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Analysis: Alonso Enjoys the View

Renault's Fernando Alonso had all the time in the world to enjoy the scenery at the French Grand Prix on Sunday

The 23-year-old Spaniard was so dominant on a cloudless summer afternoon at Magny-Cours that he could soak up the atmosphere at his leisure before cruising to a fifth victory in 10 races.

The Formula One Championship leader, now with a 24-point advantage over McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, said it even beat finishing second in front of his adoring home crowd in Barcelona in May.

"I think Barcelona and here at Magny-Cours, to see all the supporters, all the blue grandstands I think is an extra motivation," he said.

"We did two good races, Barcelona and here, but obviously it is better to win."

The main grandstand opposite the pits was full of blue and yellow shirts and flags, with thousands of Renault employees and their families enjoying a home Grand Prix in the heart of rural France.

Alonso gave them what they, and Renault president Carlos Ghosn, had come to see - a proper show after the chaos of Indianapolis two weeks ago when seven of the teams, Renault included, withdrew before the start because of concern about their Michelin tyres.

"The last 10 laps happened really slowly, and from three or four laps to the end I was expecting this moment, waiting to cross the line and enjoying victory with the team and with the grandstands in front of the pits where most of the people coming from the Renault factory were," said the Spaniard.

"I really crossed the line slowly just to enjoy (the moment) with them."

Good Start

Before that Alonso had been in a race of his own. He lapped all but McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and led from pole position to chequered flag.

"My start was good and then I pushed a little bit on the first lap, being a little bit careful with the wind and with the track conditions because obviously it was the first lap of the day," he said.

"Then I saw the car was like yesterday, okay, no problems and I saw (Toyota's) Jarno (Trulli) and Michael going quite a lot slower than me so I tried to push as hard as I could throughout the first stint until lap 20.

"After that, I was controlling the race a little bit and it was just like that. Everything was organised and well controlled, I think," he said.

His only real excitement, apart from the 'high fives' and champagne celebrations at the finish, came in lapping the field.

"When two guys are fighting for position, to lap them is quite difficult," he said.

"So it was quite an interesting race, even if I was alone, just to see the picture of the other teams."

Team boss Flavio Briatore was delighted: "Fernando drove a perfect race," he said.

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