectacular result."
"Now, we will be focusing 100% on the constructors' championship. There is no doubt McLaren are quicker than us, and we relinquished our lead today -- albeit by a slender margin. But the team is working hard to develop the car and improve our speed, and we were certainly closer to them this weekend thanks to the developments at Enstone and Viry."
"We fully intend to take the fight to McLaren right up until Shanghai. But first things first: we will be celebrating a worthy champion this evening, and letting the feeling sink in properly!"