French GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Massa leads Ferrari 1-2 at French GP

Felipe Massa, French GP 2008

Felipe Massa, French GP 2008 

 © The Cahier Archive

Felipe Massa won the French GP today at Magny-Cours followed in a Ferrari 1-2 by his team mate Kimi Raikkonen, 17.9 seconds back. Third place went to Jarno Trulli in the Toyota, 28.2 seconds behind the leader.

Trulli battled to the finish with Heikki Kovalainen in his McLaren-Mercedes in fourth, half a second behind. Robert Kubica finished in fifth place in his BMW Sauber, followed by Mark Webber in the Red Bull-Renault in sixth, Nelson Piquet in the Renault in seventh place, and his team mate Fernando Alonso finishing in the final points paying position.

Before the start Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took their 10 place grid penalty from the Canadian GP, while Kovalainen is given a 5 place penalty for impeding Webber in Saturday's qualifying session. Dark clouds threatening, with thunder showers predicted in the first half hour of the race.

At the start Raikkonen leads the way from pole, followed by Massa, while Trulli and Kubica get past Alonso into the first corner, but Alonso repasses Kubica, while Hamilton makes up three places on the first lap to run 10th.

On lap 5 Jenson Button limps back to the pits with a broken front wing, while Hamilton passes his team mate Kovalainen into the hairpin to take 9th place.

Hamilton is trying to find a way past Piquet for 8th place.

At lap 10, Raikkonen led Massa by 3.2 seconds, followed by Trulli (11.8s), Alonso (14.1s), Kubica (16.3s), Glock (20.9s), Webber (22.2s), Piquet (24.1s), Hamilton (24.8s) and Kovalainen (25.9s) in tenth place.

On lap 14 Hamilton serves a drive through penalty for cutting the chicane earlier while passing Sebastian Vettel, and rejoins back in 13th place.

On lap 15 Alonso is the first to pit from 4th place, coming out just in front of Hamilton.

On lap 18 Button retires in the pitlane.

On lap 20 Hamilton passes Alonso for 12th place, but then pits for fuel, while Trulli and Kubica pit the next lap from 3rd and 4th, and leader Raikkonen and Timo Glock on lap 22, Massa and Webber on lap 24, Piquet and Kovalainen on lap 26, the two leaving at the same time, Kovalainen passing Piquet on the pit exit, the Brazilian seeming to suffer a problem.

On lap 27 David Coulthard makes his first stop, having worked his way up to 3rd.

On lap 28 Hamilton passes Rosberg for 16th.

On lap 30 Vettel and Nick Heidfeld pit from 4th and 6th, the last of the frontrunners to pit.

At lap 30 the order was Raikkonen leading Massa by 6.6 seconds, followed by Trulli (32.3s), Kubica (33.6s), Alonso (41.4s), Webber (43.8s), Kovalainen (45.2s), Piquet (48.1s), Glock (50.8s) and Coulthard (51.8s) in tenth place - Hamilton running in 16th.

Massa starts to reel in his team mate Raikkonen for the lead, Raikkonen putting in a number of slower laps.

On lap 40 Massa passes Raikkonen for the lead, the Finn appearing to have a problem with the right exhaust on his Ferrari.

On lap 43 Kovalainen passes Webber for sixth place, while Alonso makes his second pit stop, changing to soft tyres - he rejoins in 12th place with Hamilton pressuring him for the spot.

On lap 47 Kubica pits from 4th place, while Hamilton passes Alonso into the hairpin for 12th place.

On lap 49 Vettel, Heidfeld, Webber and Glock make their second stops, followed by Trulli from 3rd and Piquet the next lap, Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Coulthard and Hamilton on lap 53 - Kovalainen getting ahead of Kubica on the stops.

On lap 54 leader Massa is the last frontrunner to make his second stop.

At lap 55 Massa leads Raikkonen by 13.4 seconds, followed by Trulli (31.8s), Kovalainen (35.8s), Kubica (37.5s), Webber (45.0s), Alonso (46.7s), Piquet (49.3s), Coulthard (57.1s) and Glock (59.1s) in tenth place.

Alonso pushing Webber hard, while drops of rain are appearing.

On lap 58 Hamilton passes Glock for 10th place, while Kovalainen and Kubica close on Trulli to battle for 3rd place.

On lap 69 Alonso goes wide at the hairpin and Piquet dives to the inside to take 7th place away from his team mate.

On lap 70 Trulli and Kovalainen touch while battling for 3rd, Kovalainen having to go wide into the fast chicane.

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