Massa wins Turkish Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Turkey, Istanbul Parktr

Felipe Massa has won the Turkish Grand Prix for the third consecutive time after once more a solid performance. While Hamilton surprised with a three stop strategy, he wasn't able to do much about it and finished second. Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen crossed the finish line in third place.

As the lights went out, Massa made the best start, retaining his pole position. Hamilton takes second with Kubica behind him. Kovalainen made an unfortunate start and lost two places, managing to just stay ahead of Alonso who passed Webber and Raikkonen in the first corner.

In the back, Fisichella outbrakes himself and violently hits the Williams of Nakajima, ending both their races. The safety car is immediately rolled out for a single lap to allow the marshals to clean up the debris.

Kovalainen immediately enters the pitlane for an unscheduled pitstop and returns to the track in 18th position. Alonso meanwhile is repassed by Raikkonen, taking back his 4th place.

8 laps after the start, Massa is leading on option tyres, just 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton who started on the harder compound. Thanks to the more durable tyres, Hamilton is just started to regain some ground that he lost mainly in the first few laps. Behind them is a pack of 3, lead by Kubica. Raikkonen follows closely without really attempting to pass.

In the 15th lap, Alonso is in the pitlane and is fitted with the prime compound. Hamilton follows suit in the 16th lap after reducing the gap to Massa to only several tenths of a second.

In lap 19, Massa is also pitting, again for new option tyres. Indeed it is remarkable how differently the teams use their tyres. At Ferrari, both drivers start with 2 stints on the softer compound, while BMW Sauber and McLaren start with consecutive stints on the prime compound.

After the stops, Hamilton is again just behind Massa, with most importantly an out lap that was a full 2 seconds faster than Massa's. Such is surprising, especially since their different tyre compounds. It also gives a partly explanation why Massa often appears less impressive during the race compared to his qualifying pace. In lap 24, Hamilton eventually passed the leader on the back straight, displaying the dominant braking performance of the McLaren. In the laps that follow, Hamilton is able to pull away from the Ferrari by almost a second a lap.

One lap later, Bourdais brakes too late for the final corner complex and ends up in the gravel trap.

31 laps in the race and 28 to go, Hamilton is 8 seconds ahead of Massa. Third is Raikkonen, followed distantly by Kubica. Further down are Heidfeld, Alonso in 6th and Webber 7th.

Hamilton then somewhat surprisingly enters the pitlane again and fits the prime compound, confirming that he will pit one more time. He rejoins the track in third and is onto his way to Raikkonen.

Lap 36 marks a couple of nice battles between places 11 and 14. In two laps time, Button lost two places, first to Piquet and 3 turns later one more to Kovalainen who had just passed Glock.

After both Ferrari's stopped, Hamilton ratakes the lead 15 laps from the end and does not look to be in a position to win any more. With 13 laps to go, Hamilton pits for his option tyres and rejoins ahead of Raikkonen only to see the World Champion close in on him again in the following laps.

In the end, Massa is the expected winner with clearly the better car of the field, ahead of Hamilton and Raikkonen. Just like in Barcelona, the gap in between the top three is very small and totals 4.2 seconds.


1F. MassaFerrari1:26:49.451
2L. HamiltonMcLaren+ 3.779
3K. RäikkönenFerrari+ 4.271
4R. KubicaBmw+ 21.945
5N. HeidfeldBmw+ 38.741
6F. AlonsoRenault+ 53.724
7M. WebberRed Bull+ 1:04.229
8N. RosbergWilliams+ 1:11.406
9D. CoulthardRed Bull+ 1:15.270
10J. TrulliToyota+ 1:16.344
11J. ButtonHonda+ 1 laps
12H. KovalainenMcLaren+ 1 laps
13T. GlockToyota+ 1 laps
14R. BarrichelloHonda+ 1 laps
15N. Piquet jr.Renault+ 1 laps
16A. SutilForce India F1+ 1 laps
17S. VettelScuderia Toro Rosso+ 1 laps
18S. BourdaisScuderia Toro Rosso+ 32 laps
Did not finish
19K. NakajimaWilliams+ 57 laps
20G. FisichellaForce India F1+ 58 laps