Ferrari’s Massa wins race in Spain
VALENCIA, Spain -- Ferrari’s Felipe Massa won the European Grand Prix for his fourth Formula One victory of the season, leading wire to wire Sunday to finish comfortably ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Massa easily held onto his lead after starting from the pole position and finished 5.6 seconds ahead of Hamilton’s McLaren on the 3.4-mile street circuit. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica was third.
“I’m so glad and happy, especially after such a disaster in Hungary,” said Massa, who missed a certain victory at the last race in Budapest after his engine gave out shortly before the finish.
After the race, stewards investigated an incident in the pit lane where Massa nearly collided with Force India’s Adrian Sutil as the two were leaving after their second stop. Ferrari was fined $14,800 for not releasing their driver safely, but Massa was not punished.
Hamilton kept the lead of the overall standings with 70 points, while Massa moved into second place with 64 with a win in his 100th Grand Prix.
Defending champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari retired from the race on the 45th lap after smoke started coming from the back of his car while he trailed in sixth place. He sits third in the standings with 57 points. Kubica is fourth with 55 after getting his first podium finish since he won the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
“It was not a nice weekend but it is not the first time,” Raikkonen said. “We are in a bit of a worse situation in the championship, but if we get all the things sorted then I think we still have a chance to come back.”
Local favorite and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Renault was also forced to retire after Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima crashed into him from behind during the first lap and snapped off the rear wing of the Spaniard’s car.
“My mechanics did everything to try and allow me to continue, but my race was already compromised,” Alonso said.