Alonso wins Canadian GP

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Fernando Alonso won his fourth consecutive race on Sunday, driving his Renault to an easy victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Fernando Alonso won his fourth consecutive race on Sunday, driving his Renault to an easy victory in the Canadian Grand Prix and widening his lead over Michael Schumacher in the world championship standings. Alonso, who started from the pole, had only a brief challenge from Kimi Raikkonen early in the race but held off the Finn's attempt to pass him on the 12th lap. Raikkonen had a horrible day in the pits, having trouble on a tire change during his first stop and stalling his McLaren on another, preventing him from ever challenging Alonso again. He was then passed by Schumacher with one lap to go. But Schumacher, a seven-time winner on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, also had a rough day and never challenged Alonso. He drove his Ferrari off course once, brushed the wall and cut across the chicane on the final turn several times to take him out of contention. He wound up second and lost more ground in the chase to catch Alonso, who stretched his points lead to 25 points heading into next week's United States Grand Prix. This marked the first successful outing for Alonso in Canada. He had failed to finish three of his previous four races here, including last year when he hit the wall while leading. Even though he won the pole - his fifth in a row - he expected a challenge from Schumacher and Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa for the victory. It never happened and Alonso drove off for his sixth win of the season, and 15th consecutive podium. Giancarlo Fisichella, Alonso's teammate at Renault, finished fourth. Massa was fifth, Jarno Trulli scored his first points of the season with a sixth-place finish for Toyota. Nick Heidfeld was seventh for Williams and David Coulthard finished eighth after starting last because he changed his engine before the race. Jenson Button was eighth in a Honda and American Scott Speed finished 10th. Hometown hero Jacques Villeneuve had yet another disappointing finish on the track named for his late father. He was en route to at least a seventh-place finish when he crashed into the wall with 11 laps to go. He wound up 16th. The drama of this race began on the opening lap, when Raikkonen jumped past Fisichella to take away second place. The FIA stewards investigated Fisichella for jumping the start, and penalized him with a drive-through pass in the pits. Right behind all of that, Juan Pablo Montoya had his hands full with both Schumacher and Nicco Rosberg. But as Montoya attempted to pass Rosberg, the German made contact with Montoya that sent him into the wall and Montoya to the pits for repair work. Montoya was able to get back on the track, but still ended his day early when he brushed the wall coming out of a turn and retired from the race moments later. Meanwhile, Midland teammates Tiago Monteiro and Christijan Albers crashed into each other for the second time in three races. Monteiro was able to continue, but the contact ended Albers' race. Franck Montagny joined them in the pits when his engine blew on his Super Aguri, followed by Rubens Barrichello, who retired his Honda after 13 laps because of a mechanical problem. (AP)

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