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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kovalainen wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Kovalainen wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Last updated on: August 03, 2008 21:13 IST

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen celebrated a shock maiden win at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday after Ferrari's Felipe Massa suffered an engine failure while leading with three laps remaining.

Finn Kovalainen capitalised on Brazilian Massa's misfortune to finish ahead of podium debutant Toyota's Timo Glock of Germany with Massa's team mate Kimi Raikkonen third.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton stayed top of the championship standings despite a puncture just after the midway stage that saw him finish the race in fifth place behind Renault driver and former team mate Fernando Alonso of Spain.

Briton Hamilton now holds a five-point lead over Finland's Raikkonen in the championship with Massa dropping into third place, a further three points back.

"Of course I feel a bit sorry for Felipe because what happened to him has happened to me a few times this year," said Kovalainen. "But I'm very happy today, of course, after working through all the hard times along with my team.

"Massa and Lewis were very fast today but halfway through things were working better for me. I just tried to put pressure on Massa at the end and try to make something happen which it did with what looked like a mechanical failure."

Massa had looked set to regain the world championship lead after making a stunning start to Sunday's race.

From third on the grid, the Brazilian used the race's opening turn to surge ahead of his two McLaren rivals before building a comfortable lead.

With overtaking all but impossible on the rest of the twisting Hungaroring track, Massa saw his advantage boosted when Hamilton left the track on the 41st lap before limping into the pit lane with a punctured front left tyre.

Massa then suffered a much more costly problem when his engine died in front of the main grandstand with three laps to go, allowing Kovalainen to wrap up his unexpected victory.

Renault's Brazilian Nelson Piquet defended sixth place with Italian Jarno Trulli climbing from ninth to seventh to complete a great weekend for Toyota.

There was disappointment, though, for BMW Sauber whose leading driver Robert Kubica only just scraped into the points after dropping from fourth on the grid to finish eighth.

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