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Fernando Alonso’s 2014 Italian Grand Prix Retirement Came at Best Possible Time

When Fernando Alonso last retired from an Italian Grand Prix, he was the enemy. The Spaniard entered the Monza weekend, the 15th round of the 2006 season, with a 12-point lead over Michael Schumacher in the Drivers' Championship. He, after triumphing in six of the opening nine race of the campaign, was without a win in five events, in which time his title rival had secured three successive victories. The momentum was changing; something had to give. And it was Alonso's car that did so, with plumes of smoke billowing from the rear of his Renault R26 as he approached Monza's first chicane. The home crowd cheered and jeered—so loudly, in fact, that their hurrahs and their air horns could be heard above the nearly deafening screech of th...

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