After an eventful Turkish Grand Prix, Felipe Massa has won from Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. This is Massa’s first win in 67 attempts, and the 25 year old Brazilian led from the start and looked mighty throughout the race, not allowing his team mate or championship leader Alonso to get even close.
The start of the race saw Alonso get a good run on Michael Schumacher, who darted over to the right almost immediately in an attempt to cover himself. This allowed Massa to simply drive away and let everyone else fight out the remainder of the positions. A spin from Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault caused the field to bunch up and trip over each other. Numerous drivers were forced to pit for new nosecones, and this startline incident spelled the end for Kimi Raikkonen, who had been looking much better this weekend.
Although Kimi, who suffered a right-rear puncture after being tagged at the start, managed to get his car back to the pitlane, the flayling tyre caused untold amounts of damage to the rear structure of the car. McLaren even had a replacement rear wing ready for the Finnish driver when he came in for repairs. The team decided Kimi could go back out and continue, but the next we saw of him was a lap later in the tyre barrier.
Lap 13 saw Vitantonio Liuzzi in the Toro Rosso spin on the exit from turn one. Unfortunately, the car stalled in a precarious position, and the safety car was deployed to allow the marshalls to safely recover the vehicle. Cue pit stops. First in was Massa, immediately followed by Michael Schumacher who has to queue behind his team mate, and lastly, Alonso comes in for his stop. However, because Schumacher Snr has to queue behind Massa, he essentially has his pit stop at the same time as Alonso, and the Spaniard managed to get out in front of his rival in the Ferrari.
This moment essentially ruined Michael’s chances of success, the trio of drivers remained in this positions through to the chequered flag on lap 58. Towards the end of the race, Alonso seemed to pick up a lot of tyre wear and was visiably struggling. Schumacher screamed up behind the Renault, but Fernando just wouldn’t let him pass. The gap between the two drivers as they crossed the chequered flag was only a few thousandths of a second, but importantly, it was in Alonso’s favour.
Jenson Button finished in fourth, and team mate Rubens Barrichello came home in eighth after seemingly making more overtaking moves than everyone else put together. Pedro De La Rosa collected 4 points for McLaren, and led Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher home.
Fernando Alonso has now extended his championship lead by two points, but Renault are in danger in the Constructor’s title, with only two points separating the two teams at the top of the tables.