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Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 14:32 UK
Turkish Grand Prix
Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey, 9-11 May, 2008

Final positions:

1. F Massa (Ferrari)

2. L Hamilton (McLaren)

3. K Raikkonen (Ferrari)

4. R Kubica (BMW Sauber)

5. N Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)

6. F Alonso (Renault)

7. M Webber (Red Bull)

8. N Rosberg (Williams)


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By Sam Lyon

1440: So, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton close the gap on championship leader Kimi Raikkonen and it's all set up nicely for Monaco - Hamilton's favourite track - in two weeks' time. The final word goes to Lewis's dad Anthony, who says: "I'll be honest, we all had an idea of where Lewis would finish today and it certainly wasn't as high as second. He did brilliantly and keeps him in touch with Kimi and Felipe, which is all we could ask."

"Anyone else think Kubica is really showing Heidfeld up this season?"
gunner-rossmcd on 606

"A hugely enjoyable race. Lewis Hamilton and McLaren did a great job. Massa stayed cool and Kimi Raikkonen's probably not too upset at the result either. Hamilton's overtake on Massa was absolutely crucial."
icecoolewis on 606
Join the debate on 606

"Great drive, great racing. A mention, also, for Mark Webber, who impressed once again in his Red Bull with his seventh-place finish."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1430: Lewis Hamilton storms through in second spot, 0.8 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The BMWs of Kubica and Heidfeld follow that pair home, with Alonso, Webber and Rosberg also in the points.


1429: Hamilton extends his lead over Raikkonen with one lap remaining - he has a 0.748 advantage over the Finn, now. No mistakes and second is Hamilton's, you feel.

"How much will McLaren be rueing that early puncture for Kovalainen? Had that not happened they might be looking at a second-third finish instead."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1427: Hamilton is just about holding off Raikkonen at the moment, with the gap pretty consistent at 0.6 seconds. Massa is maintaining his lead - 5.7 seconds over Hamilton - and a hat-trick of Turkey GP victories is firmly on the cards.

1424: Kovalainen is up to 12th after overtaking Timo Glock. Jarno Trulli is ordered by his team to "push to get near the group ahead of you". As David Croft says on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra: "What a novel idea that is."

1423: It's on the third sector that Hamilton is struggling. The Briton is quicker in sectors one and two, but Raikkonen has closed to within 0.7 seconds. This could be a rare old battle at the end of this race.

"Lewis's task now is to defend his second-place finish from Raikkonen. He can't get near Massa, I don't think, so it's a defensive operation now."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1419: Lewis Hamilton loses vital seconds behind Nelson Piquet and he is 5.4 seconds behind Massa, one second ahead of Raikkonen.

1416: Heikki Kovalainen strides into 10th despite a valiant effort from David Coulthard and the Toyota of Jarno Trulli - currently seventh - might be in his sights later in this race.

"There is nothing in it between these cars, there really isn't. Their lap times are almost identical as it stands."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1412: It pays off for McLaren! Hamilton comes out ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and, even though he is behind Massa, the Briton would surely settle for second now? Hamilton is on the softs for the first time - he couldn't possibly chase down Massa, could he? He is 5.1 seconds behind the Brazilian, with Raikkonen a 1.4 seconds further back.

1411: Hamilton is indeed ripping round - Felipe Massa is limping along in comparison - but the Briton pits with his lead around 16 seconds... where will he emerge?

1408: Kimi Raikkonen comes in - with his lead over Hamilton just 1.5 seconds - and this is Hamilton's chance to steam away and give himself the best possible shot of, in all probability, second, with a stop to come.

1407: Nick Heidfeld pits and emerges ahead of Nico Rosberg to lie sixth.

1406: Hamilton is eating away at Raikkonen's lead - 0.6 seconds in lap 41 alone - and he will be hoping the Finn pits soon so that he can build a lead before his third stop. Fernando Alonso pits.

1403: With Raikkonen closing on Massa, the Brazilian pits - it's a stop of 7.3 seconds - Robert Kubica also goes in.

1401: The front-runners are lapping the back-markers now, but the Ferraris and Hamilton go by Vettel and Sutil without incident. Hamilton takes 0.6 seconds out of his gap behind Raikkonen - will the Finn consider holding him up to help his team-mate Massa?

