In searing Turkish heat, Michael Schumacher’s championship hopes took a whack on Sunday as Fernando Alonso (Renault) beat the Ferrari veteran to second place.
25-year-old teammate Felipe Massa, of Brazil, comfortably took his maiden win, after Schumacher was heavily compromised by queuing in pit lane behind Massa after a safety car period.
Schumacher, who missed pole position a day earlier through a similar mistake, also made a costly driving error in turn-8, allowing Alonso to pull ahead and extend his title lead – with now just four races to go – to twelve points.
The pair met the chequer almost inseparable by the computer timing systems, with Schumacher failing to pass his Spanish rival over the last stint of the race despite enjoying a car advantage.
Alonso’s teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was involved in a first corner melee but finished sixth, while Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) was another victim of the first lap but crashed after returning to the pits to change a shredded tyre.
”Michael made a mistake because he dropped four seconds in a lap,” Alonso said after the race.
”That was the key.”
The day, meanwhile, belonged to debut winner Massa, who – as his father cried in the pits – told his crew on the radio: ”A very special day for me. Thank you so much guys. Thank you, thank you.”
Result Turkish Grand-Prix
1 F. Massa – Ferrari – 1:28:51.082 10
2 F. Alonso – Renault
3 M. Schumacher – Ferrari
4 J. Button – Honda
5 P. de la Rosa – McLaren Mercedes
6 G. Fisichella – Renault
7 R. Schumacher – Toyota
8 R. Barrichello – Honda
9 J. Trulli – Toyota
10 M. Webber – Williams
11 C. Klien – Red Bull
12 R. Kubica – BMW
13 S. Speed – Scuderia Toro Rosso
14 N. Heidfeld – BMW
15 D. Coulthard – Red Bull
16 C. Albers – Midland F1
17 T. Sato – Super Aguri
18 N. Rosberg – Williams
19 S. Yamamoto – Super Aguri
20 V. Liuzzi – Scuderia Toro Rosso
21 K. Räikkönen – McLaren Mercedes
22 T. Monteiro – Midland F1