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Massa keeps wins after controversy in Valencia 24 Aug 2008

(L to R): Rob Smedley (GBR) Ferrari Race Engineer, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari and Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008 Race winner Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari arrives in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 with broken rear wing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa celebrated his 100th Grand Prix and made up for his late-race disappointment in Hungary by dominating Sunday’s 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 India’s 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 Hamilton’s McLaren at the start, but brought his BMW Sauber home third ahead of Heikki Kovalainen’s McLaren, Jarno Trulli’s Toyota and Sebastian Vettel, who continued Toro Rosso’s 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 car’s rear wing in the melee, and as he was being stretchered to the medical centre, the second incident occurred when Raikkonen’s 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 Raikkonen’s tail, with 55 points to the Finn’s 57.

The final points went to Toyota’s Timo Glock and Williams’ Nico Rosberg, who led home BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais and Renault’s Nelson Piquet, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber, Honda’s Jenson Button, Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella, William’s Kazuki Nakajima, Honda’s Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull’s David Coulthard a lap down.

Nakajima was not popular with the Spanish fans after colliding with local hero Fernando Alonso’s Renault on the opening lap and wiping off its rear wing. To the intense chagrin of the crowd, the Spaniard’s car was too badly damaged to continue.

Besides Raikkonen, the only other non-finisher was Sutil, who crashed on lap 42.