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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai, 5-7 October, 2007

Result after 56-lap race:

1 K Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2 F Alonso (McLaren)

3 F Massa (Ferrari)

4 S Vettel (Toro Rosso)

5 J Button (Honda)

6 V Luizzi (Toro Rosso)

7 N Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)

8 D Coulthard (Red Bull)


By Jonathan Stevenson

Text us your thoughts on 81111


"It's a plot by Bernie to make sure everyone watches Brazil!"
Pauline, via text

0842 BST: Sebastian Vettel lets out a shriek of delight upon finishing fourth in his Toro Rosso.

"Felipe Massa produced the quickest lap of the race on the final lap. This was one of the races of the season - what a dramatic turn of events."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5live

"Job vacancy: McLaren race engineer. Must be able to spot when tyres are falling to bits."
Anonymous, via text

Lap 56: Raikkonen has got himself right back into the championship battle as he wins the Chinese Grand Prix. Alonso is second and Massa is third, with Vettel fourth and Button fifth. Liuzzi is sixth, Heidfeld seventh and Coulthard eighth.

Lap 54: Kovalainen is just a second behind Coulthard as he seeks to gain the final point on offer in eighth.

"We tried to stay out as long as possible. I couldn't see they were that bad, but I lost it and couldn't do anything about it."
Lewis Hamilton on 5live

Lap 53: Raikkonen is winning this at a canter now. He will be on 100 points after this race, with Alonso on 103 and Hamilton on 107. It's going to all boil down to Brazil in two weeks' time.

Lap 52: Vettel isn't going in - he started in 17th position but looks certain to finish fourth, a fabulous drive from the 20-year-old. Massa sets a new fastest lap.

Lap 51: Kimi Raikkonen sets his new fastest lap. Not exactly easing off - and the lead is now comfortably over 10 seconds to Fernando Alonso.

Lap 50: Button is 16 seconds behind Vettel, but the German has only pitted once. Will he need to go in again? Kovalainen, meanwhile, has raised his game and gone past Webber in ninth.

Lap 49: Alonso was making a push to catch up Raikkonen, but the Ferrari driver responds well and the gap is still more than nine seconds.

"Had spent a good half hour psyching myself up to get out of bed to watch the last half of the race. Switched on as Hamilton hit the gravel. Now I'm awake and annoyed."
Anonymous, via text

Lap 48: Heidfeld tries to go past Liuzzi again but somehow the Italian is keeping the German at bay.

Lap 47: Raikkonen is still nine seconds ahead of Alonso - this race is now the Finn's to lose.

Lap 45: Button moves up into fifth with Fisichella going into the pits.

Lap 44: Liuzzi is managing to hold off Heidfeld in seventh. "I'm sorry for the team but I can still do it," says Hamilton. He shakes hands with some of the McLaren mechanics.

Lap 43: Red Bull team-mates David Coulthard and Mark Webber are separated by less than a second in 10th and 11th.

"Stupid from McLaren, Lewis should have been called in at least three laps earlier, he didnt' need to race with Kimi."
Jonah, via text

Lap 42: Button pits for the final time. He is now behind Vettel and Fisichella, though both those drivers will probably have to stop again.

Lap 41: Button is 6.2 seconds behind Massa, who is keeping him at bay.

Lap 40: Raikkonen and Alonso are lapping at roughy the same time at the moment.

Lap 39: Jenson Button is 10 seconds behind Massa and is closing the gap all the time.

Lap 38: Wurz is into the pits.

Lap 37: Alonso is 8.3 seconds behind Raikkonen but he makes up nearly a second on that lap and pulls away from Massa in the process.

"Why did McLaren not bring Lewis Hamilton in? That last lap, Raikkonen was seven seconds faster than him."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5live

Lap 36: No rain expected for half an hour - good news.

"What a disaster! Must be Hamilton's first retirement and what a time to do it. No chance of going back to bed for a nap - this race is getting interesting now!"
Deb, via text

Lap 35: Jenson Button is pushing hard and he goes past Sebastian Vettel.

Lap 34: Well that didn't last long. Kubica spins off in his BMW Sauber and he looks properly peeved. Hamilton, meanwhile, walks through a mass of media and leaves his helmet on, refusing to talk.

