Ferrari s Kimi Raikkonen will line up in pole position for the 2008 Formula 1 Gran Premio De Espana Telefonica. Alongside him, Renault s Fernando Alonso starts from second at the Circuit de Catalunya, his home track, after a stunning qualifying performance.
Conditions ahead of the race are fine, with clear skies and a track temperature of 39 degrees and a humidity of 29%. 132,000 people have turned out for the race buoyed by Alonso s revitalised performance in qualifying.
Every driver starts on the softer option tyre. Alonso nearly collects the wall on the formation lap as he heats his tyres and takes a minor excursion over the grass just before the pit straight. The Ferrari duo have an excellent start Massa overtakes Alonso to take second place; Raikkonen remains in the lead. Hamilton gains a place by overtaking Kubica. Fisichella and Rosberg also have good starts with Rosberg up to 11th from 15th, and Fisichella up to 15th from 19th.
There is contact at the first corner when the Force India of Adrian Sutil collides with the Red Bull of David Coulthard, with the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Vettel collecting the Force India as it spins. Vettel and Sutil are out of the race, and the crash forces a safety car situation; David Coulthard limps on in 16th place.
The safety car comes in after lap 3 and the remaining cars all get away cleanly with Raikkonen leading the pack.
Lap 5 Nelson Piquet, running in tenth place, goes across the gravel and drops back to 18th place, just behind Sebastian Bourdais.. Raikkonen starts to pull out a lead over his team-mate Massa. It is suspected that Alonso is running lighter than Massa and therefore the Ferrari driver is holding up the Renault car.
Lap 7 Two cars are off the track. Nelson Piquet attempts an overtake on the Toro Rosso of Bourdais. Bourdais fails to see Piquet s R26 and turns into the side of the him, sending the R26 off the track and into retirement. Bourdais comes into the pits to get a new nose cone. Unfortunately, the front left has taken some suspension damage and Bourdais also retires.
Lap 9 The Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson pits. Mechanics are seen peering underneath the car. It appears that the race-car has a problem and Davidson is wheeled back into the pits, retiring from the race, leaving just 17 drivers still racing. Later Davidson explains he hit carbon fibre at the starts of the race and suffers from understeer thanks to some barge board damage. After Piquet goes off, stones and debris are thrown onto the track and one of these punctures his water radiator, causing his retirement.
Lap 10 Raikkonen continues to set fastest laps, lap after lap, and now has a lead of 3 seconds over Massa, who is nearly 2 seconds ahead of third placed man, Fernando Alonso.
Lap 14 Hamilton closes up to the back of former team-mate Fernando Alonso and starts to put pressure on the Spaniard.
Lap 16 Fernando Alonso pits from third place. He is once again given the soft tyre option. His stop is 9.3 seconds long, indicating the Spanish driver is going for a two-stop strategy. Alonso rejoins in 11th place just behind Rubens Barrichello.
Lap 19 Felipe Massa pits from second place, underlying the astounding performance of his team-mate in qualifying. The Brazilian takes on another set of soft tyres and rejoins the race in eighth place. Meanwhile, Hamilton is making little progress, lapping in the low 1:22s with both Ferraris lapping in the 1:21s although the McLaren is fuelled longer than both the Ferraris.
Lap 20 Kimi Raikkonen pits and is also given a second set of soft tyres. Raikkonen rejoins in fifth place. Jarno Trulli and Mark Webber also pit from 8th and 6th respectively.
Lap 21 Hamilton and Kubica both pit from 1st and 2nd places. Hamilton rejoins just behind Rosberg in fifth place. Both drivers are given the softer option tyres.
Lap 22 – Heikki Kovalainen has a big crash into the tyre wall at Turn 9 after a mechanical failure halfway through the corner. The safety car and medical car is deployed. It is estimated that Kovalainen crashes at around 140mph. The pit-lane is closed, disrupting the strategy of some teams, most notably Nick Heidfeld who is currently leading the race.
Lap 24 Backmarkers are allowed to pass the safety car to allow them to catch up. Heidfeld as to pit as he has run out of fuel. As the pit lane is still closed, Heidfeld will be penalised. Kovalainen s car has been pulled out of the tyre barrier but there is no news on the condition of the Finnish driver. Raikkonen is back leading the race, albeit being the safety car.
Lap 25 The pit-lane reopens. Barrichello, Button, Nakajima, Fisichella, Coulthard and Glock all pit. Barrichello comes out on track and knocks the nose cone off his car. He then makes contact with another car in the pit-lane. The nose cone doesn t come off totally and rubs on the front right of his tyre. Barrichello is seen weaving on the track, trying to shake the nose cone free.
Lap 26 Barrichello pits again to get a new nose-cone and is currently running in last place. Kovalainen s McLaren is tractored off. Kovalainen is stretchered off. The Finnish driver is OK and gives a thumbs-up to the crowd. An on-board shot appears to show that he got a blow-out on his left-front, causing him to crash. The failure is almost identical to Lewis Hamilton last season.
