Kimi Raikkonen wins Belgian Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen dominated from start to win the Belgian Grand Prix for the third straight time, beating Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.india Updated: Sep 17, 2007 03:42 IST
Kimi Raikkonen dominated from start to win the Belgian Grand Prix for the third straight time, beating Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa. World champion Fernando Alonso took third spot ahead of McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton to reduce the rookie's lead in the world championship standings to just two points. There are three races remaining in the season.
Raikkonen's victory only looked in doubt when Massa launched a late attack with three of the 44 laps to go. When it was clear Massa would not get past the Finn, the two drivers eased up to coast at the checkered flag.
"It was a perfect thing for the team, one-two," Raikkonen said. With his victory, Raikkonen also maintained his outside chance to win the world title. "We haven't given up hope. We are still in the hunt," Raikkonen said. "We just keep pushing and see what happens." In the standings, Hamilton has 97 points and Alonso has 95. Raikkonen is third with 84 and Massa fourth with 77. With races still to come in Japan, China and Brazil, a maximum 30 points can be won.
The 1-2 victory also assured Ferrari of the constructors' title after McLaren was thrown out of that race because of the F1 spy scandal.
Raikkonen finished Sunday in 1 hour, 20 minutes, 39.066 seconds, beating Massa by 4.695. Alonso was 14.343 back, and Hamilton 23.615 behind.
The biggest incident came at the start and highlighted the hot rivalry between McLaren teammates Alonso and Hamilton. Alonso, starting third on the grid ahead of Hamilton, immediately moved over to attack the Source hairpin, blocking Hamilton's way. Coming out and gathering speed, Alonso went wide and pushed Hamilton onto the sidetrack.
"I was lucky to be on the inside," said Alonso, arguing his aggressive style was partly caused by Massa's position in the opening corner.
Once that issue was settled, Raikkonen steadily built his lead over Massa and the two McLaren riders.
"They were too quick for us today," Alonso said. "Slowly they were disappearing. After the first stop we didn't see them anymore."
McLaren finished 1-2 at Ferrari's home Italian GP last Sunday.
Hamilton, Alonso were at risk
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso would have been booted out of the Formula One title race if FIA head Max Mosley had gotten his way at a spying hearing, he said on Sunday.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) president told BBC radio at the Belgian Grand Prix he was part of a minority on the governing body's World Motor Sport Council on Thursday that wanted a more severe penalty. He also suggested that if either 22-year-old British rookie Hamilton or Alonso won the championship, a question mark would remain over the title because the team had Ferrari information in their possession.
Hamilton has a three-point lead in the standings over double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso with four races to go.
First Published: Sep 17, 2007 03:39 IST