Raikkonen wins British GP

Updated: 11 July 2007 06:30 IST

Kimi Raikkonen won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday, capturing his second straight Formula One race and the third this season.

Silverstone, England:

Kimi Raikkonen made it two in a row and Lewis Hamilton made it nine straight in his rookie Formula One season.

Raikkonen won the British Grand Prix on Sunday as Hamilton, racing in his home country, finished in the top three - as he has in all nine F1 races this season.

Only Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso have had more consecutive podium finishes. Schumacher had 19 for Ferrari in 2001-02, and Alonso 15 for Renault in 2005-06. Hamilton joins several drivers on nine and can move ahead at the next race - the European GP on July 22 at Nuerburgring, Germany.

Raikkonen finished the 59-lap race around the 5.1-kilometer (3.2-mile) circuit in 1 hour, 21 minutes, 43.074 seconds for his 12th career F1 win. He won the French GP at Magny Cours last week.

Alonso, the two-time defending champion, was second for McLaren, 2.459 seconds back, while Hamilton finished 39.373 seconds behind Raikkonen in third place after starting from pole position.

"I think I need to step up my game, which I intend to do," Hamilton said.

Hamilton leads the drivers standings with 70 points, 12 ahead of Alonso and 18 in front of Raikkonen with eight races remaining.

"It is important we gained some points on the other guys," Raikkonen said. "It is still a long season, but right now it is looking good for me."

After coming over from McLaren to replace the retired Michael Schumacher, Raikkonen struggled at times this season after winning the season-opening Australian GP in March.

"We seemed to get the car a bit better for me," he said. "It seems to go a bit better for me."

Massa stalled

Felipe Massa, who is fourth in the standings with 51 points, stalled his Ferrari on the grid and had to start from the pits, forcing one lap to be cut from the race.

Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso started in that order and remained so until the end of the 16th lap when Hamilton pitted, followed two laps later by Raikkonen to give Alonso the lead.

Alonso stayed out until the 20th lap to add to his lead, ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton with Massa up to seventh place. After 30 laps, Alonso led by 4.4 seconds over Raikkonen and 11.6 from Hamilton.

"In the middle stint, I knew I had to open a gap of 8-10 seconds - but it was only five," Alonso said.

Alonso went in for his second stop after the 37th lap, enabling Raikkonen to hit the front by not pitting until the 43rd. Last week at the French GP, Raikkonen moved ahead of Massa after the second stop.

"Kimi ran six laps more," Alonso said of his rival's pitting tactics. "I spent two laps overtaking cars, but I don't think the result would have changed.

"We changed the strategy to be able to maintain the lead. Those six laps when Kimi had more fuel than me, I was not able to maintain the pace."

Raikkonen decided against trying to overtake Hamilton in the opening laps because of his refueling strategy.

"I was able to close the gap fairly easily, but I didn't want to take risk," Raikkonen said. "We knew we would run longer. We just saved fuel."

Hamilton wasn't helped at his first pit stop when he started moving, had to stop momentarily, then restarted.

"I made a mistake in the pit," he said. "I don't know how many seconds I lost, but it was a mistake I made.

"We just lacked the pace today. I have had a wicked season so far. I have no complaints to make. Nine podiums in a row, I don't think anyone has done that."

With 10 laps to go, Raikkonen had lapped all but five cars to hold a six-second lead to cruise to victory.

"I am happy with second place," Alonso said. "It's better to win, but today was not possible."

Robert Kubica of BMW-Sauber took fourth for the second straight race since his horrific accident at the Canadian GP in June. Massa came fifth. Both were nearly a minute behind Raikkonen. Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber was sixth, followed by the Renaults of Heiki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Topics : Formula 1 British Grand Prix Kimi Raikkonen Belgian Grand Prix
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