Massa dominates European GP
Felipe Massa has dominantly won the first European GP at Valencia. The Brazilian was never under any threat. Lewis Hamilton came in second with Robert Kubica third. Kimi Raikkonen remarkable didn't finish as his engine blew 11 laps from the end.
The first ever GP at the Valencian urban circuit takes place under sunny skies. The weather is hotter than yesterday and a bit more typical for Spain.
When the lights go out, Massa takes the lead from his pole position. Hamilton and Kubica follow in unchanged positions. Local hero Fernando Alonso was very unfortunate in the pack and got hit by Nakajima in the back, effectively breaking off his rear wing. Nakajima simply makes a stop for a new front wing, but the Spaniard is rolled into the pitbox for a very early end of his race.
Renault's second car, driven by Piquet isn't doing great either as he fell back to last place in 4 laps.
At the front, there is a gap of approximately 0.3 seconds per lap between the 6 fastest men. They all pull away from each other slowly.
In lap 8, Kubica reports a problem with his car and is 3 seconds slower than Hamilton in 2 consecutive laps. His followers fail to take advantage of it before suddenly his pace is back to normal. It is in fact Raikkonen who benefited the most as he just on Kovalainen's tail, challenging to take his 4th place.
In lap 15, Massa and Coulthad are the first to enter the pitlane. Massa is again fitted with the prime compound and rejoins the track just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 5th place. That very same lap, Hamilton puts in the fastest lap, hoping to leapfrog Massa after his stop.
Hamilton enters in lap 17 and gets scrubbed prime tyres. He rejoins just behind both Ferrari's. 2 laps later, Kubica and Raikkonen dive into the pitlane and look set for a two-stop strategy as both are fuelled for a long second stint.
Halfway through an uneventful race, Massa leads comfortably by a 7 second margin over Hamilton. Kubica is a further 16 seconds down. Kovalainen follows in 4th place, just ahead of Glock who is on a single stop strategy. Raikkonen is 6th, Trulli 7th and Vettel still in 8th place.
In lap 37, Massa pits but is then released from the stands at the same time as Sutil passes by. Massa has to let the German go and his team is consequently under investigation for releasing Massa under unsafe conditions.
Lap 43 marks the end of the race for Sutil as he ran off in turn 2.
2 laps later, Raikkonen is in the pitlane but leaves too early. The lights are still on red and the refuelling hose is still connected to the car. The refueller is a result knocked over and transported to the medical centre.
After rejoining the track just behind Trulli, he was giving it all for two laps, until his engine blew up with a huge white cloud, very similar to Massa's engine failure 3 weeks ago at Hungary. It poses more and more questions in the way McLaren and especially Ferrari are obeying to the rules of the engine freeze, or rather interpreting them differently than several other teams.
6 laps from the end, Nakajima completes the first succesful pass of the race, diving into the inside of Barrichello in the final corner.
Fortunately for the Scuderia, the leading Ferrari had no technical problems and finished the race ahead of everybody else.