Felipe Massa led from pole position to the chequered flag as he led home a a Ferrari 1-2 victory at the Turkish Grand Prix. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen – who had started from third on the grid and managed to jump McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton at the start – was second with a fortunate Fernando Alonso in third. Massa preserved his lead throughout the race and though Kimi challenged him at the end of their middle stints, a belligerent overtaking maneouvre was never on the cards. Fernando Alonso was lucky to finish third since he had dropped behind the two BMW’s at the start and was running 6th for all of the first part of the race. It was only during the pit-stops that he managed to jump the BMW’s and settle into fourth position – though a huge 20+ seconds behind the lead pack. Lewis Hamilton was consistently under 6 seconds behind the lead Ferraris and third place looked in the bag when suddenly his front tire punctured on the 43rd lap and he had to concede not one but two places – to teammate Alonso and BMW’s Nick Heidfeld. Hamilton was lucky to have continued after he managed to limp back into the pits and change his tyre but had to be content with 5th place.
BMW again proved that they are the best of the rest with a strong drive from Nick Heidfeld for 4th place and though his teammate Robert Kubica showed initial promise, he dropped back down the order into 8th place. Renault showed their ascendancy with Heikki Kovalainen grabbing 6th place ahead of the Williams of Nico Rosberg. The other teams had mixed results. All in all it was an uneventful race whose only exciting moment happened to be Hamilton’s tyre puncture! The race did see as many as 20 drivers finishing, with only Mark Webber and Adrian Sutil being the retirees. The Championship leaderboards remain unchanged at the end of the race though the gaps were somewhat reduced. Alonso closed to within 5 points of leader Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings with the two Ferrari drivers lying a further 15 points behind. The Constructors’ standings saw Ferrari close within 11 points of McLaren though an appeal is still pending for McLaren’s points in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The next race is in a fortnight’s time at Monza and Ferrari look good going into the home-stretch…though it remains to be seen as to whether they can overtake McLaren in any of the tables!