Massa wins Spanish GP

Felipe Massa won his second straight Formula One race Sunday for Ferrari.

updated: May 16, 2007 15:50 IST
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Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton aren't making it easy for defending world champion Fernando Alonso.

Massa won his second straight Formula One race Sunday for Ferrari, holding off McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix for a win by 6.790 seconds.

A third straight runner-up finish saw Hamilton pass team founder Bruce McLaren to become the youngest driver to lead the standings. The 22-year-old Hamilton has 30 points. Alonso, who finished third, has 28 and Massa is third with 27.

With seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher only watching, not driving, many expected Alonso to duel for the title with Kimi Raikkonen, the German driver's replacement at Ferrari.

So far, the season hasn't followed the script.

"I keep saying I'm living my dream and it's really true," said Hamilton, who celebrated the win in the pit lane with his family.

Massa pumped his fists as he stood atop his car before running into the arms of Ferrari boss Jean Todt to celebrate his fourth career win.

"For the second consecutive race weekend, Felipe Massa put in a flawless performance," Todt said.

Sellout crowd

Massa, who came sixth at the season-opening Australian GP, isn't getting too confident.

"We finished the race with only one car so it's a bit of concern," the 26-year-old Brazilian said. "Reliability is the key."

Unlike at the Malaysian GP where Alonso won, Massa defended his pole position against the Spaniard on Sunday. He pushed Alonso out wide and into the gravel after he tried to overtake the Brazilian and their tires touched around the first bend.

"For sure I think the most difficult part of the race was the start," Massa said.

"It was pretty tough but afterward I saw nothing happened on my car and we responded, we managed to build the gap, we built it straightaway and I had the race in my hands."

Though he had a sellout record crowd of 140,000 supporting him, Alonso said he knew from the first corner that a second straight title at the Circuit de Catalunya was unlikely.

"I lost three places because of that touch," Alonso said. "The car was damaged all through the race and it was a little more difficult to drive."

'Ready for challenges'

Alonso drove back onto the track and nearly sideswiped Hamilton and Raikkonen, who were running 2-3 after Hamilton overtook the Finn around the opening corner.

"After the first corner you have to risk too many things and it's difficult for all things to go well then," Alonso said. "If not for Kimi's retirement I would probably be off the podium."

Raikkonen joined Ferrari after a 2006 season mired with breakdowns with McLaren, something he was hoping to avoid with the Italian team.

"Honestly, there's little to say except that I'm disappointed," Raikkonen said. "I have lost precious points but there's still 13 races to recover."

Alonso followed up last year's win here with a victory in Monaco to help pad his lead in the championship. It looks tighter this year but Alonso said he's ready for all challengers.