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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2007, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Montmelo, 13 May, 2007

The Chequered Flag podcast




Positions after lap 65 of 65

1. Massa (Ferrari)

2. Hamilton (McLaren)

3. Alonso (McLaren)

4. Kubica (BMW Sauber)

5. Coulthard (Red Bull)

6. Rosberg (Williams)

7. Kovalainen (Renault)

8. Sato (Super Aguri)

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

By Sarah Holt

Lap 65: That's it. Massa wins the Barcelona Grand Prix but Hamilton comes home in second to take the lead in the title race to continue his unprecedented start to his career.

Coulthard is able to hang on to fifth place and earn Red Bull's biggest win of the season. Takuma Sato also comes through in eighth to win Super Aguri's first points after 21 races.

"Massa has done the business. Hamilton couldn't have done any more and he has beaten Alonso again. It was Alonso that made the mistake - not Lewis Hamilton."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

When Massa and Hamilton come back in after the race, Hamilton congratulates Massa and then says "It will be me soon". So we'll see.

Lap 63: If Massa can hang on in Barcelona - which looks likely given his eight-second lead - he will become the first driver to win two Grands Prix this season, and it will be his fourth career win.

Lap 62: Alonso is still pushing hard but it looks like it is too late for the Spaniard to close the gap on Hamilton in third. Coulthard is slowing and Rosberg is just five seconds behind him back in sixth. Can the Scot hold on?

Lap 60: Coulthard had a slight wobble but looks like he is back up and running as he tries to get Red Bull their best finish of the year. It turns out that the Scot has lost a gear and so is having to work hard to hang on to fifth.

Lap 59: Fisichella comes in to the Renault garage and Takuma Sato gets past him to move into the points in eighth postion.

"Hamilton is still pushing hard and he is not giving up at all. And we know what Fisi will do now - he'll try and push Sato into making a mistake."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 56: Confirmation over the radio that Fisichella will have to come in again to pick up some more fuel because of problems with the fuel rig in the Renault garage.

Lap 55: Things look pretty settled at the front now but there is still the potential for some little moves down the field. Kovalainen is putting pressure on Rosberg in sixth and closes to 2.5secs.

Lap 52: At the top then, Massa holds an 11-second lead over Alonso while Alonso is 14secs adrift of Hamilton, so it looks like a big ask for Alonso to leapfrog his team-mate. That ambitious start could have been costly indeed for the Spaniard in front of his home fans.

Lap 51: If things stay as they are, Hamilton will take sole lead at the top of the driver standings and Massa will climb to third. So, the 22-year-old Briton is poised for another landmark in Barcelona.

Lap 50: Massa leads Hamilton by 10.5 seconds with Alonso still 17secs adrift.

Lap 48: Heidfeld comes into the pits too - but he is retiring, which is a big disappointment for him. McLaren's Alonso also comes in and he feeds back out in third with the soft tyres in place.

Lap 47: Hamilton pits from the lead and he comes out on the hard tyres.

Lap 46: Not a great day for the Toyota team as Schumacher comes into the pits - and it's for good too.

Lap 44: Hamilton will need to try and stay in front as long as possible if he is to have a hope of pipping Massa to the Barcelona chequered flag.

Lap 43: Kovalainen pits for a third time - and Renault reveal there is a problem with their fuel pump.

Lap 42: Massa pits from the lead and this time he is in and out in 8.2 seconds though he comes out into a little bit of traffic. Massa takes on the harder tyres and comes back out in second. Coulthard also pits from fifth.

Lap 40: Kovalainen is still the fastest man on the race track down in seventh spot as he clocks 1:23.051. At the front, Massa goes through in 1:23.099.

Lap 38: Massa holds a 17.7-second lead over Hamilton with Alonso 13 seconds adrift of his team-mate. Raikkonen won't be staying around to watch the conclusion as he is seen sneaking away from the Barcelona circuit.

