Kimi Raikkonen scored a well-deserved victory at the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours and led a Ferrari 1-2 finish – with teammate Felipe Massa finishing second. It was a revival of sorts for Ferrari and moreso for Kimi as the pressure was mounting on him to perform and live up to his billing as (one of) the top-rated driver in F1. Runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton finished third as his three-pitstop-strategy caused him to fallback from the lead Ferrari pair towards the closing stages. His teammate Fernando Alonso had a forgettable race – most of which was spent chasing down the BMW of Nick Heidfeld and the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella – as his poor qualifying performance (where he set no time and hence started 10th) translated into a dull race and eventually finished 7th.
BMW’s Robert Kubica had a good comeback from his crash at Canada and finished 4th with teammate Heidfeld finishing 5th. Renault looked to be in ascendancy but their best qualifying result yet could not translate into a good race as Giancarlo Fisichella finished 6th and Heikki Kovalainen was shunted at the start and limped to a disappointing 15th. Jenson Button scooped up Honda’s first points finishing 8th.
Kimi had a great start and managed to pass Hamilton into the first corner and was trailing pole-sitter Felipe Massa by a little over 2 seconds. I’d say that initially most teams had a three-pit-stop-strategy for the 70 lap race but there was always flexibility in that and whilst Ferrari did two stops for both its drivers, McLaren chose two-stops for Alonso and three-stops for Hamilton. And it was during the second round of pit stops that the race turned in favor of Kimi. Having stopped later in the first stint, Kimi paced his in and out laps during his second stop beautifully and managed to come in front of Massa – who was (un)fortunately bogged down by some traffic. From thereon it was a cruise for the Finn as he won his second race this season after the opener at Melbourne. The next race is in a week’s time at Silverstone and here’s hoping that Ferrari – and Kimi’s – revival continues!!!