Fernando Alonso won his third consecutive race to extend his championship lead to 23 points over Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. At the track where Renault made its F1 debut in 1977, Alonso secured victory to celebrate the team's 200th grand prix.
In untypical hot conditions, with the track temperature reaching 45 degrees, Alonso was unstoppable all afternoon as he dominated the 60-lap race. The race was in the bag by lap 22 as his only real opposition, Schumacher, had already pitted on lap 18 effectively ruling himself out of a fight for honours.
With Alonso imperious out in front, the best battle came for second where Schumacher's Ferrari raced wheel-to-wheel with a wide McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn wasn't going to be passed without a fight and he made the German work hard to get by, but Schumacher edged past to take second.
"My car just wasn't quick enough in a straight-line," Raikkonen said. "I did the best I could but we lost rear-end grip and I had to work hard to keep [Giancarlo] Fisichella behind me."
Fisichella suffered tyre graining towards the end of the race and although he was quicker than Raikkonen in the fast first sector, Raikkonen was able to defend and use his better set-up in sectors two and three to hang on to the place.
Alonso was delighted with the result. "To win here, 20 minutes from my home in Oxford is an amazing feeling," the Spaniard said. "We had set the car up to be good at the end of each stint and that was when it was handling at its best."