Sunday, August 24, 2008

European Grand Prix: Massa Dominates

Reminiscent of his dominant performance at Hungary, Felipe Massa put on a show at Valencia. He is now fulfilling the potential that made Michael Schumacher a fan of Massa since his early days after a very shaky start to the season. Nevertheless, there is some drama as Massa is being investigated for a pit lane incident. It is doubtful they will take away the win but one never knows. Updates will follow after the investigation.

McLaren generally had a very quiet race, but Hamilton did what he had to do in light of not being able to match Massa, finish 2nd. Moreover, Hamilton extends his point lead in the championship.

European GP Race Classification:

1. Massa Ferrari
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
3. Kubica BMW Sauber
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
5. Trulli Toyota
6. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari
7. Glock Toyota
8. Rosberg Williams-Toyota
9. Heidfeld BMW Sauber
10. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari
11. Piquet Renault
12. Webber Red Bull-Renault
13. Button Honda
14. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari
15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota
16. Barrichello Honda
17. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault

Fastest lap: Massa, 1:38.708

In terms of points of interest for the race:

1. Force India. They did show an increase in pace and they did get a least one car off the last row thanks to veteran driver, Giancarlo Fisichella. However, their results have appeared not to have changed substantially as Fisichella finished 14th. Nevertheless, we will see how the season finishes out with the performance and development of their gearbox.

2. Bridge section of the new Valencia track. The situation never materialized and was dealt with swiftly by FIA safety delegate, Charlie Whiting. Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development, Hirohide Hamashima accepted Whiting's position and confirmed the opinion in practice. "Charlie said that the gap in curbs are much bigger than the gap on the bridge, so anyway he said wait and see - and it has all been okay. At the moment the tires have no problem, no damage, so we are very happy." At qualifying end and race end there were no problems.

3. Toyota. A typical quick qualifying session for Jarno Trulli as he always has been a good qualifier and after starting the race with a lot of fuel, Timo Glock put in a very solid drive. Although Toyota were helped out by the fact Fernando Alonso was knocked out of the race on lap 1 and Kimi Raikkonen's engine failed, the fact is the performance of the car has improved and they now have 2 drivers capable of scoring regular points. I believe Toyota will finish 4th in the championship.

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