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Formula 1 News - April, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Sunday, Spain

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Kimi Raikkonen proved true the statisticians' theory that the Barcelona pole sitter usually wins, but the top four - including his second placed teammate Felipe Massa - were covered by the meagre margin of just six seconds at the chequer (partly due to the two safety car periods). The Finn's pole lap seemed even more impressive when it emerged that Massa had in fact carried slightly less fuel in qualifying. Ferrari now leads both championships.



Lewis Hamilton finished third, mere seconds from the Ferraris, whose actual dominance is difficult to quantify given the two safety car periods and Raikkonen's control of the race. "It's comforting to know that we are relatively close to Ferrari," Hamilton said. The huge accident that has hospitalised the concussed Heikki Kovalainen, caused by an apparent failure of the wheel rim, occurred on lap 22 at the Campsa corner.



Robert Kubica in Spain continued his run of form, finishing just over a second behind Lewis Hamilton's third place, and less than six seconds off the winner. Nick Heidfeld's ninth place can be mostly blamed on the farcical safety car rules, because his need to stop for fuel when the pitlane was closed netted an undeserved ten second stop-and-go penalty that dropped him to the very back of the pack.



A skilful run to fifth for Mark Webber, cleverly coinciding with team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's visit to the grand prix. Woe for David Coulthard, though, after he picked up damage with a hit by Adrian Sutil, and then yet another in-race collision, this time as Timo Glock tried to pass him. He finished a lap down. "I'm sure his luck will change soon," said boss Christian Horner.



Jenson Button's sixth place, approaching a minute behind the chequered flag, netted Honda its first points of 2008. Rubens Barrichello, during his record-equalling 256th race, dragged his broken front wing around the circuit for a full lap after a pitlane collision with Giancarlo Fisichella, and then retired.



Kazuki Nakajima finished seventh, but the two points would have been teammate Nico Rosberg's if his FW30 had not erupted spectacularly in plumes of white smoke -- surely a Toyota engine failure. "We haven't identified the problem as yet," technical boss Sam Michael said.



Jarno Trulli's single point should have been three, but he fell behind Jenson Button and Kazuki Nakajima when a "communication error" - a radio message intended for teammate Timo Glock - led to an unnecessary late pitstop. Glock was being called in after a crash, and he accused David Coulthard of closing the door as he tried to pass, which damaged his front wing and left him a lap down.



Giancarlo Fisichella finished tenth out of the thirteen finishers, a lap down. Sutil had no-one to blame for his first-corner crash, which triggered the first of the two safety car periods. "Good and bad," technical boss Mike Gascoyne neatly summarised.



Takuma Sato finished last, and Anthony Davidson retired when a stone flicked onto the track by a Piquet off holed his radiator.



Fernando Alonso was indeed running light, but the Spaniard looked set for fifth place when his engine - the second Viry-built unit to expire this weekend - blew up. Nelson Piquet ran off the circuit and then retired after crashing into Sebastien Bourdais while trying to recover lost ground.



A hapless Sebastian Vettel had yet another early-race incident, and he criticised Adrian Sutil for becoming an unavoidable roadblock after a "far too optimistic" passing move. Bourdais, meanwhile, completed the team's very early bath and he similarly accepted no blame for being bumped out by the Piquet move.

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