Sunday, 27 May 2007

Alonso deals Monaco blow to Hamilton

Fernando Alonso delivered a psychological blow to team-mate Lewis Hamilton this afternoon after he secured victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in what was a dominant showing by the Mclaren outfit.

The Spaniard dominated the race from pole position putting in some blistering lap times when he needed them to keep a somewhat inconsistent Hamilton at bay. The win means that Alonso now leads the world championship.

“It has been a fantastic weekend, no doubt, and to score this hattrick – pole, fastest lap and race win – is something very special and even more so here in Monaco,” said Alonso in the post-race press conference.

“I enjoyed today’s race so much with a perfect care all through the race, and it felt so good to drive such a nice car for 78 laps and win at the end,” he added.

Hamilton, who was hotly tiped to maintain his unbeaten record at the principality, failed to capitalise on the extra few laps of fuel advantage he had over Alonso and was never really able to make any inroads on his team mate.

The rivals traded fastest lap times and the gap between them yo-yoed around but Alonso was always able to maintain his advantage, especially at the crucial pit stop windows.

Despite claims after the race by Ron Dennis that his cars were being kept well within their limits, both drivers were pushing hard and attacked the Monte-Carlo street track with impunity. Hamilton even brushed the armco barriers on a few occasions.

The 22-year-old rookie, who looked slightly dejected after the race in comparison to his previous podium celebrations, remarked on the frustrations of his battle with Alonso:

"All weekend we’ve both had great pace and it was tough. I knew that we were both extremely quick and when you’re behind someone you can’t follow them that closely, so I knew there would be no way to get so close to him and overtake him.

“So the only way was to apply pressure, and he’s a two time world champion, he doesn’t really make mistakes so it’s extremely difficult.”

It was a case of damage limitation for Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen battled his way from the rear end of the grid to an eventual eighth place. And Felipe Massa got the best out of his car to take the last step of the podium albeit finishing the best part of a lap behind the leaders.

Gincarlo Fissichella put in a strong showing for the Renault team to finish fourth and was followed by the BMW Sauber drivers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld respectively.

Alexander Wurz scored his first points of the season finishing seventh for the Williams team.

Drivers Championship Standings

Fernando Alonso 38
Lewis Hamilton 38
Felipe Massa 33
Kimi Raikkonen 23
Nick Heidfeld 18
Giancarlo Fisichella 13
Robert Kubica 12
Nico Rosberg 5
David Coulthard 4
Jarno Trulli 4
Heikki Kovalainen 3
Alexander Wurz 2
Takuma Sato 1
Ralf Schumacher 1

Constructors Championship Standings

McLaren-Mercedes 76
Ferrari 56
BMW Sauber 30
Renault 16
Williams 7
Toyota 5
Red Bull Racing 4
Super Aguri 1

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