Lap 37: Alonso is distinctly lacking in pace on the harder tyres, but that means that when Massa and Hamilton have to switch to soft, he will be on the soft and maybe he will be able to make up some ground in the final stint.

Lap 36: Kovalainen is looking pretty fast for Renault but after his early second pit-stop it remains a mystery whether he will have to come in again.

Lap 35: Christijan Albers takes a drive-through penalty for ignoring the blue flags, which warn back-markers to let the leaders through.

Lap 34: Massa stretches his lead at the front to a huge 15.6 seconds.

Lap 32: Hamilton looks like he is back on track now with his pace now, though there is still no chance of him eating into Massa's lead.

Lap 31: Kovalainen brings his Renault in for an early second stop - what is his strategy? The Finn had been really closing down hard on Coulthard in fifth and he now re-emerges in seventh. Renault reveal he did not take on enough fuel last time, which explains why he was so quick.

Lap 30: Both McLarens are more than a second a lap slower than Massa and Alonso looks to be running faster than Hamilton now too.

Lap 29: Heidfeld comes back out in 15th after his extra stop.

"I'm wondering what is happening to Hamilton as he looks like he has lost a bit of ground to Massa. The fact that Raikkonen is out will also help the in-house rivalry and will boost his confidence."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 28: Kubica looks pretty sharp for BMW Sauber as he closes the gap on Alonso to two seconds now.

Lap 27: Heidfeld comes back into the pits to sort out his wheel. And at the front Massa has a 10.7-second advantage over Hamilton.

Lap 25: The major players have all negotiated the pits, but Massa is continuing to amass his lead at the front.

Lap 24: Nick Heidfeld comes into the pits but it is a disastrous move for him as his mechanic forgets to put the wheel nut on properly. The BMW Sauber driver goes out but soons glides over to the grass.

Lap 22: Race leader Hamilton pits from the front and he chooses to come out on soft tyres.

Lap 21: Coulthard comes into the pits behind a slowing Vitantonio Liuzzi, who will take no further part in the race because of problems with his hydraulic fluids.

Lap 20: Alonso pits and he comes back out with the harder tyres on.

Lap 19: Honda's Barrichello is first man in to pick up fuel and tyres. BUT more importantly in comes Massa AND there is more drama. The Brazilian gets in and out in 9.1 seconds but there is a flash fire at the rear of his car as he makes his exit. Luckily the flames die out quickly.

Lap 17: There are almost identical lap times from Alonso and Hamilton but they just nowhere near Massa's pace. Coulthard gets a bit of moral support over the radio - and he is doing well in sixth.

Lap 16: The question now is who is going to come in to the pits first? We know the drivers who are already back in there for good, and to recap they are: Raikkonen, Speed, Trulli, Webber and Wurz.

Lap 15: Massa is more than seven seconds ahead of Hamilton.

"This is a phenomenal pace from Massa and Hamilton isn't messing about because Alonso is pressing in third - but Massa's times are just extraordinary."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 14: Alonso looks like he is on a hot lap as he whizzes through on the first two sectors but his final sector lets his down. Raikkonen comes out of his garage and says he does not know what the problem with his Ferrari was - but he thinks it is something electrical.

Lap 12: Back up at the front, Alonso and Hamilton look pretty evenly matched at the minute while Massa sets a new fastest lap of 1:22.710.

Lap 11: And another goes out. The left rear tyre of Scott Speed's Toro Rosso explodes and pings off into the air. He is definitely out of the race.

Lap 10: A dramatic spell here in Barcelona. Raikkonen looks like he has a problem with his steering and is going desperately slowly. He coasts his Ferrari into the pits - and he is out of the race.

Lap nine: Trulli is out of the race with car problems.

Lap eight: Alonso does not seem to making up any ground on Raikkonen in the battle for third - did he damage his car during his early scuffle with Massa?

Meanwhile, there is more bad luck for Mark Webber, who is told via radio to retire from the race.

Lap five: At the front, the gap between Ferrari's Massa and McLaren's Hamilton is now 3.5 seconds.

