The Renault F1 Team this afternoon took victory in its 200th Grand Prix start, at the Silverstone circuit where the F1 team made its debut 29 years ago in 1977 and last won in 1983, thanks to a stunning drive from Fernando Alonso. The reigning...
The Renault F1 Team this afternoon took victory in its 200th Grand Prix start, at the Silverstone circuit where the F1 team made its debut 29 years ago in 1977 and last won in 1983, thanks to a stunning drive from Fernando Alonso.
The reigning world champion took his third consecutive victory after starting from his fourth consecutive pole position, to make it six wins out of eight for the Renault F1 Team in the 2006 season. Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella started fifth and finished fourth after a dynamic drive that saw him fall just short of the podium as he shadowed Kimi Raikkonen to the chequered flag.
Today's performance sees the Renault F1 Team extend its championship lead to 31 points; Fernando Alonso has now scored 74 points from 80 and leads the drivers' title by 23 points, while Giancarlo Fisichella is fourth, one point behind Kimi Raikkonen.
Fernando Alonso, Winner:
"This is a very special win -- in fact, it has been three special wins in a row for me. After Spain and then Monaco, this is another of the classic races that you want to win. Great Britain is the home of motorsport, I live in Oxford myself only half an hour from this track, and of course we have a big part of our team based nearby in Enstone. It is really something wonderful to win for them, at home."
"The race was really competitive, and tough. We had a set-up on the car that meant it was quite understeery in the first part of the stint, but just got better and better and I could build a lead as the fuel loads came down -- although I had a little bit of graining in the second stint that slowed my pace. It was windy out there too, like all weekend, so that made things a little bit unpredictable, and we are not used to this heat in Silverstone."
"So it was never an easy win, but this shows we are working really hard. There's no secret to this fantastic season. We attack every race as a new challenge, we are concentrating all the time and there are no mistakes from the team. The best form of defence is attack -- and we showed that today.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 4th position:
"It was a good race for me, I had a competitive and consistent pace and I was quicker than the cars around me; there was graining in the second stint, like for Fernando, but it cleared up on the final set of tyres and I was able to really push."
"In the final laps, I was much faster Raikkonen in the first sector, but he was a little bit quicker in the second and third parts because they were running more downforce than us -- and as I got near him, I lost grip because of the turbulence and couldn't get close enough to overtake."
"This was another great result for the team though -- just like in Monaco and Barcelona, we scored the most points of anybody today and got both cars to the finish. Canada is next, one of my favourite circuits, and this Renault team is really on a roll at the moment."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"I am delighted for our team today to win in Silverstone. This was a special afternoon for all of us, but especially all the people who work just 50 km away in Enstone. Everything was perfect today -- the R26 car, the strategy, Fernando and Giancarlo, who deserved a podium today. Congratulations to Michelin as well: they once again brought great tyres for this race.
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"This was a great end to what has been a wonderful weekend at Silverstone -- Fernando's hat trick of pole, win and fastest lap showed a world champion at the top of his game. I am sure we had some doubters yesterday afternoon when we took pole position, but we showed today that we had done it on longer strategies, that played out well for us. Fisi put in another great drive as well, and had a good battle with Kimi at the end."
"The car seemed perfect in the hot conditions on a demanding circuit, and Michelin came up with the goods to provide consistent, competitive tyres. Three in a row is a great feeling; we will be working hard in the coming weeks to develop the car even further, and try to break our Canada jinx next time out in Montreal."