Lap 33: Robert Kubica takes the lead, closely followed by Raikkonen and Alonso. Kubica has only stopped once, though.

Lap 32: Raikkonen and Alonso both pit. Alonso just came out ahead of Massa and the Brazilian is all over the Spaniard, but the double world champion manages to hold him off.


Lap 32: Lewis Hamilton is stuck in the gravel on the way into the pit lane. The world title leader almost certainly looks like he is out of the race.

Lap 31: Hamilton's right-rear tyre is totally worn down.

Lap 30: Jarno Trulli unlaps Lewis Hamilton, who is struggling badly on his worn-out tyres. Alonso just gained three-and-a-half seconds on the Englishman, ominous times. If Alonso finishes second and Hamilton third, the title race is still alive. Hamilton eight seconds behind Raikkonen.

Lap 29: Hamilton runs a touch wide on turn eight and Raikkonen takes full advantage to take the lead in the China GP. Rosberg goes off and Ralf Schumacher's race is over after another spin some time ago. Adrian Sutil is off too.

Lap 27: The yellow flags are out so you cannot overtake. Hamilton looks a little shaky at the moment - the flags may have saved him there.

Lap 26: Raikkonen and Hamilton are neck-and-neck and Hamilton holds off the Finn, who is climbing all over him. The rain is shocking news for Massa, on dry tyres.

"It's pouring down again. Lots of the drivers have gambled on dries but it's raining."
5live's Holly Samos

Lap 25: Mark Webber has gone for dry tyres, the first man to do so. He promptly sets his fastest lap. Lots of drivers going into the pits now for dries. Alonso overtakes Massa with a brilliant manoeuvre and the Brazilian pits immediately after. Raikkonen is closing in on Hamilton, meanwhile.

Lap 24: Alonso sets a personal best, but he and Massa are about 14 seconds behind Hamilton and Raikkonen. The Finn, meanwhile, eats a touch more into Hamilton's lead.

Lap 23: Ralf Schumacher is on a mission and he tries to take Vitantonio Liuzzi in 11th, but is sent spinning off. He manages to rejoin, but down in 19th.

"We had a poor start - Rubens flew past us. I made up a few positions after that but then had a bit of a racing incident with Barrichello and my brakes were just nowhere."
Anthony Davidson on 5live

Lap 22: Hamilton steps up the pace again as he starts to pull further away from Raikkonen. The gap is over five seconds now. Schumacher this time goes past Rosberg into 12th.

Lap 21: Ralf Schumacher in 13th tries to go past Nico Rosberg, but the German just manages to hold him off. Rain is expected once again in 10 minutes.

Lap 20: So the lead is cut and Raikkonen is just nibbling away at the Englishman's advantage.

Lap 19: Raikkonen pits and comes out behind Lewis Hamilton - in fairness it wasn't even close. But the gap is down to four seconds.

Lap 18: Alonso pits and just fails to beat Massa when he rejoins the race. Adrian Sutil's Spyker-Ferrari spins but he keeps it going - he was 20th.

Lap 17: Ralf Schumacher goes past Jenson Button and now takes Heikki Kovalainen too, top stuff from the German. Button is now all over Kovalainen. As the rain eases off, the lap times are getting quicker.

"Raikkonen's fastest lap there was half a second faster than Hamilton's quickest lap, so we need to see what Lewis can do with his new tyres. Mass is pitting now."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5live

Lap 16: Kimi Raikkonen is enjoying top spot as he sets the fastest lap of the race so far.

Lap 15: 5live's Holly Samos says the rain is coming down the same as it was at the start of the race. Lewis Hamilton comes into the pits and it looks like a good one. He's back out in fourth with David Coulthard breathing down his neck.

Lap 14: Hamilton is 0.4 seconds quicker than Raikkonen. Anthony Davidson has stopped, so his prolonged pit-stop didn't work.

"I'm at work feeling a bit fuzzy after yesterday's heroics - anyone got a hangover cure that actually works?"
Randy, via text

Well I haven't, mate. If I did, A) I wouldn't have an enormous headache and B) I'd probably be the world's richest man.

Lap 12: Ralf Schumacher has just passed Wurz to move into 15th place.