1400: Back at the front, Felipe Massa is inching further and further ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, his lead now at 10.8 seconds. Lewis Hamilton is hardly making up ground on either Ferrari at the moment, but he is comfortably faster than Robert Kubica in the BMW. The Briton is 3.3 seconds back on Kimi, but 3.5 up on Kubica.

"Wow, exciting stuff. Hamilton on a three-stop. He cant do a long run on the soft tyres, so maybe a few laps at the end on soft? Is it a stroke of genius or a touch of madness?"
icecoolewis on 606

1355: Heikki Kovalainen passes Timo Glock, he's up into 13th, and Nelson Piquet passes Jenson Button up into 11th. Those four are putting on an almighty show.

1354: Heikki Kovalainen is chasing down the Toyota of Timo Glock in 14th - storming battle, that's proving. Should he get past him, Jenson Button - now in 11th - is within striking distance of the Finn.

1352: Lewis Hamilton comes in - his lead was 7.5 seconds - the hard compound tyres come on, absolute confirmation of a three-stop strategy. He emerges ahead of Robert Kubica, but behind Kimi Raikkonen.

1351: Hamilton continues to stream away from Massa, around 0.6 seconds a lap, and his lead over the Brazilian stands at well over six seconds now. It has to be a three-stop strategy surely? Can he build that lead up to around the 20 seconds he needs? Or is he concentrating on pipping Kimi Raikkonen to second, perhaps? His lead over the Championship leader is 17.9 seconds.

1349: Sebastian Bourdais is out of the race, not entirely sure what happened there.

1346: Jenson Button, who has yet to pit, has forced his way from 13th up into the points, the Briton lying eighth as it stands.

"Having been fuelled really short on that last stop, Hamilton may well be looking at pitting again around lap 33. He has until then to build a big, big lead."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1345: Hamilton's lead now stands at 2.8 seconds over Massa, and 12.2 over Raikkonen - who is off the pace, half a second slower than his team-mate. He is far and away the quickest on the track - by over a second - he knows he has to push on and he is.

1344: Heikki Kovalainen comes in for a re-fuel, the Finn is struggling a bit after that early puncture.

"Woo nice move by Hamilton!"
Telloth on 606

1343: Hamilton's lead is already nearly two seconds, he is flying.

1342: Lots of speculation around what Hamilton's strategy might be - the latest theory being that he might be on a three-stop. If that's the case he has to steam away from Massa if he can, now.

1341: Hamilton pulls off a fantastic overtaking manouevre Massa on turn nine, almost touching wheels but the Brazilian has to give way, and the Briton leads the Turkish Grand Prix.

1339: Hamilton - surely on less fuel - is taking big chunks out of Massa's lead, which is down to less than half a second now.

1336: Kimi Raikkonen emerges behind Hamilton but ahead of the BMW of Kubica - excellent work that from the Finn and Ferrari. Nick Heidfield now pits.

1335: Kimi Raikkonen - seconds after setting the fastest lap of the race of 1:26.506 - pits at the end of lap 21.

1334: Felipe Massa comes in and Ferrari are sticking with the softs. Kubica pits as well. Both have fairly lengthy stops and the Brazilian emerges in front of Hamilton, who now lies fourth.

1331: Kovalainen passes Vettel to move into 16th, as Mark Webber pits at the end of lap 18. Massa is still out and his lead over Robert Kubica is eight seconds.

"Do McLaren want a longer final stint from Hamilton in the hope that Massa can't hold him up?"
David Croft on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1329: Bit of a surprise as it could be Hamilton on less fuel than Felipe Massa, the Briton pitting on lap 15 having been just 0.3 seconds behind the Brazilian. Short stop - did they bring him in early? - and the hard tyres are on again.

1328: Hamilton, now, is in Massa's dirty air - meaning the Briton could be even quicker than the lap times are suggesting - but even so he is now just 0-7 seconds behind. Fernando Alonso pits.

1326: Jarno Trulli and David Coulthard, in 10th and ninth respectively, are having a bit of a battle royale, with Nico Rosberg just ahead in eighth.

