April 3, 2006 Reigning World F1 champion Fernando Alonso may be beginning to rue his decision to move to McLaren next year as the Renault F1 team again displayed complete dominance in yesterday’s third round of the Formula One World Championship in Melbourne. Alonso took his tenth career victory after starting from third position on the grid in an action-packed race which featured no fewer than four safety car periods. The Spaniard took the lead on lap 4 at the end of the first safety car period, in a perfectly-judged manoeuvre on pole-sitter Jenson Button’s Honda, and only relinquished it briefly during the first round of pit-stops. It was not so much the win that was scarey about the Renault peroformance – it was the ease with which Alonso drove away from the best of the rest whenever the safety car pulled off the track – the advantage is so great that Renault’s world championship already looks safe. Giancarlo Fisichella was forced to start from the pit-lane after his R26 stalled on the grid, but a determined, forceful drive saw him claim fifth position right on the line, overtaking Button’s stricken Honda on the finishing straight. The result leaves the Renault F1 Team with a nineteen point championship lead over its nearest rival, and Alonso leads the individual title by 14 points from his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Read the full article: F1 Round 3: Renault F1 streets the field again in Melbourne