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After Brazil
Championship Standings:
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5 Fernando Alonso 157
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3 Sebastian Vettel 2
4 Kimi Raikkonen 1
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8 Lewis Hamilton 993
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10Jean-Eric Vergne 916
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12 Daniil Kvyat 910
13 Romain Grosjean 899
14 Felipe Massa 899
15 Esteban Gutierrez 879
16 Sergio Perez 836
17 Pastor Maldonado 821
18 Adrian Sutil 803
19 Max Chilton 769
20 Jules Bianchi 754
21 Marcus Ericsson 714
22 Kamui Kobayashi 621
23 Andre Lotterer 1
Raikkonen wins wet Chinese GP, Alonso 2nd

It’s Hamilton’s turn to choke
Sunday, October 07, 2007

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Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari

SHANGHAI, CHINA - Kimi Raikkonen scored a 9.8s second win over Fernando Alonso in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday to keep his and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s hopes alive in the 2007 Formula One World Championship as major rival Lewis Hamilton slid off the pit access lane after 30 laps of the 56 lap race. Raikkonen was backed up by Felipe Massa in third place.

The race was full of drama as it started on a wet track - but not as wet as Fuji the weekend before - dried out before a small shower dampened it again around half distance. It then dried out again to the finish.

Hamilton led away from pole position with Raikkonen taking second and Massa third, but Alonso came around the outside of the second Ferrari to take third only to lose it again on the first lap. Alonso challenged Massa for the first few laps, as Hamilton pulled away out front, opening up an 8.6s lead by lap 14.

Behind, Raikkonen was pulling away from Massa, opening up a five second gap while Massa was shadowed by Alonso who was only a couple of seconds behind.

The first pit stops came on lap 15 when Hamilton came in, while the other contenders came in successively from lap 17 onwards, but all remained on what were by now fairly well-worn wet tires. After the last stop, Hamilton’s lead had been halved to four seconds, but the margin to Massa in third had now grown to 12s with Alonso slightly closer behind him.

Massa came in on lap 26 for his second stop on what was virtually half distance as the rain returned for a brief shower, and that instantly allowed Raikkonen to close onto Hamilton’s tail, and on lap 29, he swept past. Hamilton promptly had a moment off track, so that on lap 30, Raikkonen’s leading margin had leaped to 8.0s.
But now the track was beginning to dry, and Hamilton - among others - headed for the pits to fit dry tires. The pit lane includes a sharp lefthander, but Hamilton’s tires were so badly worn that he had little grip and slid straight on, into a gravel trap where he remained, out of the race.

Raikkonen and Alonso both pitted on the next lap and rejoined with the Finn 11s ahead of Alonso, who in turn had rejoined just ahead of Massa.

The leader, on the road, was Robert Kubica who had made just one pit stop after 25 laps but he led just one lap before rolling to a halt with a recurrence of hydraulic failure which had plagued the BMW Sauber team all weekend.


Podium
Ferrari

Raikkonen now led by 10s from Alonso in second place while Massa was in third. Alonso reduced Raikkonen’s lead to 7.9s over the remaining laps, but it was usually at least eight seconds. By contrast, Massa was falling back with graining tires to a 10s deficit behind the Spaniard, but then the tires cleaned themselves up and Massa set four fastest laps in the last five laps. He was 3.0s behind Alonso at the end.

The rest were left far behind, but it was the Ferrari-engined Scuderia Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel which scored a remarkable fourth place ahead of Jenson Button’s Honda and Vettel’s teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi. Nick Heidfeld and David Coulthard scooped the final points.

The championship now heads to Interlagos on the outskirts of Sao Paulo in Brazil for the final round of the series, with Hamilton still leading the championship on 107 pts, from Alonso with 103 and Raikkonen still in with a chance on 100 pts.

Quotes

Press Conference

Results

POS DRIVER NATIONALITY TEAM LAPS TIME/BEHIND
1. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 56 1h37m58.395
2. Fernando Alonso Spain McLaren-Mercedes 56 9.8
3. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 56 12.8
4. Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 53.5
5. Jenson Button Britain Honda 56 1m08.6
6. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 1m13.6
7. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 56 1m14.2
8. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault 56 1m20.7
9. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Renault 56 1m21.1
10. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 56 1m24.6
11. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Renault 56 1m26.6
12. Alexander Wurz Austria Williams-Toyota 55 1 Lap
13. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota 55 1 Lap
14. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 55 1 Lap
15. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda 55 1 Lap
16. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 54 2 Laps
17. Sakon Yamamoto Japan Spyker-Ferrari 53 3 Laps
R Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 33
R Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 30 Spin
R Ralf Schumacher Germany Toyota 25 Spin
R Adrian Sutil Germany Spyker-Ferrari 24 Accident
R Anthony Davidson Britain Super Aguri-Honda 11
Fastest Lap Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 56 1:37.454

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