Felipe Massa took his second successive victory with a dominant display in the Spanish Grand Prix. He led from pole position and despite a brief contact with double world champion and home favourite Fernando Alonso at the first corner, the Brazilian had the speed advantage to beat the McLarens for the race win. Lewis Hamilton benefited from his team-mate mistake to finish second and now leads the drivers’ standings after only four races in his Grand Prix career.
Alonso finished the race in a disappointed third place, after his failed attempt to take the race lead by going around of Massa into the turn one. The Ferrari and McLaren banged wheels and the Spaniard was forced to take a trip through the gravel, losing vital track positions to Lewis Hamilton and Kim Raikkonen.
From there on, Massa was in full control in the 65-lap race with only a brief scare during his first pit-stop, when a small fuel spillage caused a dramatic fire on the side of his F2007 as he pulled away. The damage was only superficial and the Brazilian went on to take his fourth career Grand Prix victory.
As for his Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen, the Finn was initially in third place split between the McLaren pair, but after just ten laps was forced to retire with an electrical problem. This retirement means the Finn drops down to fourth in the leader board with only 22 points.
Robert Kubica finished in fourth for BMW-Sauber, his best result of the year. As for his team-mate Nick Heidfeld, the German had a nightmare race when during his pit-stop Nick was signalled out before the right front wheel gun was disengaged…
Heidfeld managed to get going again but was forced to retire with fifth place on the cards. This left the way clear for David Coulthard in the Red Bull, scoring his and the team’s first points of the season. The Scot finished ahead of a tight battle featuring Nico Rosberg’s Williams and the three-stopping Heikki Kovalainen in the Renault.
Finishing in eighth and scoring that all-important championship point was Takuma Sato in the Super Aguri. The Japanese driver drove a superb race and benefited from the late pit stop of Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella.
The Spanish Grand Prix race results means Lewis Hamilton moves ahead of former record holder Bruce McLaren as the youngest driver ever to lead the world championship, with 30 points to Alonso’s 28, Massa’s 27 and Raikkonen’s 22.
“I keep saying I am living my dream,” he said, “and it’s really true. I’ve been working so hard, and to come out of my fourth grand prix leading the world championship, driving with top drivers in world, is just incredible.”
The championship now moves to the most glamorous race track on the calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix. Hamilton has an excellent record on the narrow streets circuit with last year’s GP2 race win. Can the Formula One rookie score his first win in two weeks time? Let’s wait and see.
Spanish Grand Prix result (65 laps)
1. MASSA Ferrari 1hr 31mins. 36.230secs
2. HAMILTON McLaren +6.790s
3. ALONSO McLaren +17.456s
4. KUBICA BMW Sauber +31.615s
5. COULTHARD Red Bull +58.331s
6. ROSBERG Williams +59.538s
7. KOVALAINEN Renault +1m02.128s
8. SATO Super Aguri +1 lap
9. FISICHELLA Renault +1 lap
10. BARRICHELLO Honda +1 lap
11. DAVIDSON Super Aguri +1 lap
12. BUTTON Honda +1 lap
13. SUTIL Spyker +2 laps
14. ALBERS Spyker +2 laps
R. HEIDFELD BMW Sauber +18 laps
R. SCHUMACHER Toyota +20 laps
R. LIUZZI Toro Rosso +45 laps
R. SPEED Toro Rosso +55 laps
R. RAIKKONEN Ferrari +55 laps
R. TRULLI Toyota +56 laps
R. WEBBER Red Bull +57 laps
R. WURZ Williams +62 laps
Fastest lap: MASSA 1m22.680s (lap 14)