Monday, July 2, 2007

Iceman is Back

Kimi Raikkonen stole victory from Felipe Massa in the French Grand Prix to lead home a dominant Ferrari one-two ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Raikkonen's second win of the season brings him back into championship contention. Fernando Alonso meanwhile finished seventh, despite pulling off a sequence of thrilling overtaking moves.

Ferrari dominated the start with Massa getting away cleanly in the lead and Raikkonen stealing second place from Lewis Hamilton. Robert Kubica kept fourth ahead of the two Renaults of Fisichella. At the back of the field Davidson clipped Liuzzi sending the pair spinning out of the race at the first corner. There was action down at the Adelaide hairpin where Trulli drove into the back of Heikki Kovalainen, ending the Toyota driver's race. Kovalainen pitted and resumed at the back of the field. Alonso meanwhile was on a charge and up to eighth - a lap later he muscled past Rosberg for seventh. Meanwhile at the front Massa was stretching his lead over Raikkonen - on lap seven the difference was three seconds, with Hamilton a further 1.5s adrift. The Ferraris maintained their lead and Alonso remained stuck behind Heidfeld until lap 16 when McLaren pitted both its drivers. Race leader Massa went three laps further before refuelling. Kimi Raikkonen went three laps further before making his first stop and rejoined just behind his team mate. Alonso meanwhile made light work of former team mate Giancarlo Fisichella, passing him for seventh down the inside of the Adelaide hairpin. As the Ferrari's extended their lead over Hamilton to ten seconds, Alonso was back to chasing the tail of Heidfeld's BMW. It took him some time, but on lap 33 Alonso decided enough was enough and charged through at the blind, high-speed final chicane to take fifth place. Hamilton made his second pit stop on lap 37, rejoining alongside Robert Kubica through the high-speed Estoril corner. The Pole kept his nose ahead but Hamilton barged past in the Adelaide hairpin to retake third place. During all the action, Alonso made his second pit stop, amid speculation McLaren may have switched him from a three-stop to a two-stop strategy. Ferrari looked unbeatable as Massa made his second pit stop on lap 43 and fuelled for the rest of the race. Kimi Raikkonen stayed out two laps further and made it count as he rejoined the race comfortably ahead of his team mate to take the lead and final sprint down to the chequered flag. Alonso found himself back in seventh, chasing the tail of Fisichella for the second time this afternoon but could do nothing to get past and settled for seventh. Raikkonen swooped past the chequered flag to take his second win of the season, the eleventh of his F1 career and put himself back in contention for the drivers' championship. Felipe Massa claimed eight points for second place, although he really should have won the race while Hamilton scored yet another podium in third. Robert Kubica proved he had lost none of his competitiveness after the Canadian Grand Prix crash to take fourth place ahead of the second BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld. Fisichella took sixth place for Renault ahead of Alonso and Jenson Button in eighth, scoring Honda's first point of the season.

Result :

1. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari

2. Felipe Massa Ferrari

3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes

4. Robert Kubica BMW

5. Nick Heidfeld BMW

6. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault

7. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes

8. Jenson Button Honda

9. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota

10. Ralf Schumacher Toyota

11. Rubens Barrichello Honda

12. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault

13. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault

14. Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota

15. Heikki Kovalainen Renault

16. Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda

17. Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari

Ret. Scott Speed STR-Ferrari Technical

Ret. Christijan Albers Spyker-Ferrari Accident

Ret. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda Accident

Ret. Jarno Trulli Toyota Accident

Ret. Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Ferrari Accident

Fastest Lap : Felipe Massa 1:15.034

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