The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Alonso best again, Karthikeyan bows out after second lap
- Indian's Jordan teammate Monteiro a creditable 10th
- Technical snag ousts Schumacher

Manama (Bahrain): The harsh realities of elite motorsport caught up with Narain Karthikeyan as his Jordan-Toyota E15 developed electrical problems and was forced to retire after only two laps in the Bahrain Grand Prix here Sunday.

The Sakhir International Circuit saw Renault reign supreme yet again with Fernando Alonso clinching his second title on the trot and widen the gap over the rest.

Italian Jarno Trulli in Panasonic Toyota came second and Finn Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren Mercedes picked up his season's first podium finish in third place.

Jordan however had reasons to celebrate with Narain's teammate Tiego Monteiro coming up 10th, two laps behind the winner.

Narain, starting behind Monteiro, did well to get past more than one car in the first two laps before his race came to a premature end.

'It is really a pity that I had to retire in the race as I made a really good start and managed to overtake a few cars,' Narain said after the race. 'I was keeping up the pace but suddenly the car just stopped on the track because of an electrical problem.'

Jordan sporting director Trevor Carlin said though the team was a little disappointed, it was happy for Monteiro's top-ten finish. 'We are slightly disappointed that Narain had a problem and could not finish the race as he made up some good positions and things were looking quite good,' Carlin said.

'Tiago had done a fantastic job to bring the car home in very difficult conditions. We are very pleased with our first top ten finish and we are improving at every race a little bit at a time,' Carlin said.

Monteiro was happy to have emerged from the shadow of his teammate. 'It was a very difficult race because of the heat as it is not easy to control the car in such high temperatures,' the Portuguese said.

Narain was still in elite company with Michael Schumacher too retiring with a technical problem (suspected hydraulics failure) in the 12th lap.

Ferrari's new car F2005 that had performed well in the qualifying and seemed to give Alonso a run for his money in the initial stages came unstuck. It was the second time that the seven-time champion had failed to finish this season, a racing incident taking him out in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

Rubens Barrichello took the chequered flag at ninth, a consolation for the scuderia.

Alonso was ecstatic after claiming his career title.

'This result shows that we are dominating these first three races with three consecutive podiums and two wins,' an excited Alonso said after the race. 'At the start of the race, I had a good fight with Michael Schumacher after the first few laps. But then of course I had my own race.'

Alonso leads the championship with 26 points to Trulli's 16. Michael Schumacher, winner of 13 of the 18 races in 2004, has just two points after two retirements in three races.

Renault lead the constructors' standing with 36 points to Toyota's 25 and McLaren's 19. Ferrari, champions for the past six years, are sixth with just 10. Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, standing in for injured Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, was fifth for McLaren after overtaking Australian Mark Webber's Williams two laps from the chequered flag.

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