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Toma! - Alonso's celebrations explained 26 Sep 2005

World Champion Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R25 celebrates in Parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Brazil, 25 September 2005

As he pulled into parc ferme on Sunday afternoon, Fernando Alonso appeared totally calm. He climbed from the cockpit, removed his helmet and replaced his Renault’s steering wheel with little sign of emotion. The new world champion then climbed atop his car’s front wheel, punched two clenched fists into the air and shouted a single word to the world to express his joy - ‘Toma!’

In case you were wondering exactly what he meant by that simple expression, Renault have kindly explained. It is a one-word motto that Alonso has had ever since he joined the team and never has its meaning had more poignancy than after that vital third place at Interlagos.

Translated, ‘Toma!’ means ‘Come on! Have it!’ - in other words a spontaneous explosion of joy, celebration and ecstasy after unstinting, determined effort and well-earned success.

Alonso’s unique celebrations continued when he got to the podium. Initially he seemed slightly stunned - struggling to take in the scale of his achievement. Then, after the anthems and the ceremony, as the champagne was sprayed, the Spaniard took a moment alone on the top step.

He collected his thoughts, then began to pour champagne into his trophy, before drinking it. Was it simply not coming out of the bottle quick enough? Well, not quite. "In my region in Spain, the typical drink is a sidra (cider),” he explained. “When you drink it, you have to pour it into the glass from high in the air, and I did the same thing with the cup. It was a little bit of home to bring to Brazil."

It was a touching gesture that would not have been lost on the millions of fans watching their hero back in Spain, in particular those in his home town of Oviedo.