Raikkonen victorious in dramatic Spanish Grand Prix 27 Apr 2008
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen became the eighth consecutive man to win the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position, when he dominated Sunday's race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Finn shrugged off two safety car periods - the second when compatriot Heikki Kovalainen crashed his McLaren heavily after a front-end failure pitched him off the road in Turn Nine at an estimated 180 mph - and led home team mate Felipe Massa, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica. They finished 3.2s, 0.9s, and 1.5s apart respectively.
It may not have been a classic race, but it increased Raikkonen's championship score to 29 points and his lead to nine over Hamilton (20), while Massa jumps up to fourth on 18, one behind Kubica (19).
The Kovalainen incident occurred on the 22nd lap, possibly as a result of something causing the front-left tyre and rim to separate. It took a while to stabilise the Finn at the accident scene, but he gave a thumbs up as he was taken by stretcher to the medical centre. Later he was flown to hospital for precautionary checks, and his condition was described as stable.
The incident ruined Nick Heidfeld's race for BMW Sauber, since he was on a longer refuelling strategy and had just taken the lead after the first round of pit stops. He had to come in when the pit lane was still closed, and thus had to serve a stop-go penalty later on. That dropped him to a ninth-place finish.
Mark Webber brought his Red Bull home fifth ahead of Jenson Button's Honda, Kazuki Nakajima's Williams and Jarno Trulli's Toyota. The Italian was hampered by a long second stop and an unecessary third one after a communications mix up.
Giancarlo Fisichella was unable to resist the charging Heidfeld, so brought his Force India home 10th, ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock, who delayed himself running into the rear of David Coulthard. The Scot's left-rear tyre was cut as a result, so he also dropped back but managed to repass Super Aguri's Takuma Sato before the finish to claim 12th.
William's Nico Rosberg was headed for seventh place until his Toyota engine broke; Renault's Fernando Alonso was running fifth when his engine also blew up; Honda's Rubens Barrichello had a collision in the pit lane with Fisichella, which led to his subsequent retirement, and a clash on the opening lap also accounted for Force India's Adrian Sutil and, yet again, Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel. Team mate Sebastien Bourdais retired after being clobbered by Renault's Nelson Piquet as the Brazilian attempted to overtake. Piquet also failed to finish as a result. Finally, Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson went out with mechanical problems.