Raikkonen extends title lead

Another 1-2 for Ferrari as Kovalainen escapes major accident

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has won the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya to extend his lead in the drivers' championship.

The world champion took his second victory of the season, leading home team-mate Felipe Massa, with Lewis Hamilton taking the final podium place for McLaren-Mercedes.

However, Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen suffered a major accident on lap 22 of an incident-filled 66-lap race.

Having apparently suffered a left-front wheel rim failure, the Finn's car plunged off the circuit at the entry to turn three at some 150 mph before hitting a tyre wall head on at unabated speed.

As the safety car appeared on track, marshals and medical personnel worked to release Kovalainen from the wrecked chassis - the front of the McLaren appearing to have been ripped off.

He was then taken to the track's medical centre before subsequently being helicoptered to hospital.

Luckily, however, Kovalainen was conscious and appears to have suffered no injury beyond concussion.

The race eventually continued, with BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica finishing fourth ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber.

Honda's Jenson Button scored his first points of the season with sixth, ahead of Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.


Barcelona has a habit of turning polesitters into race winners and so it proved again, with polesitter Raikkonen getting the drop on Massa, who subdued the home crowd by passing Fernando Alonso on the run down to turn one.

Hamilton also passed the fourth-starting Kubica, but lap one proved chaotic at the back of the pack as Adrian Sutil spun, his Force India being collected by Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso.

The safety car thus appeared and, upon resumption of racing, the Ferrari one-two edged away from the third-placed Alonso, who held position until making his opening stop on lap 16.

Massa and Raikkonen both made their opening stops three laps later, with Hamilton then leading for three laps before his own first stop.

It was at this stage that Kovalainen left the track - the safety car coming out once more and staying out for six laps.

Running a long opening stint after qualifying ninth, BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld had inherited the lead by this stage.

However, because rules state that the pit lane cannot open until cars settle behind the safety car in the correct order, the German had to pit regardless to avoid running out of fuel.

He rejoined in fifth place but, having to take a stop-go penalty, Heidfeld eventually finished back in ninth.

In a race which ultimately brought nine retirements, Alonso pulled off the circuit from fifth place on lap 35 - his Renault suffering an engine failure.

Rubens Barrichello - who lost his front wing exiting the pitlane during the second SC period after apparently colliding with Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella - was also out by this point, with Nico Rosberg retiring his Williams on the pit straight on lap 41.

The high attrition rate allowed the likes of Fisichella and even Super Aguri's Takuma Sato to briefly threaten for points.

Button takes advantage

However, the two drivers who eventually took advantage were Button who, after starting 13th on the grid ran as high as fifth place, and Nakajima, who started 12th.

The race leaders made their second stops on laps 47 and 48 and, although Hamilton took a few tenths out of Massa during the closing laps, the order remained static.

After qualifying ten places behind team-mate Webber on the grid, David Coulthard eventually finished 12th, the Scot having yet another coming together during a race, this time with Toyota's Timo Glock.

Meanwhile, Anthony Davidson retired on lap eight after one of his car's radiators was punctured by a piece of track debris.

FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Leading Final Positions after Race (66 Laps):

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1hr 38mins 19.051secs, 2 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:38:22.251, 3 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1:38:23.151, 4 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:38:24.651, 5 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:38:54.951, 6 Jenson Button (Gbr) Honda 1:39:12.051, 7 Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams 1:39:17.251, 8 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:39:18.451, 9 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:39:22.051, 10 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India at 1 Lap, 11 Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota at 1 Lap, 12 David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull at 1 Lap, 13 Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri at 1 Lap

Not Classified: 14 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 41 Laps completed, 15 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 34 Laps completed, 16 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda 34 Laps completed, 17 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 21 Laps completed, 18 Anthony Davidson (Gbr) Super Aguri 8 Laps completed, 19 Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 7 Laps completed, 20 Nelson Piquet Jr. (Bra) Renault 6 Laps completed, 21 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 0 Laps completed, 22 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Scuderia Toro Rosso 0 Laps completed

Leading World Championship Standings after Spanish Grand Prix

Drivers' Championship: 1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 29pts, 2 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 20, 3 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 19, 4 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 18, 5 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 16, 6 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 14, 7 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 9, 8 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 8, 9 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 7, 10 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 6, 11 Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams 5, 12 Jenson Button (Gbr) Honda 3, 13 Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 2

Manufacturers' Championship: 1 Ferrari 47pts, 2 BMW Sauber 35, 3 McLaren 34, 4 Williams 12, 5 Toyota 9, 6 Red Bull 8, 7 Renault 6, 8 Honda 3, 9 Scuderia Toro Rosso 2