2005: FERNANDO ALONSO

Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)

Year: 2005
Driver: Fernando Alonso (Spain)
Team: Renault
Car: Renault R25
Results: 7 wins, 15 podiums, 6 poles, 2 fastest laps

Five years of dominance by Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari was over. The most-noted aspect of the season was Ferrari’s lack of pace caused mainly by a new rule prohibiting tyre changes during the course of a race. The Bridgestone tyres used by Ferrari could not find the right balance between performance and reliability, leaving the Michelin runners to battle for race victories.Further rule changes emphasised the new focus on reliability, with engines required to last two Grands Prix without being changed.

Renault appeared the fastest team in pre-season testing and it was no surprise they dominated the early fly-away rounds. As the season progressed the McLarensof Kimi Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya became increasingly competitive and by the latter stages of the season the McLaren was generally considered the faster package. However, constant technical failures meant neither the team nor Räikkönen were able to translate their speed into Championship success.

Despite both he and Räikkönen having six victories to their name at this point in the season, Alonso’s greater consistency meant he was able to claim the Championship with two rounds to spare. The Constructors Championship was secured by Renault at the final race, with Alonso’s seventh race victory. This gave Renault their first Championship as a Constructor after only previously triumphing as an engine supplier, despite winning two fewer races than McLaren. Alonso’s success made him the youngest Champion in the history of the sport, a title he held until Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 title success (who lost it toSebastian Vettel in 2010).

Ferrari finished third in the Constructors Championship with only one win, at the United States Grand Prix, in farcical scenes after the race was only contested by the six Bridgestone cars after Michelin declared their tyres unsafe to run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s unique banked corner.

2005 was also the first F1 year for Red Bull Racing, after they purchased and rebranded Jaguar Racing.

(Source: Wikipedia)

See the season highlights (Official FIA Gala 2005 F1 season highlights)

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