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Massa wins Turkish Grand Prix
August 27, 2006 20:27 IST
Brazilian Felipe Massa roared to his first Formula One victory in Turkey on Sunday as Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher failed to find a way past championship leader Fernando Alonso.
While the young Brazilian raced to the chequered flag from pole position, Renault's world champion Alonso and Schumacher were locked in a thrilling no-holds-barred battle for second place.
The two title contenders were nose to tail over the closing laps, with seven times champion Schumacher doing his best to force a way past and the 25-year-old Spaniard repelling every effort.
Second place stretched Alonso's overall lead to 12 points with four races remaining.
However Ferrari slashed Renault's lead in the constructors' championship to a mere two points. Renault now have 160 and Ferrari 158.
"Thank you boys, thank you," shouted Massa, punching the air in delight at a result that he could barely have expected when he and undisputed team number one Schumacher had lined up together on the front row.
Briton Jenson Button, a first-time winner like Massa at the previous race in Hungary, finished fourth for Honda with McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa fifth.
Italian Giancarlo Fisichella was sixth for Renault with Toyota's Ralf Schumacher, Michael's younger brother, seventh and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello eighth for Honda.
Schumacher's hopes of a 90th career win were effectively scuppered by the intervention of the safety car on lap 14 with Massa leading and the German in second place and Alonso further back in third.
Massa, Schumacher and Alonso all pitted together and the German had to wait in the queue while Massa was attended to first, allowing Renault to get Alonso out ahead of the German. A first lap collision put paid to the hopes of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, winner from pole position of last year's inaugural race at the Istanbul Park circuit.
The Finn, who could be announced as a Ferrari driver at the next race in Italy, was caught up in a six car shunt at turn one after Fisichella spun and was left facing the oncoming cars.
Raikkonen, hit by Toro Rosso's Scott Speed, crawled back to the pits with a shredded left rear tyre. But there was clearly a problem with the car when he returned to the track and he ploughed into the tyre wall.
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