Fernando Alonso won the second F1 race held in Bahrain in 2005 and increased his lead in the driver’s championship, building a key advantage in front of Kimi Raikkonen in McLaren who will remain his only competitor in the rest of the season on his way to his first championship title.

The Renault F1 team was best prepared for the new challenges of the new 2005 F1 season where engines had to last two consecutive races and tyres had to last whole race distance. The new Renault R25 was fastest and reliable and worked brilliantly on Michelin tyres while McLaren started slowly with their promising MP4-20, which in the first three races had problems with warming up its tyres for one lap qualifying.

The qualifying was separated in two sessions for the first six races of the season. On Saturday, they had one lap with a minimum amount of fuel, and on Sunday they also had one lap but with a race fuel load, after which the start order was determined by aggregating the laps of these two sessions. The system was discarded after the Monaco GP and from European GP only one Saturday session was held.

Alonso won the second consecutive pole position after Malaysia ahead of Michael Schumacher in Ferrari, Trulli in Toyota and two BMW Williams of Heidfeld and Webber. McLaren drivers de la Rosa and Raikkonen were just eight and ninth (Montoya missed Bahrain and San Marino GP due to tennis injury).

Alonso kept the lead at the start, but Schumacher was very fast in the new Ferrari F2005 (who had his debut in Bahrain for the first time in 2005, but only in Schumacher’s hands) and followed the Spaniards in less than a second behind in the first 11 laps.

Michael-Schumacher-Ferrari-F2005-black-nose-Bahrain-F1-2005-starting-grid

But after that, Schumacher had to retire because of hydraulic problems, after which Alonso had an easy task of keeping the leading position ahead of Trulli in Toyota and securing a third podium and second victory in the first three races.

Third was Raikkonen in McLaren, but with 32 seconds behind Alonso while the fourth and fifth were Ralf Schumacher (Toyota) and Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) who set the fastest lap of the race 1:31.447 which is still fastest lap in Bahrain GP.

“The R25 was perfect today, and the team was fantastic throughout the weekend,” Alonso praised his team.

“To win 26 of the possible 30 points is brilliant, but we have to be careful: we have done only three of the 19 races of the very long season [the longest in history at that time].”

“But I think if we remain competitive as we are now, and if we can avoid mechanical problems, it will be difficult to beat us.”

2005 BAHRAIN GP RESULTS

Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 57 1:29:18.531
2 16 Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 1:29:31.940 13.409
3 9 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren/Mercedes 57 1:29:50.594 32.063
4 17 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 57 1:30:11.803 53.272
5 10 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren/Mercedes 57 1:30:23.519 1:04.988
6 7 Mark Webber Williams/BMW 57 1:30:33.232 1:14.701
7 12 Felipe Massa Sauber/Petronas 56 1:29:20.790 1 lap
8 14 David Coulthard Red Bull/Cosworth 56 1:29:32.674 1 lap
9 2 R.Barrichello Ferrari 56 1:29:39.886 1 lap
10 18 Tiago Monteiro Jordan/Toyota 55 1:30:48.002 2 laps
11 11 J.Villeneuve Sauber/Petronas 54 1:26:52.407 Crash
12 20 P.Friesacher Minardi/Cosworth 54 1:30:48.605 3 laps
13 21 Christijan Albers Minardi/Cosworth 53 1:29:20.218 4 laps
(4) 3 Jenson Button BAR/Honda 46 1:12:54.326 Clutch
(11) 4 Takuma Sato BAR/Honda 27 43:25.179 Brakes
(8) 8 Nick Heidfeld Williams/BMW 25 39:48.714 Engine
(14) 1 M.Schumacher Ferrari 12 19:26.648 Hydraulics
(17) 6 G.Fisichella Renault 4 6:52.995 Engine
(15) 19 N.Karthikeyan Jordan/Toyota 2 3:23.793 Elektronika
15 Christian Klien Red Bull/Cosworth 0 DNS

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 3/19 RACES

1 Fernando Alonso 26   6 10 10
2 Jarno Trulli 16   8 8
3 Giancarlo Fisichella 10   10
4 Ralf Schumacher 9   4 5
5 David Coulthard 9   5 3 1
6 Rubens Barrichello 8   8
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 8   3 5
8 Kimi Räikkönen 7   1 6
9 Mark Webber 7   4 3
10 Nick Heidfeld 6   6

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Renault 36   16 10 10
2 Toyota 25   12 13
3 McLaren/Mercedes 19   4 5 10
4 Williams/BMW 13   4 6 3
5 Red Bull/Cosworth 12   7 4 1
6 Ferrari 10   8 2
7 Sauber/Petronas 2   2
8 Jordan/Toyota 0  
9 BAR/Honda 0  
10 Minardi/Cosworth 0  

RACE – Part 1

RACE – Part 2

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