Renault Hail Alonso after Historic Hat-Trick

Fernando Alonso's commanding Sunday drive to victory in Bahrain wrote another page in Renault's Formula One history

Renault Hail Alonso after Historic Hat-Trick

The Spaniard's success at the dusty desert track was the 100th for a Renault engine and also the first time that the French manufacturer had managed to win three races in succession.

Yet at the end, despite the sizzling heat, the 23-year-old made it all seem so easy after also securing Renault's third pole position in a row.

"It is the third consecutive weekend where I can say I have had no problems. It is fantastic, a dream," he told a news conference. "The strongest point is the long runs, we are so constant in the laps and we can push even harder when we want.

"We have an extremely good package...and the tyres are unbelievable as well."

With the opening three 'flyaway' races out of the way, Alonso leads the Championship with 26 points to the 16 amassed by Toyota's Jarno Trulli, the Italian who was his Renault partner last year.

Ferrari's seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher is struggling with just two.

Schumacher, with a new car making its debut, looked the only real threat to Alonso in the early stages of the race. After he retired with a hydraulics problem after 12 laps it was clear that only a mechanical failure could stop Alonso.

He said that even if Schumacher had passed him he would not have been concerned.

For lap after lap, he never missed a beat - unaware that Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, winner of the Australian season-opener, had gone out of the race early on after his engine began playing up on lap two.

"Fernando dominated from start to finish," said team boss Flavio Briatore. "He had a nice fight with Michael but after the Ferrari retired he just had to manage his tyres, his engine and the gap to Jarno."

Pat Symonds, Renault's director of engineering, was even more impressed.

"To see a driver control a race like Fernando did this afternoon is an impressive sight," he said. "His performance is even more remarkable when you consider he did not even use all the revs available on the engine in the opening laps.

"He seemed capable of increasing his pace when necessary, without putting undue stress on the car."

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