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Second at Spa puts Alonso on the brink 11 Sep 2005

Second placed Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, 11 September 2005

Fernando Alonso need just six points from three races to secure the 2005 drivers’ championship thanks to his second place in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. As in Turkey, Alonso was gifted the place after a clash between Juan Pablo Montoya and a backmarker.

Except for an opening-lap dice with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, Alonso drove a relatively conservative race, taking no risks with dry tyres in the unpredictable conditions after seeing his team mate Giancarlo Fisichella crash out on lap 11.

The Spaniard looked set for a secure, if lonely, third place until, with less than five laps to go, Williams’ Antonio Pizzonia ran into Montoya's McLaren as he went to un-lap himself. The incident, which is under investigation by the stewards, put both men out and handed second place to Alonso.

“I didn't make any mistakes, and P3 was going to be perfect for me, then I saw Montoya's accident - so P2 is even better, and it was nice to have some more help from McLaren,” joked Alonso afterwards.

“Fernando did the job he needed to, and now I think it will be difficult for Raikkonen to catch him but the constructors' championship is much closer, and we will stay focused on that until the end,” added Renault team boss Flavio Briatore.

Sunday’s Spa result means a third place at Interlagos in two weeks’ time will be enough to make Alonso the youngest world champion in Formula One history, even if Raikkonen wins in Brazil, Japan and China.