Massa keeps wins after controversy in Valencia 24 Aug 2008
Ferraris Felipe Massa celebrated his 100th Grand Prix and made up for his late-race disappointment in Hungary by dominating Sundays European Grand Prix at Valencia from start to finish.
However, his victory was only confirmed once stewards had investigated his second pit stop on lap 37, in which he was deemed to have been released unsafely into the path of Force Indias Adrian Sutil. It resulted in a reprimand for the Brazilian and a hefty 10,000 fine.
It became clear almost immediately that McLaren and Lewis Hamilton would not be able to challenge the Ferrari this time, but he boosted his world championship points lead to 70 with a solid second-place finish, 5.6 seconds in arrears. Robert Kubica failed to get by Hamiltons McLaren at the start, but brought his BMW Sauber home third ahead of Heikki Kovalainens McLaren, Jarno Trullis Toyota and Sebastian Vettel, who continued Toro Rossos strong practice form with a good sixth place.
In a race remarkable for the dearth of serious overtaking, two incidents stood out: the first came on the 43rd lap when Kimi Raikkonen was released from his pit stop before the refuelling hose had been detached from his F2008. A mechanic was struck by the red cars rear wing in the melee, and as he was being stretchered to the medical centre, the second incident occurred when Raikkonens engine apparently exploded as he went into his 46th lap.
That leaves Massa back in second place in the title chase with 64 points, while Kubica is back in the hunt, on Raikkonens tail, with 55 points to the Finns 57.
The final points went to Toyotas Timo Glock and Williams Nico Rosberg, who led home BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld, Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais and Renaults Nelson Piquet, with Red Bulls Mark Webber, Hondas Jenson Button, Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella, Williams Kazuki Nakajima, Hondas Rubens Barrichello and Red Bulls David Coulthard a lap down.
Nakajima was not popular with the Spanish fans after colliding with local hero Fernando Alonsos Renault on the opening lap and wiping off its rear wing. To the intense chagrin of the crowd, the Spaniards car was too badly damaged to continue.
Besides Raikkonen, the only other non-finisher was Sutil, who crashed on lap 42.