Spaniard Alonso makes history

Fernando Alonso was almost overwhelmed as he celebrated a historic Hungarian Grand Prix win.

Fernando Alonso was almost overwhelmed as he celebrated a historic Hungarian Grand Prix win.

Fernando Alonso celebrates with Flavio Briatore, the Renault chief, after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. — Pic. MARK THOMPSON/GETTY IMAGES-

First Spaniard to win a Formula One race, youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix, first win for Renault in 20 years... and he also lapped Ferrari's five-times world champion Michael Schumacher for good measure.

"Too many things for one day for me at the moment," he decided.

"The weekend was fantastic, pole position and now the victory for me is a dream come true," he added, soaked in winner's champagne.

"I'm 22 years old and I have my first victory in my pocket, so I hope I can have a long career in Formula One with more victories."

Alonso, who turned 22 on July 29, replaced the late New Zealander Bruce McLaren as the youngest Grand Prix winner and he marked his arrival with a finger raised imperiously as he approached the chequered flag.

He had done what he said he would do in his first season with Renault.

After starting the Malaysian Grand Prix on pole, and becoming the youngest driver to finish on the podium and lead a race, Alonso had said then that he wanted to become the youngest winner of a race and youngest champion.

He now has a cushion of three years for the latter aim, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi taking his first title at the age of 25, but the Spaniard turned his thoughts in that direction anyway.

"The next step will be to fight for the world championship, like these guys, as soon as possible," he said, joined on the podium by title contenders Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren and Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya.

"I am in a big team. Next year, we already have a good project, the new car should be a lot better than this year's and hopefully we will close the gap with the top teams and maybe next year we fight for more victories."

Few had doubted Alonso was a winner in waiting, only his Renault's lack of horsepower holding him back.

The Hungaroring proved the perfect opportunity, the second slowest circuit on the calendar suiting his car's well-balanced chassis.

The Spaniard romped away with the race, helped by Australian Mark Webber whose Jaguar surged into second place at the start and then held up the faster cars.

Alonso, who had begun with Williams' Ralf Schumacher alongside, could scarcely believe his luck as he pulled away at more than a second a lap.

"At the beginning, for the first two or three laps, I had Mark Webber in the mirror and then, in the eighth or ninth lap, I asked my team 'where are the others? ' " he said.

"They told me `15 seconds away' and I thought `Oh my God, I am very fast now.'

"The first stint was very important for the result of the race and I pushed quite a lot in the first stint and I had a big advantage, big gap and I did the race quite slowly after that."

Nine laps from the end, Alonso came up behind Schumacher and his own team-mate Jarno Trulli.

It was a key moment, and one that may prove to have symbolised the passing of a baton.

"It was a good feeling. When you lap Schumacher, it is always good because you are having a good race, but it was nothing special," he said.

"There was also my team-mate Jarno there and you know I tried not to disturb them too much in their fight."

"I had a perfect car throughout the race and I have to say thank you to the team as well.

"The last part of the race was quite exciting," he added. "Ten laps to go, or something like that, I heard noises from the engine, from the gearbox, in my mind.

"You know everything was going wrong but, at the end, I crossed the line and I was very happy for the team as well, because the weekend was fantastic for us.

"They need this victory to grow up and next year I hope to have more chances to win."

The results (Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, 70 laps of the 4.3 km, 2.7-mile, Hungaroring circuit): 1. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Renault, 1 hour, 39 minutes, 01.460 seconds, 70 laps, 185.810 kmh (115.481 mph); 2. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, McLaren Mercedes, 70, 1:39:18.228, 16.7 seconds behind; 3. Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, BMW-Williams, 70, 1:39:35.967, 34.5; 4. Ralf Schumacher, Germany, BMW-Williams, 70, 1:39:37.080, 35.6; 5. David Coulthard, Britain, McLaren Mercedes, 70, 1:39:57.995, 56.5; 6. Mark Webber, Australia, Jaguar, 70, 1:40:14.103, 1 minute, 12.6 seconds; 7. Jarno Trulli, Italy, Renault, 69, 1:39:07.141; 8. Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 69, 1:39:07.564; 9. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber Petronas, 69, 1:39:31.419; 10. Jenson Button, Britain, BAR Honda, 69, 1:39:50.036; 11. Cristiano Da Matta, Brazil, Toyota, 68, 1:39:34.706; 12. Jos Verstappen, Netherlands, Minardi, 67, 1:39:43.591; 13. Nicolas Kiesa, Denmark, Minardi, 66, 1:39:54.758.

Drivers' standings (after 14 of 17 races): Constructors' standings: 1. Williams-BMW, 129; 2. Ferrari, 121; 3. McLaren Mercedes, 115; 4. Renault, 78; 5. BAR Honda, 15; (tie) Jaguar, 15; 7. Toyota, 14; 8. Jordan Ford, 11; 9. Sauber Petronas, 9; 10. Minardi, 0.