It made a changed not to see the McLaren’s up at the front but that was only due to the fact that they were penalised after their qualifying dirty tricks.
Kimi Raikkonen took the lead after following his team mate from the start line. Felipe Massa span out half-way through the race. He was seen challenging Raikkonen on the first corner after being in pole position on the grid and managed to stay a couple of seconds ahead until the pit stop. Raikkonen managed to stay out another full lap which allowed him to get out in front of Massa. On lap 30 and 5 seconds behind his team mate, Massa lost the rear of his car and slid into the gravel which is where he stayed.
The McLaren duo only managed to achieve third and fifth places with Kovalainen being the man to take the final step on the podium.
It was good to see Robert Kubica take the second place slot in the BMW Sauber. The Pole had jumped to third place at the start of the race and proved to be much faster than the rest of the field although unable to match the pace of the Ferrari’s.
Hamilton moved up from ninth on the grid to fifth by the first corner but could not pass Mark Webber. He could possibly have got ahead of Webber if not for a problem with removing the front right wheel in his pit stop which cost him over 10 seconds and put him right back into the traffic.
Kovalainen on the other hand had a great pit stop on the next lap which propelled him from seventh to fourth and with Massa’s already out of the equation, he took his first podium spot for the McLaren team.
Jarno Trulli was seen holding off Hamilton to take fourth spot for the Toyota team. On the first lap, Trulli banged wheels with Nick Heidfeld but kept control of his car and by the middle of the race he was challenging Kovalainen for the third spot but he could not hold the pace for long.
Nick Heidfeld in his final pit stop, sneaked ahead of Webber and into sixth place setting the fastest lap right at the very end.
Williams did not have such a great race after Nico Rosberg got in a tangle with Timo Glock on the first lap. The Toyota was taken out of the race and the Williams driver had to return to the pits for a new front wing and only managed to bring his car home in fourteenth spot. His team mate Kazuki Nakajima faired even worse and finished in last place. Nakajima lost the pace as the race progressed and followed the two Super Aguri cars to the end of the race.
The Toro Rosso team also had a disappointing race with Sebastien Bourdais crashing out on the opening lap while is team mate Sebastian Vettel running in twelfth had a late engine failure.
A very disappointing race to watch and maybe Patrick Head’s idea to improve the viewing prospects of Formula 1 should be a consideration.
The Williams Team co-owner suggested making the fastest cars start from the back with the slower cars at the front. “I would like to see the grids in reverse order of championship position.” said Head. “It’s the same for everybody, and over a whole season the right guy would still win the championship.”
Head knows that there will be number of objectors to his ideas with some upset drivers “The fastest might say: ‘Well, overtaking is a risk and it puts us more at risk than the guys who don’t have to do that’” he said.
However, there is some truth in what he says, people I know who have always been avid fans of F1, have lost interest in the sport as it has become so boring. “I do come across a lot of people who say they like watching motorbikes [more] and I have to say I’m a little bit in that camp because there isn’t a lot of overtaking in Formula one.” said Head.
Here are the results of the race:
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1h31:18.555 2. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 19.570 3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 38.450 4. Trulli Toyota (B) + 45.832 5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 46.548 6. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 49.833 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:08.130 8. Alonso Renault (B) + 1:10.041 9. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:16.220 10. Button Honda (B) + 1:26.214 11. Piquet Renault (B) + 1:32.202 12. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap 13. Barrichello Honda (B) + 1 lap 14. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 1 lap 15. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 lap 16. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 2 laps 17. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 2 laps Fastest lap: Heidfeld, 1:35.366 Not classified/retirements: