17 September 2007

Crushing one-two at Spa assures Ferrari of title

Kimi Raikkonen headed home Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix with a dominant performance that assured the Italian squad of the 2007 constructors’ title. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth for McLaren, but this time the silver arrows were no match for the red cars.

Raikkonen beat Massa by 4.6s (the gap had been 1.4s the previous lap), but Alonso was 9.6s behind (having been 16.4s in arrears the previous lap until the Ferraris eased off). Hamilton was a further 9.2s adrift, having lost three seconds with a slide off the road in Pouhon on lap 43.

The result enabled Alonso to close in again on Hamilton’s series lead; the Englishman has 97 points to the Spaniard’s 95, with Raikkonen now on 84 and Massa 77.

Nick Heidfeld claimed fifth place after his usual tidy race for BMW Sauber, recovering from running wide in the first corner at the start avoiding Alonso and Hamilton, who were involved in their own fight which saw the Spaniard push his team mate wide on the exit to the hairpin and then slam the door on him up the hill through Eau Rouge.

Nico Rosberg had another good afternoon for Williams with sixth place, ahead of Mark Webber’s on-form Red Bull, and the best battle of the race saw Heikki Kovalainen take the final point for Renault after holding off the BMW Sauber of a determined Robert Kubica by half a second.

Toyota took 10th and 11th with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli, neither able to sustain their qualifying form.

Tonio Liuzzi had his best result of the season with 12th for Toro Rosso, ahead of Rubens Barrichello’s Honda, Adrian Sutil’s well-driven Spyker, the ill-handling Super Aguris of Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson, and Sakon Yamamoto’s Spyker.

Honda's Jenson Button retired with hydraulic problems after 37 laps, when just staying ahead of Liuzzi; Alex Wurz retired with poor fuel pressure after a spin in Turn 18; David Coulthard’s Red Bull lost its power-steering after a hydraulics failure; Sebastian Vettel was being shown the way by Liuzzi when his Toro Rosso stopped wanting to turn right; and Giancarlo Fisichella retired with damaged suspension on his Renault after brushing the barriers at Turn Five on the opening lap. Fisichella had opted to start from the pit lane after his post-qualifying engine change dropped him to the back of the grid.

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