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Lewis Hamilton blows up in Istanbul

Lewis Hamilton looked like coming home in third place in a Turkish Grand Prix where his car could not keep pace with the flying Ferraris. That hope disappeared when a tyre blew with 15 laps to go.

In the event Felipe Massa, who drove to a second consecutive victory at this track, was second and Kimi Raikkonen, also in a Ferrari, third.

Hamilton said, “I had no warning, I went off and almost hit the barrier. The wheel just locked up and I was very lucky to get the car stopped. I tried to keep going, but the tyre got worse and worse. I reached Turn 12 and the car wouldn’t steer. I got to the pitlane and almost hit the wall. It was a real fight and I was relieved to get it back.”

Typically he kept his head and returned to the race after a pit stop. He was later overtaken by team-mate Fernando Alonso, but remains ahead in the Drivers’ World Championship.

Top Ten in Turkish Grand Prix
1, F Massa (Br, Ferrari) 1min 26:42.161sec
2, K Raikkonen (Fin, Ferrari) at 2.275sec behind
3, F Alonso (Sp, McLaren Mercedes) 26.181
4, N Heidfeld (Ger, BMW Sauber) 39.674
5, L Hamilton (GB, McLaren Mercedes) 45.085
6, H Kovalainen (Fin, Renault) 46.169
7, N Rosberg (Ger, Williams Toyota) 55.778
8, R Kubica (Pol, BMW Sauber) 56.707
9, G Fisichella (It, Renault) 59.491
10, D Coulthard (GB, Red Bull Renault) 1min 11.009sec.

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Raikkonen comfortably takes Lewis Hamilton in French GP

Ferrari delivered an emphatic one-two victory in the French Grand Prix as Kimi Raikkonen returned to form in style in the last race to be held at Magny-Cours.

Raikkonen came home two seconds ahead of his Ferrari team-mate, Brazilian Felipe Massa, ending McLaren’s three race sequence of victories. It was his first win since the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 18, and the 11th of his career.

Massa, on pole, led for more than half of the race, and finished second ahead of 22-year-old British star Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren. The result meant nevertheless that Hamilton increased his lead in the drivers’ championship to 14 points with his home race, at Silverstone, coming up next weekend.

Team-mate, Fernando Alonso, who started from 10th position on the grid, was unable to make much progress through the field and finished seventh.

Hamilton was seeking a hat-trick of victories but, despite his disappointment, he posted his seventh podium finish in seven races in his first season in Formula One.

The full result was :

1. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro-Ferrari 70 01:30:54.200
2. Felipe Massa Brazil Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro-Ferrari +2.4
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes-Mercedes +32.1
4. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber F1 Team-BMW +41.7
5. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team-BMW +48.8
6. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy ING Renault F1 Team-Renault +52.2
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes-Mercedes +56.5
8. Jenson Button Britain Honda Racing F1 Team-Honda +58.8
9. Nico Rosberg Germany AT&T Williams-Toyota +68.5
10. Ralf Schumacher Germany Panasonic Toyota Racing-Toyota +1 lap
11. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda Racing F1 Team-Honda +1 lap
12. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull Racing-Renault +1 lap
13. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull Racing-Renault +1 lap
14. Alexander Wurz Austria AT&T Williams-Toyota +1 lap
15. Heikki Kovalainen Finland ING Renault F1 Team-Renault +1
16. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri F1 Team-Honda +2 laps
17. Adrian Sutil Germany Spyker F1 Team-Ferrari +2 laps
18. Scott Speed USA Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 55 laps completed
19. Christijan Albers Holland Spyker F1 Team-Ferrari 28 laps completed
20. Anthony Davidson Britain Super Aguri F1 Team-Honda 0 laps completed
21. Jarno Trulli Italy Panasonic Toyota Racing-Toyota 0 laps completed
22. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 0 laps completed.

Silverstone now beckons for the Englishman. It’s likely to be wet conditions so anything can happen.

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Lewis Hamilton behind Felipe Massa

Lewis Hamilton kept up his inaugural title challenge by posting second place on the grid for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix behind Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

Felipe Massa in French qualifying

Main rival Fernando Alonso could do no better than 10th after mechanical problems and may start at 20th if he needs to change his engine.

Massa headed championship leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren to pole with a lap of one minute 15.034 seconds. The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen will start third.

Hamilton missed out to Massa by 0.07secs in Q3, although at least separated the Ferraris.

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Lewis Hamilton pole position in US GP

Lewis Hamilton has snatched pole position for the second week in succession.

Fernando Alonso at first dominated the United States Grand Prix practice and qualifying sessions until Hamilton made his late move with awesome ease.

Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren

Hamilton produced two flying laps at the death to take front spot on the grid for this afternoon’s race.

“I knew Fernando would go for it on his last lap and I’m surprised he didn’t go quicker,” said the young Hertfordshire driver after finishing 0.2sec ahead of the Spaniard.

“I really thought Fernando would get pole here. He has been quicker all weekend. My last two laps were spot-on, though — perfect. Getting my second pole was even better than last week and it’s great to see so many British flags.”

Alonso replied, “Being on top in practice makes me confident for the race. I have the pace. I still think I’m in a strong position.”

There was some confusion after Hamilton changed his Mercedes engine, but he will not suffer a grid penalty as it was fitted before final practice.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start third alongside team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

David Coulthard is in 11th spot for Red Bull, two places ahead of Honda’s Jenson Button.

This circuit is not Alonso’s favourite track. The best he has come here is 5th. Nevertheless, his pace in practice suggests he will be hard to beat this time.

If anyone can do it, though, you’d back Lewis Hamilton, who is beginning to take on the same mantle of near-invincibilty once held by Ayton Senna — perhaps the greatest of them all.

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