Lap three: Massa is now more than two seconds ahead of Hamilton at the front and sets a new fastest lap of 1:23.017.

"We know Hamilton should have more fuel on board but Massa at the minute is setting a scorching pace."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap two: Massa is pulling away at the front and Alonso tries to have a go at Raikkonen down Turn 10 but the McLaren man fails.

Lap one: As predicted an exciting start, as Alonso tries to come round Massa but ends up running wide into the gravel and drops to fourth. He may have been a little ambitious there and ends up giving ground to team-mate Hamilton, who moves up to second with Raikkonen still in third.

Further down the field Alexander Wurz gets tangled up in his Williams and his race is over. Ralf Schumacher also comes into the pits for a new nose cone.

1302: Most of the drivers seem to be starting on the soft tyres as they come round to line up on the grid again - ready for the action to begin.

But yellow flags are being waved because Toyota's Jarno Trulli has stalled on the grid and the cars are ordered to go round again on a second formation lap. Trulli starts from the pit-lane.

1259: Helmets are on and Massa leads the drivers away on the parade lap, as they peel away the teams and officials retreat from the grid.

1254: So, we are just five minutes away now and are all sitting braced for a potentially explosive start. With Massa sitting in pole position for the third straight race, the McLarens will be desperate to sneak through while Kimi Raikkonen, in third, will also want to stake his claims early on. How is it all going to pan out?

1248: The drivers will be racing around a new-look Circuit de Catalunya for the first time. The high-speed nature of the circuit has been tempered as a tight chicane has been added between the last two corners to improve safety and help overtaking by slowing cars through the last corner.

It has taken some of the speed and finesse out of the circuit and Honda's Jenson Button does not think it will lead to more overtaking into the first corner.

"It is not about the overtaking on this circuit - it is all about the aerodynamics on this track and you need a really efficient car to get through the mix of bends they have here."
Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

1245: Most of the drivers look pretty relaxed under their umbrellas in Barcelona where the temperature is 27C, there is a bit of a breeze too.

1230: The pit lane opens and the drivers set off to form up on the dummy grid under bright blue skies.

1210: Alonso has told TV reporters that he expects the race to be "66 qualifying laps" and that a single mistake could decide it, so closely matched are the top four drivers.

Hamilton has said he has more fuel on board than Alonso, which could give him a strategy advantage in the race.

What seems certain is that the McLaren and Ferrari drivers will stage another tight battle at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.

Felipe Massa, who is the worst-placed of the four drivers in the title fight, starts from his third consecutive pole position after snatching top spot from local hero Fernando Alonso by just 0.03 seconds in the dying moments of qualifying on Saturday.

Behind them, the second row has a similar red and silver theme, with Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Alonso's McLaren partner Lewis Hamilton.

Massa and Alonso were comfortably quicker than their team-mates in qualifying, but it would be a mistake to rule out either Raikkonen or Hamilton in the battle for victory.

The initial concern for both McLaren drivers will be not to lose ground at the start as they are starting on the dirtier, more slippery side of the track.

The forecast is hot and sunny weather, and that means tyre wear is likely to be a factor.

No-one else is expected to trouble the top two teams, but they may be an interesting tussle between the BMW Sauber drivers and Jarno Trulli's Toyota, which split them in qualifying.

And Renault appear to have made a step forward in competitiveness this weekend after a disappointing start to the season.

Renault rookie Heikki Kovalainen has made the top 10 and outqualified team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella for the second time this season.

The BBC Sport columnist will be keen to build on that with a strong race into the points.



SEE ALSO
Massa snatches pole from Alonso
12 May 07 |  Formula One
Barcelona circuit handed new deal
12 May 07 |  Formula One
Schumi hails precocious Hamilton
11 May 07 |  Formula One
Singapore to stage F1 night race
11 May 07 |  Formula One
Alonso bounces back to set pace
11 May 07 |  Formula One
As it happened: Spanish GP qualifying
12 May 07 |  Formula One


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