Alonso soars to simple Silv win

Sun, 11 June 2006, 05:43

In his first British grand prix triumph, Fernando Alonso coasted to victory at Silverstone to further extend his championship lead over Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.

The Renault driver finished an easy fourteen seconds ahead of Schumacher, after the German leapt the podium’s final attendee – Kimi Raikkonen – in the second of two pit stops.

24-year-old Alonso’s championship lead thus moves from 21 to 23 points. His teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, pushed McLaren runner Raikkonen hard at the end of the race but failed to return the favour of Suzuka last year with a last-lap move.

”We asked Fisi to attack Raikkonen to see what could happen,” Flavio Briatore explained.

Local hero Jenson Button’s Silverstone nightmare, meanwhile, went from bad to worse on Sunday after he slid out of the race on lap 9 with an engine failure.

”It’s not all bad luck,” the Englishman – who has accepted the ‘Hawthorn Memorial Trophy’ for being the top British driver – rued, ”as we need to improve.

”Monday at the factory will be interesting, to see where we go from here. We have issues.”

At race’s end, the stewards were investigating a lap-one clash involving Scott Speed, Ralf Schumacher and Mark Webber, who all ultimately retired. Williams’ Webber appeared to be the victim of Speed’s shunt into Schumacher’s rear end.

”Obviously (Ralf) didn’t see me,” said Toro Rosso’s California-born Speed. ”I don’t anything will come about of this (enquiry).”

Ralf commented: ”I had an awful start and then someone drove into the back of me.”

McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya carried serious side-pod damage to sixth.

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