Massa Wins / McLaren Shine

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Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa claims his third successive win at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend. Staving off another Ferrari 1-2 finish, McLaren exercised a 3-stop pit strategy that was accommodating a tire concern for Lewis Hamilton and ended up working impeccably well putting him in 2nd.The strategy relies heavily on a driver’s ability to put the car in the place you need it when you need it. Lewis rose to the challenge and passed Massa to take the lead briefly. The 3-stopper demanded a larger gap to Massa at the time of his Lewis’s second stop; Hamilton lost the position but stayed ahead of a hard-charging Kimi Raikkonen to remain in 2nd. Unfortunately, McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen suffered a punctured tire on the first lap while battling Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for position. He ended his race in a well-deserved 12th as he fought brilliantly through the field from the back of the grid after his unscheduled pit stop. It does lend some credence to the fact that had he not suffered the puncture, he may have been a real candidate to win the race given his pace and tenacity. Certainly he may have outperformed his much acclaimed teammate Lewis Hamilton again.

BMW had a decent day to finish 4th and 5th for Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld respectively. While still showing that they are a contender but lacking in pace, Nick’s long first stint vaulted him ahead of Renault’s Fernando Alonso and secured crucial points for BMW with his teammate just ahead of him…again. Something Nick should start looking at if he wants to remain at BMW or in F1.

Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg drove tidy races to secure much needed points for both Red Bull and Williams Toyota respectively. Unfortunately neither Toyota had anything for their works team, Williams, or the Renault-powered Red Bull’s for Mark Webber or David Coulthard.

Both Honda’s suffered from a lack of speed that has plagued them for the past two season and put a tarnish on what otherwise was a monumental event in celebrating Rubens Barrichello’s record-breaking 257th grand prix.

Oh, and Fisichella drove over the top of Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams in turn one.

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gplegend
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gplegend

Two things I enjoyed about the race: Hamilton’s three stop strategy was something different. It’s been a while since one of the front runners actually went out on a limb like that. The other was the wheel to wheel dicing in the final 3-turn complex before the pit straight. It was fun to see guys pass, re-pass, re-re-pass (is that a word?), all in quick succession.