Lap 11: Fernando Alonso is about half a second down on Hamilton's pace. Rain back in three minutes! Anthony Davidson has just had a very long pit stop.

Lap 10: Hamilton produces another fastest lap and he is 6.674 seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Apparently it's going to stop raining soon, but we've all heard that before.

Lap nine: Kovalainen is struggling with understeer and now Jenson Button is all over him too.

Lap eight: Sebastian Vettel goes past Heikki Kovalainen in 10th as Lewis Hamilton sets another fastest lap.

Lap seven: Hamilton has just gained a second on Raikkonen in one lap, remarkable pace from the champion-elect.

Lap six: Robert Kubica passes Mark Webber to get himself into the point positions. Not a good sporting weekend for Australia so far, you'd have to say.

Lap five: Further down, Nico Rosberg passes the aforementioned Alex Wurz to move into 15th. The rain briefly eased off, but is now coming down a touch heavier. Shows what those Honda guys know.

"Phenomenal pace from Lewis Hamilton in these tricky conditions. This is just sheer driver skill and he's pulling away from the Ferraris."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5live

Lap four: Liuzzi has made great ground after starting in 11th, he's now moved past Nick Heidfeld and sits pretty in sixth.

"This rain is going to ease off, it's not going to last."
Honda's radio message to Rubens Barrichello, via 5live

Lap three: Schumacher is now last as the rain gets a little heavier. The visibility is not great, to be fair. The top eight remain unchanged.

Lap two: Spins for Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello and Anthony Davidson gets some of the afters too, but they are all still in the race. Hamilton is pulling away from Raikkonen, five or six car lengths ahead already.

Lap one: Hamilton gets a fine start and pulls away from Raikkonen. Alonso moves into third briefly before Massa takes it back from him.

0703: It's raining. As the crowd take collective cover, the race begins. History awaits...

0700: The drivers begin their formation lap and apparently everyone has wet tyres on.

0657: The start of the race is three minutes away. Apparently, the rain is three minutes away, too. Breaking news just in - Williams-Toyota driver Alexander Wurz is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season.

"When they invested 170m in this Shanghai venture, this is what what they wanted - the possibility the title could be decided here."
Maurice Hamilton on BBC Radio 5live

"I think we're in for a cracking race - and let's not forget, Lewis doesn't actually have to win this one to be world champion."
David Croft on BBC Radio 5live

"Not since Damon Hill in 1996 has there been so much expectation on a British driver. Lets hope he stands tall and does the UK proud."
Lloyd in London, via text

0650: He's been the same all season, but Lewis Hamilton could not look anymore relaxed. Rain is possibly six or seven minutes away, so watch this space...

"All the best to Lewis and James Toseland, who could take the World Superbike title today as well. Good day for British motorsport."
Scott, Telford, via text

"Will Lewis enter the history books as the ninth British driver to clinch the championship at Shanghai? What a year in Formula One."
Hi-Yer, Suffolk, via text

That's our starter for 10, guys and girls. I know it's early, but we've got history to make today, so get those thumbs moving!

0633: "Fingers crossed for some rain," said Fernando Alonso ominously on Saturday. "Because maybe then I will have a shot."

0627: A quick burst of rain has just fallen across the pit lane. It doesn't look like it will last, though.

0624: I'm gonna level with you now - those first two comments were not put in by me. You see, I've only just got to work thanks to The World's Most Ridiculous Taxi Driver. Meanwhile, with 606 closed due to this race starting at early o'clock, you're gonna have to text in the banter on 81111 this morning. Come on, it is a brilliant weekend for British sport, after all.

0620: The weather is looking very unpredictable in Shanghai. There is a shower at the track at the moment, and Renault engineering director Pat Symonds has just said in a TV interview that the forecasts are all over the place - I paraphrase, but only slightly. In short, it could easily rain part-way through the race, which would certainly spice things up.

0615: Morning folks! And what a morning it promises to be - Lewis Hamilton, a maximum nine points away from the drivers' title in his first season in F1, starts from pole position with main rival Fernando Alonso back in fourth. Surely he can't throw this away now?

Has Hamilton blown his chance?
07 Oct 07 |  Formula One


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