Formula 1: "Flying Finn" Kimi Raikkonen Wins Spanish Grand Prix

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Formula 1:

Kimi Raikkonen started the day on the pole and held that lead for the entire race, collecting his second victory of the season in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix from the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

It was also the third straight victory for Ferrari—and as easy a race as a driver could expect driving a Formula 1 car at nearly 200 mph.

As I predicted, the race began with Felipe Massa passing second-place starter Fernando Alonso before the first corner.

The Brazilian played second gun to his teammate for the rest of the race. Hometown favorite Alonso managed to hold off Lewis Hamilton for third until lap 34, when his race ended with a blown Renault engine.

The Spanish Grand Prix is one of those funny races that typically see a higher than normal number of retirements. Today was no exception, as eight vehicles failed to finish.

The most notable was McLaren's No. 2 driver, Heikki Kovalainen. Something snapped on the front left of his car in one of the fastest areas of the track, sending him into the tire barrier at 180 mph on Lap 22.

The Kovalainen crash brought out the safety car for several laps. It also created a rules-based problem for the second time this season.

Once the safety car has been deployed, the pit lane is closed for a couple of laps. That sounds fair.

However, if you happen to be close to your refueling window, as Nick Heidfeld was today and Rubens Barrichello was last race, you might not be able to stay out the two or three laps it takes to reopen pit lane.

Both drivers had to enter a closed pit for fuel and were penalized with 10-second stop-and-go penalties.

For Barrichello, it wasn't a big deal, as his Honda was not in contention for points. Today, though, the penalty cost Heidfeld and BMW. Without the penalty, Heidfeld would probably have finished fifth.

The teams now have two weeks to figure out how to catch Ferrari. It will be a tough chore—Ferrari's Massa has won the Turkish Grand Prix the last two years, with his teammates finishing on the podium both times.

 

Race Points

Raikkonen - 10, Massa - 8, Hamilton - 6, Kubica - 5, Webber - 4, Button - 3, Nakajima - 2, Trulli - 1.

 

Drivers Championship Points

Raikkonen - 29, Hamilton - 20, Kubica - 19, Massa - 18, Heidfeld - 16,  Kovalainen - 14,  Trulli - 9, Webber - 8, Rosberg - 7, Alonso - 6,  Nakajima - 5, Button - 3, Bourdais - 2. 

 

Constructor Championship Points

Ferrari - 47, BMW Sauber - 35, McLaren Mercedes - 34, Williams Toyota - 12, Toyota - 9, Red Bull Renault - 8, Renault - 6, Honda - 3, Toro Rosso - 2.

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