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Raikkonen pushes ferrari back in the title hunt

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 12.03.2010

Raikkonen Pushes Ferrari Back in the Title Hunt

Sunday’s race lets Kimi Raikkonen grab his first win since the Melbourne’s season-opener. The results of the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours, with the exceptional performance of Raikkonen and teammate Felipe Massa, pushed the Italian team back in the title hunt.

Raikkonen and Massa finished more than half a minute ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who finished third. The red cars opted for a two-stop strategy, Hamilton for three, but once the Briton lagged off the dirty side of the grid at the start, it was all over. The Brazilian out-dragged him to the first corner, and so did the Finn.

Massa then led until his second stop, but a heavier fuel load allowed his teammate to run significantly longer and he emerged from his own stop three laps later with a lead he preserved to the end.

“Finally! Everything went the right way in my race. It was vital that I managed to get past Hamilton at the start and then I always tried to stay with Felipe. I knew I had a few laps in hand but, at my first pit stop, I had a bit of traffic and I was unable to get in the lead. Then at the second stop, the situation was turned around and I came out in front. Right from the start of the weekend we have been strong and this win is the reward for all the hard work carried out over the past few weeks,” said Raikkonen.

The Finn continued, “Now we must continue to improve the car because there is still room to do so, starting with the next race which we should tackle with the same approach that we used here in Magny-Cours.”

Massa has this to say: “First of all I want to say I am happy for the team, as it needed this sort of result after a difficult spell. Of course, I would have wanted to win but I was delayed by traffic in the decisive phase of the race, when I knew I had to build up a bit of a lead over Kimi to stay ahead of him during the pit stops. The way the cars are today, you start to get some turbulence from the cars that are a certain distance ahead of you and so it is difficult to overtake even the slower cars if they don’t really move over for you.”

Sunday’s result reflects that the championship fight between Ferrari and McLaren is far from over. Critics say that the result creates slightly less bright prospects for the Briton rookie to win his national Grand Prix.

“I’m pleased to have finished third today and have continued my run of podium finishes in Formula One. I didn’t have the best start and I don’t know exactly what the reason was. My car was very good in the opening stage of the race, and I pushed hard to get past Kimi, but unfortunately it didn’t work out,” said Hamilton.

The Briton added, “We will now focus on the British Grand Prix next week where I think we will be competitive again. I am confident for a better weekend at my home Grand Prix as everybody in the team has worked very hard for this, as we do for every race.”

Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, who finished fourth and fifth respectively, grabbed another nine points for BMW Sauber. Heidfeld had some gripping duels with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, the world champion, who started tenth after his qualifying woes, finished seventh. The efficiency of the BMW water pump and other race parts contributed to Sauber’s noteworthy success.

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