Raikkonen wins Spanish GP, crash Kovalainen

Sun, 27 April 2008, 03:54

Worldchampion Kimi Raikkonen has won the Spanish Grand-Prix. Felipe Massa completed athe 1-2-victory for Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton finished third for McLaren.

Just after the start Spanish F1 star Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa battled for second place. Alonso was unable to keep his position and fell back to third place.

Lewis Hamilton made a good start as he moved up from 5th to 4th place by passing Robert Kubica. In the background, the Force India F1 of Adrian Sutil was touched from behind, resulting in a spin. Sebastian Vettel was unable to avoid his compatriot with a crash and a safety car period as result.

Nelson Piquet Jr. who was able to keep his 10th place at the start, makes a steering error in lap 5 and goes off. He rejoins the pack in last position. Only one lap later, the young Brazilian has a collision with Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Bourdais. Piquet was forced to retire the race as Bourdais made it to the pits. The Frenchman was however forced to retire as well as his suspension was damaged. Our first impression about the incident is that Bourdais did not see the Renault, although Piquet was clearly aside of the Frenchman.

In lap 8, Anthony Davidson enters the pit. After inspecting the bottom of the car, the mechanics decide to wheel the car back into the garage.

15 laps in the race, Kimi Raikkonen is slowly pulling away of is teammate. Alonso is keeping his position easily but proves his lower fuel weight by entering the pitlane before anyone else in lap 17. He is refitted with the softer tyre compound and rejoins the track in 12th place, in between both Honda’s. Renault have also decided to allow for a long second stint as they fuelled for 30 laps. The decision may well be influenced by the specific behaviour of the Renault R28 with the harder tyres.

Massa enters the pitlane in lap 20 and is followed by Raikkonen one lap later.

Two laps later, The safety and medical cars are out for a very violent exit of Heikki Kovalainen in turn 9 at Campsa. After something came loose of his car, he went straight into the tyre barriers and got trapped under it. It appears like he was hardly able to slow down his car.

Meanwhile Heidfeld entered the pitlane while it was closed, quite simply because he ran out of fuel. He receives a stop and go penalty but will have to perform that after the safety car is off the track.

Barrichello did perform his stop correctly in an opened pitlane but touched with Fisichella upon leaving the pitlane. He thereby broke his front wing and was necessary to complete a full lap with the loose wing stuck under his car. 2 corners before re-entering the pit he finally got rid of it and was able to fetch a new front wing from his team crew.

3 laps later, the safety car is again off the track. Heikki is fine and conscious but is carried away for a safety check. It is clear from onboard footage that the accident was caused by a left front tyre puncture. Last year’s Hamilton shunt at Nurburgring that was also caused by a puncture immediately comes to mind as it was very similar, although on the other side of the car.

Lap 35 marks the end of a hopeful race for the Spanish fans as Alonso’s engine blows up when accellerating out of the turn 2. The Spaniard went to greet his fans before starting his walk towards the pitlane. At the same time, Barrichello’s race also came to an end as he simply parked his car in the box. Just 4 laps later, Rosberg’s Toyota engine is also up in smoke on the start finish straight.

20 more laps to go and all drivers come in for their last stop, all fitting the harder compound.

13 laps from the end, Glock is too optimistic on overtaking Coulthard and end up planting his front wing into Coulthard’s left rear wheel. Glock gets a new front wing while David Coulthard needs to complete another full lap with a punctured rear tyre.

At the same time, Heidfeld finally gets past Fisichella after chasing the Italian down for 6 laps. A slight mistake in the final corner however made it easy for Heidfeld to pass the Roman.

In the end, the time differences at the front prove how close the top teams are to each other. While earlier the closest second finisher was 6 seconds behind the winner, now even fourth placed Kubica was only 5.5s behind.

Spanish GP, race
1 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:38:19.051
2 F. Massa Ferrari + 3.228
3 L. Hamilton McLaren + 4.187
4 R. Kubica BMW + 5.694
5 M. Webber Red Bull + 35.938
6 J. Button Honda + 53.010
7 K. Nakajima Williams + 58.244
8 J. Trulli Toyota + 59.435
9 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1:03.073
10 G. Fisichella Force India F1 + 1 lap
11 T. Glock Toyota + 1 lap
12 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 1 lap
13 T. Sato Super Aguri + 1 lap

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