Lap 28 The safety car is in with just 16 runners left. Raikkonen continues to lead, with Massa in second, just ahead of Hamilton, Kubica, Heidfeld and Alonso.
Lap 31 Race control confirm that Heidfeld have been given a 10 second stop-go penalty for pitting when the pit-lane was closed under safety car conditions. The penalty looks set to ruin the German s race as the penalty will see him end up at the rear of the field.
Lap 32 Raikkonen is eking out a gap over his team-mate, and is now just over two seconds ahead. Rosberg is pressuring Trulli for P8. Takuma Sato is in 11th place, ahead of Fisichella, Button, Coulthard, Glock and Barrichello.
Lap 33 Heidfeld takes his stop-go penalty. As predicated, he rejoins in last place, several seconds behind last placed man, Barrichello.
Lap 34 Alonso engine starts to smoke, and the Spaniard parks his car on the side of the track and retires. Lots of Spanish fans start to leave the track. Alonso takes the time to go and chat to some of the fans at the track-side before heading back to the pits on the back of a scooter. Barrichello pits, and eventually retires. 14 runners remain.
Lap 37 The Ferraris start to pull away from the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton Raikkonen is nearly 3 seconds ahead of Massa who now has a 2.2 second lead over Hamilton. Kubica is fourth with Mark Webber fifth.
Lap 39 Sato pits and takes on a set of hard tyres. He rejoins in 14th place at the back of the field.
Lap 41 Nico Rosberg retires from 7th after an engine failure, parking his car on the side of the main straight.
Lap 44 Sato has a very slow lap of 1:28.319 as Massa laps him. Fisichella pits from P8, switching to the harder tyre, and rejoins ahead of Takuma Sato.
Lap 45 Massa puts in the fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:21.801. Heidfeld pits for the third time, also taking on the harder tyre compound.
Lap 46 Massa pits from second position while his team-mate Raikkonen puts in the fastest lap of the race so far. Massa takes on the harder compound tyre. Webber also pits from fifth place along with the Toyota of Trulli. Trulli has a poor stop, 4 seconds over the expected time. Luckily, he had a 9 second advantage over Nakajima so hopefully won t hurt his position.
Lap 47 Raikkonen, Hamilton and Kubica all pit. All three take on hard tyres. Raikkonen is delayed slightly by Kubica as he departs. Raikkonen rejoins in front of Massa therefore keeping the lead. Hamilton and Kubica join behind Massa so there is no change in the top four positions.
Lap 48 Heidfeld is catching the Force India of Fisichella. He attempts to pass for P11 but fails to make it stick. Kovalainen is taken by helicopter as a precaution to a hospital in Barcelona for further tests after his big 140mph accident. The latest news is that the Finnish driver is OK and has no broken bones.
Lap 51 Nakajima pits from fifth place, as does the Toyota of Glock. Both take on hard tyres. Nakajima rejoins in ninth, Glock in tenth.
Lap 52 Coulthard pits from seventh and rejoins in ninth.
Lap 53 Trulli pits from seventh. Top four are separated by less than 7.5 seconds.
Lap 54 Coulthard and Glock scrap for P9 at turn 5. Glock goes in too hard and the two make contract. Turn 7 and Glock hits the rear of Coulthard giving the Scot a left rear puncture and knocking Glock s front wing. Driving around the track, Coulthard is losing pieces of carbon fibres.
Lap 55 Heidfeld finally overtakes Fisichella to take P9 after a small mistake by Fisichella. Coulthard is in the pits again for new tyres. He rejoins in 13th place behind the Super Aguri of Takuma Sato. Hamilton appears to have no answer to the Ferraris Raikkonen remains at the front of the pack, over 3 seconds ahead of Massa; The Brazilian remains just under two seconds ahead of the McLaren driver. Robert Kubica remains in fourth.
Lap 57 Race control confirm they will be investigating an incident between cars 9 and 12 (Coulthard and Glock) after the race.
Lap 60 Coulthard catches the Super Aguri of Takuma Sato and gingerly looks to overtake.
Lap 61 Coulthard eventually manages to overtake Sato to take P12. Coulthard is now over 20 seconds behind 11th placed man, Glock.
Pole position translates into victory for Kimi Raikkonen with his second win of the season, and the fourth win of the season for Ferrari and extending his lead at the top of the drivers championship. It s a one-two for the scarlet clad team with Massa coming in second. Hamilton finishes third. Kubica is unable to make it three consecutive podiums in a row for BMW, in fourth place.
It s a good drive for Webber and Button who finish in fifth and sixth. Button sets his fastest lap of the race of the final lap with a 1:22.353. Nakajima and Trulli take the final points of the race. Glock, Coulthard and Sato are the only other cars to finish the race.
The fastest lap of the race goes to the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen with a 1:21.670 on lap 46.