Victory in Istanbul puts Massa back in title contention

Massa Winner Turkey 2008

Felipe Massa once again proved unbeatable at the Istanbul Park circuit with a commanding drive in the winning Ferrari F2008. The Brazilian’s second win of the season places him in striking distance in the world championship honours.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finished in an excellent second position after driving an aggressive race by running a three-stop strategy. Even though Lewis overtook the race leader Massa on the 24th lap with a brilliant overtaking move, the extra pit stop cost him that race win… But at least the McLaren driver should be satisfied with the result, especially beating the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn recovered from a bad start to finish in a close third but his points lead in the drivers’ standing is now reduced to seven points after team-mate Massa latest victory.

As for his fellow countrymen, Heikki Kovalainen suffered a left-rear puncture (possibly caused by Kimi’s front wing endplate piercing his Bridgestone tyre at Turn 1) that resulted him dropping down the field. Heikki did well to recover with some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres but in the end finished a lapped 12th.

The BMW Sauber pair of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld finished the 58-lap race in fourth and fifth respectively, though the lack of pace was a worry. That elusive first win for the German/Swiss manufacturer will come another day.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso came home in a solid sixth place for Renault, casting aside the disappointment from the previous race in Barcelona. Seventh went to Mark Webber for Red Bull Racing with Nico Rosberg taking the final point finish with eighth for Williams.

Finishing in ninth was David Coulthard in the second Red Bull and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was the last unlapped runner with tenth.

Honda’s Jenson Button had a difficult race to 11th position while his team-mate Rubens Barrichello – whose 257th Grand Prix outing did not produce anything to shout about – came home in a disappointing P14. Between the Honda pair was Kovalainen and Timo Glock’s Toyota.

Nelson Piquet’s poor qualifying performance left him 15th, with Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) completing the finishers.

The latter duo both stopped at the end of the first lap to have repairs made after Giancarlo Fisichella’s unhappy weekend came to an end as he tried to pass Kazuki Nakajima – by flying over the top of the Williams! Neither the Italian, nor the Japanese (who got to the pits minus his rear wing) were able to continue.

The other retiree was Sebastien Bourdais, who lost control of his Toro Rosso after it developed a mechanical problem at the rear of the car as he was braking… The former Champ Car champion was out after sliding into the gravel trap.

The 2008 Turkish Grand Prix result leaves Raikkonen with a diminished lead in the world championship chase with 35 points, ahead of Massa and Hamilton on 28 and Kubica on 24. Ferrari extends their advantage atop the constructor standings, heading BMW Sauber by 19 points, with McLaren a further two adrift. The next race is the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix on the streets of the Principality. Can McLaren stop Ferrari on its winning run? Let’s find out in a fortnight’s time.

Turkish Grand Prix result – 58 laps

1. MASSA Ferrari 1h26:49.451
2. HAMILTON McLaren +3.7s
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari +4.2s
4. KUBICA BMW +21.6s
5. HEIDFELD BMW +38.7s
6. ALONSO Renault +53.7s
7. WEBBER Red Bull +64.2s
8. ROSBERG Williams +71.4s
9. COULTHARD Red Bull +75.2s
10. TRULLI Toyota +76.3s
11. BUTTON Honda +1 lap
12. KOVALAINEN McLaren +1 lap
13. GLOCK Toyota +1 lap
14. BARRICHELLO Honda +1 lap
15. PIQUET Renault +1 lap
16. SUTIL Force India +1 lap
17. VETTEL Toro Rosso +1 lap
R. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso +34 laps
R. NAKAJIMA Williams +57 laps
R. FISICHELLA Force India +58 laps

office furniture in BulgariamebeliFastest lap: RAIKKONEN 1m26.506s

Drivers’ championship standings – round 5:

1. Raikkonen 5
2. Hamilton 28
3. Massa 28
4. Kubica 24
5. Heidfeld 20
6. Kovalainen 14
7. Webber 10
8. Alonso 9
9. Trulli 9
10. Rosberg 8
11. Nakajima 5
12. Button 3
13. Bourdais 2

Constructors’ championship standings:

1. Ferrari 63
2. BMW Sauber 44
3. McLaren-Mercedes 42
4. Williams-Toyota 13
5. Red Bull-Renault 10
6. Renault 9
7. Toyota 9
8. Honda 3
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2

NEXT RACE: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo. May 22-25

2 thoughts to “Victory in Istanbul puts Massa back in title contention”

  1. I knew that the standings where getting closer. Specially with Massa finishing first and Kimi finishing third but they’re amazingly close now. The next race could have a new leader at the top.

    Also learned on the weekend that Kimi is paid nearly one million a race.

    Hamilton did race well specially to get the 2nd position late on. I read in the papers Ron Dennis was very happy with him.

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