Sunday, August 03, 2008
Anyone who thought Lewis Hamilton had the Formula 1 world championship sewn up should have seen the way Felipe Massa surged through from third on the grid to take the lead on the first corner this afternoon. The Ferrari ‘Tifosi’ went wild as Massa re-affirmed their faith in the prancing horse emblem. Masa stayed very much in control of the race, with Hamilton seeming to lack the pace to mount a serious challenge. When the British driver pitted after 41 laps with a puncture, the Brazilian must have felt pretty confident.
Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen drove a mature race and, towards the end, began reeling in the Ferrari. Massa’s engine surprisingly blew up on lap 68, just two laps from home, giving two novice drivers the best results of their careers. Timo Glock, who had performed so well in qualifying, brought his Toyota home in second place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
Masa later said ‘racing can be a cruel sport. We had given it our all, but these things can happen’. Today’s results move McLaren ever closer to Ferrari’s grip on the constructor’s prize. Since the British Grand Prix, McLaren have whittled Ferrari’s 33 points lead down to just 11 points.
Renault have moved up to 5th overall, thanks to superb driving by Fernando Alonso and Nelsinho Piquet, who between them today contributed one third of Renault’s total points this season. Alonso later said: "We fought hard today and we were on the pace with a car that was working well, which is encouraging for the rest of the championship”
The top six finishers were:
1 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren)
2 Timo Glock (Toyota)
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
4 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
5 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
6 Nelsinho Piquet (Renault)
After 11 races, the leader board looks like this:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 62
2 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 57
3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 54
4 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) 49
5 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW) 41
6 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 38
7 Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 22
8 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 18
9 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 18
10 Timo Glock (Toyota) 13
11 Nelsinho Piquet (Renault) 13
1 Ferrari 111
2 McLaren 100
3 BMW Sauber 90
4 Toyota 35
5 Renault 31
The next (and 12th) race of the season comes from Valencia on 24th August. Tickets are currently at a huge premium but anyone looking for accommodation should contact Tim at thisisvalencia.com and he will do his best to find last-minute deals.