1324: Kovalainen passes Sutil, but it looks like the Force India driver loses a bit of his front wing in a slight collision during the manouevre.

1323: Cracking lap from Hamilton as he takes 0.4 seconds out of Massa's lead with a lap of 1:26.869.

1322: Poor ol' Heikki Kovalainen is struggling to pass Adrian Sutil at the back of the back. At the front, Massa posts a fastest lap of 1:27.001 - but Hamilton takes three tenths back out of his lead in sector one on lap 12. Terrific tussle and, most importantly, Hamilton is staying within sight of the Brazilian.

1320: Hamilton - and Massa to be fair - is getting faster and faster each lap, and the Briton is slowly eating into the Brazilian's lead, which is down to 1.4 seconds. Should these two be on two-stop strategies, we should be looking at the first pit in a couple of laps.

1317: The message gets through to Massa and the Brazilian is responding through the sector times, but Hamilton sets a new fastest lap of 1:27.307. Quite the tussle, this.

1315: Fastest lap of the race so far out of everyone, as Hamilton goes round in 1:27.427.

1315: Six laps gone and Hamilton's hard tyres are working well and he is taking a 10th of a second off Massa's lap times. The gap is 1.5 seconds, but Hamilton is firmly in touch.

1313: Heikki Kovalainen, after that stop to repair a puncture, is having to fight his way through from the back of the grid. That's his podium hopes done for, surely.

"If he is on the lighter fuel load, as we suspect, then Massa has to make the most of these early laps to get ahead of Hamilton. However, the Briton is doing well and keeping touch."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra

1310: Massa's lead over Hamilton stands at 0.6seconds after four laps, but those two are already stretching ahead of the pack.

1309: Raikkonen, making the most of the Ferrari's straight-line speed, breezes past Fernando Alonso into fourth.

1307: The safety car comes off and Hamilton looks to attack Massa, who may not have kept his tyres warm enough on that slow lap. Meanwhile, disaster for Kovalainen as he is forced to pit to repair a puncture.

1306: Meanwhile, Vettel has a puncture and Sutil needs a new nose. Bad luck for those two.

1305: Great start from Lewis Hamilton, who zips past team-mate Heikki Kovalainen even before the first corner. Kubica, meanwhile, jumps from fifth to third and Fernando Alonso comes from seventh to fifth. The extra grip on the racing line of the outside of the track has paid dividends for those three, there. Fisichella's Force India collides with a Nakajima's Williams and that means there will be a safety car.

1303: The lights are a bit slow in kicking in... but here we go...

1300: The cars kick off their warm-up lap and we're minutes away.

1258: The general feeling this weekend has been that McLaren have the pace of Ferrari at Istanbul Park... but arguably as interesting as the battle between the top two teams is the one within McLaren. Many might have expected Heikki Kovalainen to take a back seat to Hamilton this season, but far from it. How would it go down with the Briton if he is beaten by his team-mate today?

"Much depends on the start. I expect Massa to have a good opening and maybe Lewis to beat Kovalainen into second place. I'm pretty sure Kimi won't win this."
teewoods on 606

"Odd... Ferrari have got rid of this special nose and are back to the one they used in the first few races. Will be interseting to see how the fuel strategies pan out, but i feel Kimi might be heavier then Massa and will go on much longer."
bogaTYR on 606
Join the debate on 606

"Let's hope we have a bit of an upset this time around here in Turkey..."
Parag on 606

"Giancarlo Fisichella will be interesting... starting from the back he will hope to rise at least five-six places. The Force India is really improving and everyone seems to forget that."
RajivD on 606

1248: The latest forecasts suggest that there is the possibility of rain later in the race. Black clouds are starting to roll over Istanbul Park and that might just have a big impact on this race...

1246: Lewis Hamilton reflects on McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen's smash in Barcelona a fortnight ago, and it's clear he gets on well with the Finn - a lot better than he did with Fernando Alonso, that's for sure. It appears the Briton's biggest worry, after Kovalainen's health, was that the Finn still beat him at bowling a couple of days later!

Still, Hamilton is determined to overhaul his team-mate as well as Massa at the front, vowing to "be aggressive from the very start". Turn one will be his earliest opportunity so don't miss the start of this race folks.

