| Fernando Alonso celebrates his maiden F1 win in Budapest on Sunday
Budapest: Renault’s Fernando Alonso became Formula One’s youngest race winner on Sunday in a Hungarian Grand Prix that slashed Michael Schumacher’s championship lead to one point.
With the outcome of the closest title fight in years hanging ever more on a knife-edge, the top three contenders were split by just two points with three races remaining.
Ferrari’s Schumacher has 72, Williams’ Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya 71 and McLaren’s Finn Kimi Raikkonen 70.
None of that troubled Alonso, the 22-year-old Spaniard dominating from pole position to punch the air triumphantly as he took the chequered flag with a comfortable 16.7 second advantage over runner-up Raikkonen.
He was the first Spaniard to win a Grand Prix and his ascendancy was rammed home when he lapped Schumacher effortlessly with nine laps to go.
“Too many things from one day,” said Alonso. “It’s a dream come true. I’m 22 years old, I have my first win in my pocket and I hope for a long career with many more.”
Colombian Montoya was third, despite a late spin, while five-time world champion Schumacher trailed home eighth to salvage just one point at the circuit where he celebrated his fourth title in 2001.
In the constructors’ championship, Williams seized the overall lead from Ferrari for the first time this year with 129 points to the Italian team’s 121.
Ralf Schumacher was fourth for Williams, fighting back impressively and overtaking more cars than anyone else after a first-lap spin sent him from the front row to 18th, with McLaren’s David Coulthard fifth.
Both Williams were alarmingly slow off the grid and the result did little for Ralf’s title hopes, Schumacher’s younger brother now 14 points off the lead.
Australian Mark Webber, running second for the first 12 laps with his slower car acting as a bottleneck as Alonso sped into the distance, took sixth place for Jaguar. Italian Jarno Trulli was seventh for Renault.
Alonso, who turned 22 on July 29, replaced American Troy Ruttman in the record books as the youngest race winner. Ruttman won the 1952 Indianapolis 500 aged 22 and 80 days when that event counted towards the championship.
New Zealander Bruce McLaren was until Sunday the youngest Grand Prix winner, taking the US Grand Prix at Sebring in 1959 in a Cooper Climax at the age of 22 years and 104 days.
Alonso was Renault’s first winner as a constructor for 20 years. (Reuters)