Renault’s Fernando Alonso notched up his sixth grand prix victory of the season at Hockenheim on Sunday after his rival, Kimi Raikkonen, retired from the race due to a mechanical failure.

Renault’s Fernando Alonso notched up his sixth grand prix victory of the season at Hockenheim on Sunday after his rival, Kimi Raikkonen, retired from the race due to a mechanical failure.


By winning in Germany, the Spaniard extended his championship lead over the Finn to a commanding 36 points with just seven races left in the season. After spinning of the circuit during Saturday’s qualifying session, Juan-Pablo Montoya stormed from the back of the grid on Sunday to salvage second place for McLaren-Mercedes. Briton Jenson Button finished third for BAR Honda after a dramatic battle with hometown favourite, Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.


"It was a fantastic day," Alonso said after the race. "I did my perfect race, the car balance was great from the start to the finish and we didn't make any adjustments in the pit stops because it felt good. But it wasn't enough in the first part of the race to keep up with Kimi. But obviously with another retirement from Kimi the race was really a bit boring being in first place with such a big gap."


"The McLaren was so dominant all weekend," he added. "We had a better race pace than we did in qualifying and for the next races we still need to improve if we want to beat them because they are still a bit quicker than us. The race is seventy laps, not thirty and we finished."


Raikkonen made a strong start from pole position and Alonso challenged his lead around the outside of turn one on the opening tour. However, the Finn defended his lead and although Alonso did all he could to pressure Raikkonen from second place, the Spaniard’s Renault did not have enough pace to match the McLaren.


Button had a poor start, slipping from second to fourth behind Schumacher. At the end of the first lap Montoya was already in eleventh place after starting from the back of the grid.


BAR’s Takuma Sato collided with Mark Webber’s Williams-BMW on the first lap and both drivers were forced to make pit stops for repairs. The Australian rejoined the race ten laps behind the leader.


Raikkonen dominated the first part of the race and was the last of the frontrunners to stop for fuel. Montoya had been running in eighth position, behind Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault, but by the end of the first round of pit stops the Colombian passed the Italian and set about catching fourth-placed Button.


Alonso, who had held a comfortable advantage over Schumacher in second place, cruised into the lead when Raikkonen’s car suffered a hydraulics failure. The softer-compound Bridgestone tyres on Schumacher’s Ferrari began to struggle for grip and, by lap 40, Button and Montoya was right behind the seven-time champion.


Button outbraked the German down the inside of the hairpin, stealing second place on lap 45. The Briton’s second place did not last long, however, as he pitted on the next lap. Schumacher stopped for fuel a lap later, but Montoya kept going until 11 laps from the end - when he had built up enough advantage to retain second place.


Alonso cruised to the chequered flag and his sixth victory of the season, ahead of Montoya and Button. Fisichella passed a struggling Schumacher two laps from the end to secure fourth place for Renault. Michael fended off brother Ralf to claim fifth while David Coulthard and Felipe Massa claimed the remaining points in seventh and eighth.