"Hamilton is not a fan of the softs, that may be his biggest weakness this weekend."
theothefuture on 606

1241: Once again, it's dry in Turkey but, having been brought forward in the calendar, it's not a little cold, apparently. Still, the grid is a hive of activity as teams and drivers make their final preparations among the usual throng of pit-girls and enthusiasts. Under 20 minutes to go, now.

"Felipe's already put the pressure on himself by saying he "owns" this circuit. Perhaps that's his strategy for building confidence... this track has so many areas for overtaking that we must see some changes in the raceleader."
Davetroll on 606

1229: A quick congratulatory word for Honda's Rubens Barrichello, who sets a new Grands Prix record today by competing in his 257th race.

The Brazilian starts from 12th, having out-qualified British team-mate Jenson Button for the third time this year. Any romantics out there reckon he can snatch a point or two today?
Join the debate on 606

"I think Kimi is too far back on the grid for Massa not to win... but you never know, Heikki seems fired up after his crash; it would get great to have another driver in the mix for WDC lead."
*saltirelass on 606

"I think Massa will win, if he stays cool and does not crumble under pressure. It's very easy to make mistakes because the air temperaure is low, so on cold tyre you can make mistakes."
Ninad13 on 606

1220: A first front-row start for former BBC Sport columnist Heikki Kovalainen, of course, and I fancy him to impress again this afternoon (commentator's curse there, I'm sure). He looked fast on the soft tyres in qualifying, and it will be interesting to see what Lewis Hamilton's strategy is today after cutting a disappointed figure on Saturday afternoon.

"I think that if Massa stays first past turn one, he'll win. He's done it before, even under more pressure. However, if he slips back, I don't think he has a chance. McLaren's are lighter than Ferrari, but who says that's a bad strategy? We'll see..."
gilottil on 606

"Here's something on team strategy for you. Have a look at David Coulthard's today. There's a chance he'll go for a one-stop strategy and score his first points of the season. Last year Ralf Shumacher moved up six positions at Turkey with a one-stop strategy."
mightyMotoGPdude on 606

1211: Interesting thoughts from journalist Mark Hughes on Felipe Massa, who is aiming for a third straight victory in Turkey. He explains that, despite the fact Massa is often seen as a "driver of promise", the "blips we see in his performances are traits, not errors of inexperience. This is his level."

He goes on to add that "the talent within him needs careful marshalling," that he simply cannot match team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who is "psychologically airtight", and that while tracks like Istanbul Park play to Massa's strengths, "on anything more demanding - at places where you hit solid objects if you stray off-line - Kimi will invariably be comfortably ahead".

Victory today would keep Massa pretty much in line with Raikkonen in the championship - but if Hughes is to be believed, it would be only a "temporary illusion that he's ready to fight team-mate Raikkonen on a consistent basis".

1205: By the way, if you just can't bear to be without news from the Championship play-off semi-final first leg between Watford and Hull as well as the motor racing, check out Cheesey's live chat. Just don't forget to come back, or we'll only talk about you behind your back.
Premier League finale & Championship

"Massa does not come across as very confident; he is likely to lose his nerve and the lead. Kimi is very likely loaded with fuel and might come into play in the later phases of the race."
Massive_Messon on 606

1200: OK folks, are we ready to kick off a monster day of sport with a little F1?

Many may tell you today is all about the climax of the Premiership season, but there's plenty of time for all that. For the next couple of hours, at least, it's about F1. All right?

Coming into this weekend's Grand Prix, Felipe Massa insisted he and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen were "very close" in terms of championship chances - and a third straight pole at Turkey suggests the Brazilian is ideally placed to close the gap on the title favourite.

But the McLarens of Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will have been encouraged by how their cars fared in qualifying and will undoubtedly have an eye on victory themselves.

Throw in the fact that this season's four Grands Prix have garnered three different winners so far, and it might not be as predictable as we all think in Turkey. Erm... right?

Let me know how your think the race will go - and what that might mean for the championship - via text on 81111 or on 606.
Join the debate on 606

see also
Turkish Grand Prix photos
11 May 08 |  Formula One


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