Sunday, August 26, 2007

From Pole to Win

Felipe Massa took a dominant fifth career win in the Turkish Grand Prix as he led home a Ferrari one-two with Kimi Raikkonen second. Fernando Alonso recovered from a poor start to take third place while a puncture relegated championship leader Lewis Hamilton to fifth.

The heat was definitely on at Istanbul Park as the four title contenders lined up in the first four places on the grid. Ferrari had the better start from the clean start of the grid, Massa keeping the lead as Raikkonen passed Hamilton on the run down to the first corner. McLaren's starting woe was compounded when both BMWs beat Alonso into the first corner. While qualifying promised so much, the first ten laps were anticlimactic as Massa and Raikkonen led and built a three-second lead over Hamilton. Kubica and Heidfeld ran their BMWs steadily fourth and fifth frustrating Fernando Alonso in sixth and costing him a second a lap on the Ferraris.

Alonso's frustration eased slightly on lap 12 when Kubica pitted from fourth but at the front Massa and Raikkonen were exchanging fastest laps as they squeezed the gap to Hamilton up to four seconds. Alonso had to wait until lap 17 for Heidfeld to pit and release him. He was due in on the next lap and put in personal best times in the first two sectors of his in-lap, making enough time to rejoin ahead of the BMW. In the meantime both Ferraris pitted, Raikkonen, then Massa - the Brazilian getting baulked by Kovalainen - the temporary race leader - as he rejoined the race. Of all the front runners Hamilton was the last man to pit, staying out until lap 20.

After the first round of pit stops Massa retained the lead from Raikkonen, Hamilton, Alonso, Heidfeld, Kovalainen and Kubica. And that's the way it stayed until the second round of pit stops when Kimi Raikonen had closed to within half-a-second of Felipe Massa's rear wing. Raikkonen was the first to blink, pitting from second place on lap 41, Massa from the lead on lap 42 and the Ferrari pair resumed the status quo - the Brazilian leading the Finn.

The race that promised so much drama, delivered a shocking moment on lap 43 when Lewis Hamilton's front-right tyre punctured in the mid-sector. The championship leader coaxed his car back to the pit lane but in that time, was passed by Alonso who pitted ahead of him. McLaren frantically replaced the tyres and refuelled Hamilton's car and sent him back on his way, rejoining the race in fifth, behind Alonso and Heidfeld.

Felipe Massa cruised home to take his fifth career victory ahead of team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso third. Nick Heidfeld held onto fourth and Lewis Hamilton found just enough to save fifth place from Heikki Kovalainen by one second. Nico Rosberg drove another strong afternoon to claim two more points for Williams and Robert Kubica salvaging one final point for BMW after his early first pit stop.

Race Result:

1. F. Massa Ferrari 1:26:42.161

2. K. Räikkönen Ferrari + 2.275

3. F. Alonso McLaren + 26.181

4. N. Heidfeld BMW + 39.674

5. L. Hamilton McLaren + 45.085

6. H. Kovalainen Renault + 46.169

7. N. Rosberg Williams + 55.778

8. R. Kubica BMW + 56.707

9. G. Fisichella Renault + 59.491

10. D. Coulthard Red Bull + 1:11.009

11. A. Wurz Williams + 1:19.628

12. R. Schumacher Toyota + 1 laps

13. J. Button Honda + 1 laps

14. A. Davidson Super Aguri + 1 laps

15. V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps

16. J. Trulli Toyota + 1 laps

17. R. Barrichello Honda + 1 laps

18. T. Sato Super Aguri + 1 laps

19. S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps

20. S. Yamamoto Spyker F1 + 2 laps

21. A. Sutil Spyker F1 + 5 laps

Did not finish

22. M. Webber Red Bull + 49 laps

Fastest Laps : Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari : 1:27.295

No comments: