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Hungarian GP 2008

AUGUST 3, 2008

Race Notes - Kovalainen scores his first GP win in Hungary

Heikki Kovalainen, Hungarian GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive

Heikki Kovalainen won the Hungarian Grand Prix in his McLaren-Mercedes, taking over the lead with two laps to go, after Felipe Massa retired with an engine failure after dominating the rest of the event. Timo Glock in the Toyota scored his first ever podium, finishing 11.0 seconds behind in second place. Kimi Raikkonen finished in third in his Ferrari, 16.8 seconds behind.

The victory is Kovalainen's first career Grand Prix win, and he becomes the 100th different Grand Prix winner.

Fernando Alonso in his Renault was fourth, followed by Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from a punctured tyre to finish fifth in his McLaren-Mercedes. Nelson Piquet in the second Renault was sixth, Jarno Trulli in the Toyota was seventh, and Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber was eighth.

The weather for the afternoon was hot and dry, with all drivers except Coulthard starting on the harder tyre option.

At the start Felipe Massa passed both Kovalainen and polesitter Hamilton to take the lead into the first corner, Timo Glock taking fourth, Raikkonen falling a place to seventh.

By lap 5 Massa pulled out a 1.5 second lead over Hamilton, followed by Kovalainen (4.9s), Glock (7.1s), Kubica (8.8s), Alonso (11.1s), Raikkonen (11.9s), Webber (13.6s), Trulli (14.3s), and Nelson Piquet (17.3s) in 10th.

On lap 11 Adrian Sutil goes off track, but continues.

At lap 15 Massa continued to lead Hamilton by 3.0 seconds followed by Kovalainen (9.4s), Glock (13.3s), Kubica (22.2s), Alonso (23.7s), Raikkonen (24.8s), Webber (27.5s), Trulli (28.5s) and Piquet (31.9s) in 10th place.

On lap 18 leader Massa pits from the lead, along with Kubica and Webber. Hamilton pitting the following lap, Glock from second place on lap 20, Kovalainen on lap 21, Alonso and Raikkonen on lap 22, Trulli on lap 23.

On lap 23 Vettel retires in the pits.

On lap 25 Piquet makes his first stop having made his way up to third place.

At lap 26 Massa continued to maintain a 2.7 second lead over Hamilton, followed by Kovalainen (12.0s), Glock (19.6s), Coulthard (27.6s) yet to make his first stop, Alonso (31.6s), Raikkonen (32.7s), Piquet (34.9s), Trulli (36.1s) and Kubica (39.1s) in 10th place.

On lap 29 Coulthard makes his first stop from 5th place switching to the harder tyre.

On lap 32 Button and Bourdais pit, fuel leaking from the fuel hose, the team quickly extinguishing it.

On lap 33 Barrichello and Nakajima both pit - and both suffering small flash fires as well - the refueling rigs perhaps having problems in the high temperatures.

At lap 40 Massa continued to lead Hamilton by 5.0 seconds, followed by Kovalainen (22.3s), Glock (27.7s), Alonso (42.3s), Raikkonen (43.2s), Piquet (47.9s), Trulli (49.0s), Kubica (56.8s) and Webber (59.5s) in 10th place.

On lap 41 Hamilton in second place suffers a flat tyre in turn 2 and limps his way back to the pits - the team switching to the softer tyre - and Hamilton rejoins in 10th place. On the same lap Heidfeid makes his first stop on a one-stop strategy.

On lap 44 Massa is the first to make his scheduled second stop from the lead, rejoining in second.

On lap 47 Glock pits from third place along with Webber, followed by leader Kovalainen on lap 48.

On lap 50 Raikkonen losses control into turn 2, runs wide, but rejoins.

Also on lap 50 Alonso and Kubica pit. Raikkonen pits on the next lap, rejoining ahead of Alonso.

On lap 53 Trulli and Coulthard make their second stops, followed by Piquet on the next lap, battling with Trulli into the first corner.

At lap 55 Massa leads Kovalainen comfortably by 14.1 seconds, followed by Glock (22.2s) in third, Raikkonen (32.3s), Alonso (38.5s), Hamilton (42.3s), Piquet (52.2s), Trulli (53.1s), Kubica (62.0s), Webber (65.1s), and Heidfeld in 11th place.

On lap 62 Sutil runs off track at the first corner with tyre problems, and the pits, and then later retires.

In the closing laps Raikkonen closes on Glock to battle for third place.

On lap 68 smoke is pouring out of Massa's Ferrari - the Brazilian pulls the car off the track, handing the lead to Heikki Kovalainen.

Kovalainen wins his first ever Formula 1 event.