Belgian Grand Prix: Lap by Lap Report

Having put the events of last week to rest, Formula One returns to racing this weekend from the new improved Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen will start from pole position for the 44 lap race today, the Finn having won the last two Grand Prix at Spa in 2004 and 2005. Felipe Massa will start alongside him for the first all Ferrari front-row of the season. The McLarens now excluded from the Constructors Championship, of Alonso and Hamilton start from third and fourth.

Unusually this year, the 4.4 mile Ardennes circuit is dry for the race start. Cars will start under patchy cloud with a track temperature of 33 degrees, with an air temperature of 21 degrees. At this time rain is not expected, humidity sits around 55% with pressure of 969 mBar.

Fisichella will start from the pit lane following an engine change after qualifying. Kubica starts from fourteenth from an engine change before qualifying.

All drivers get away for the Formation Lap, with only the Spykers opting to start the race on softer compound tyres. Davidson looks to be starting from the pit lane from behind Fisichella ignoring grid positions as Anthony should be ahead of Giancarlo.

Lap 1 Massa s brakes smoke on the grid. Alonso pushes Hamilton wide on La Source and head through Eau Rouge together.

Lap 2 Fisichella is pushed back into his garage having taken the spare car. Wurz spins at the Bus Stop.

Lap 3 Webber passes Kovalainen on the straight up to Les Combes.

Lap 4 Heidfeld passes Kovalainen into the Bus Stop. Ferrari mechanics pour into the pits only to head back in again concern is that one of the cars has an issue.

Lap 6 The Ferraris appear to have the upper hand at this time over the McLarens, with Raikkonen half a second faster in Sector 2.

Lap 7 Sutil battles with Coulthard for eleventh in the revised Spyker.

Lap 8 Kubica, up from fourteenth after an engine change, battles with Kovalainen in ninth.

Lap 9 Vettel pits for the second time. The Toro Rosso was smoking heavily on the formation lap and it looks as though he will retire as drives into his team garage. The team remove the nose cone and appear to be working on the steering components.

Lap 11 Hamilton sets a lap faster than his team-mate Alonso. Kubica passes Kovalainen, Raikkonen leads by 4.3 seconds.

Lap 12 Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of the race so far, on a 1:48.095.

Lap 14 Nico Rosberg is the first to pit from fifth position. Webber also pits.

Lap 15 Raikkonen pits for 9.3 seconds, as does Alonso, stopping for 9.5 seconds.

Lap 16 Massa and Hamilton pit – Massa stopping for 8.5 seconds, Hamilton for 9.3. The McLarens are now fourth and fifth behind Heidfeld.

Lap 18 Heidfeld pits and rejoins ahead of Ralf Schumacher and behind Kovalainen.

Lap 19 Kubica battles Coulthard for tenth.

Lap 22 Kovalainen pits, his only stop of the race meaning his softer compound tyres have to last the rest of the race.

Lap 25 Button and Liuzzi pit together, both one stopping.

Lap 26 Coulthard, also one stopping, pits.

Lap 30 Kimi Raikkonen pits from the lead, stops for just 6.8 seconds and rejoins just behind the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. David Coulthard retires at the Bus Stop with hydraulics failure. Sato passes Button for thirteenth. Massa pits for 6.3 seconds and rejoins behind Raikkonen.

Lap 32 Alonso pits and rejoins ahead of Heidfeld.

Lap 34 Massa sets the fastest lap of the race on a 1:48.036. Hamilton has yet to pit, whilst Heidfeld pits from fifth.

Lap 36 Wurz retires from nineteenth and last.

Lap 37 Hamilton pits from third. Button coasts back to his pit garage to retire, the Honda smoking heavily at the rear.

Lap 38 Massa closes the gap to Raikkonen to 3.1 seconds.

Lap 41 Massa closes on Raikkonen, with the gap down to just 2.2 seconds now.

Lap 42 Hamilton runs wide at Pouhon as he attempts to close down his team-mate Alonso.

Kimi Raikkonen wins his third successive race at Spa, ahead of Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Heidfeld finishes fifth, Rosberg sixth, Webber seventh with Kovalainen eighth ahead of a battling Kubica.

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