Fifth win and third one-two of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in the French Grand Prix. Felipe Massa recorded the eighth win of his career, bringing the total number of Scuderia wins to 206 from 766 Grand Prix starts, 17 of them at this race.
Kimi Raikkonen finished second. The reigning world champion, having started from pole, managed to cross the line despite a broken right exhaust, which happened at around the halfway point of the race. He has the consolation of having set the fastest race lap.
Stefano Domenicali: "A really great result that came at the end of a very tough race. We had started with the aim of securing the double and we managed it, despite the exhaust problem that put Kimi's race in danger around lap 35. It proves we have all the potential to do very well, but it also confirms that we cannot allow ourselves not to be perfect in every detail, especially on the reliability front. I am very sorry for Kimi, who was going really well today and did a really good job to get the car to the line in these conditions. Now we will have to check on the condition of the engine on his car and evaluate what should be done for the race at Silverstone. I am very happy for Felipe, who drove majestically, without putting a foot wrong. It is the first time in his career that he leads the world championship and I am sure that is a great satisfaction for him. We have pulled out more of a gap in the Constructors' classification, which also give us a bit of breathing space, but we cannot afford to ease up. There is still a long way to go and our rivals will do all they can to beat us. We must keep our heads down and work in a determined fashion. It is a special pleasure to celebrate with a one-two finish the one hundred and fiftieth win in partnership between Ferrari and Shell. Behind our victories are some extraordinary partners."
Felipe Massa: "A great race, a fantastic result. The win came my way because Kimi had a problem with his car and at the pace he was running, it would have been hard for me to beat him on the track. I would have been happy with second place but of course, the win makes me even happier. I want to thank the whole team and our partners, especially Shell. I am leading the championship and that's a nice feeling, but I am well aware it means nothing because I am aiming for the title and to do that, there is still a long way to go. In the first part of the race I was struggling a bit to stay in touch with Kimi, then when his exhaust broke, I managed to get by. In the second part, I thought of managing the situation, making sure I made no mistakes, especially when there were a few drops of rain. We have to continue working this way, race after race, right to the end of the championship."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Obviously I am a bit disappointed because I had hoped to win. Unfortunately, the right exhaust pipe broke just before half-distance and the engine lost a lot of power, especially on the straight after the slow corners. After a few laps, the situation seemed better, but towards the end of the race, I ran the risk of stopping. This sort of thing can happen in racing and I have to try and look on the bright side: eight points are still a good amount and the one-two finish is a great result for the team. Luckily, I had built up quite a good lead in the first part thanks to a car that was really very competitive. The F2008 is definitely very strong because usually, when you have this sort of problem, retirement is almost inevitable. There is still a long way to go in the championship and I am in a better position than I was at this stage last year: let's see what I can do in the next part of the series."
Luca Baldisserri: "A fantastic one-two! This weekend we demonstrated all our potential, securing the maximum result possible, both in qualifying and in the race. The race was very difficult because we had to try and adapt to the very changeable weather conditions and also because, on Kimi's car, we had to manage the serious problem of a broken exhaust pipe for more than half the race. The team did an impeccable job under very difficult conditions and both drivers were excellent. We knew we had great potential, which for various reasons, was not translated into points in the two previous races. Today we did it, but these eighteen points must not go to our heads. There is still a lot of work to do and we must never drop our guard."