Hamilton extends lead

Briton increases advantage heading into final race

Lewis Hamilton has extended his World Championship lead over Felipe Massa to seven points after winning the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The McLaren Mercedes driver took the chequered flag 14.9 seconds ahead of his Ferrari rival, with Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finishing third.
Renault's Fernando Alonso came home fourth, ahead of BMW Sauber pair Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.
Toyota's Timo Glock finished seventh ahead of Renault's Nelson Piquet.
With Kubica now out of the running, Sunday's result means that Hamilton leads the Driver's Championship with 94 points to Massa's 87.
Hamilton can therefore take the title with a fifth-place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.

Starting from pole position, Hamilton controlled the race from the off, his performance being in marked contrast to that seen in Japan last weekend.
At Fuji, Hamilton's problems snowballed following a poor start. However, one week on, a perfect getaway enabled him to stay clear of trouble.
With the top three of Hamilton, Raikkonen and Massa holding position, McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen got ahead of Alonso through the opening corners.

However, the Spaniard soon reclaimed fourth place on the long back straight.
Further back in the back, Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais, who started seventh and eighth respectively, had a coming together at the opening corner.
Although the veteran Italian briefly rejoined the race after pitting for repairs, he eventually retired on lap four.


By that stage Hamilton was confirming the superiority he had shown all weekend by lapping six-tenths-of-a-second per lap quicker than the third-placed Massa.
The Brazilian was 8.3 seconds behind Hamilton when he made his opening stop at the end of lap 14.
Hamilton and Raikkonen made their opening stops one lap later and rejoined respectively in third and fifth places.
However, Hamilton resumed the lead after Kovalainen made his own opening stop at the end of lap 19.
The top three resumed at the head of the field after Kubica stopped from third place on lap 26.

By that stage, Hamilton held an advantage of 6.9 seconds over Raikkonen, with Massa 15.3s behind the race leader.
Once again, the lead McLaren had the advantage in terms of pace, with Raikkonen losing further ground on lap 31 when he was baulked trying to lap the Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella.
But McLaren's Constructors' Championship aspirations took a knock on lap 35 when Kovalainen, who was running fifth, suffered a right-front puncture.
The Finn dropped to 17th, but after climbing two places the brake problem which caused the puncture forced his retirement on lap 51.
Massa made his second stop on lap 37, with Hamilton 8.9 seconds ahead of Raikkonen when they both made their final stops one lap later.


With Hamilton now speeding to his fifth win of the season, Ferrari needed to minimise Massa's Championship deficit during the closing laps.
Thus, and with a little reluctance it appeared, Raikkonen played the dutiful team-mate, allowing Massa to catch and pass him at the end of the straight on lap 50.
Elsewhere, Jenson Button finished lapped in 16th place, five places behind Honda team-mate Rubens Barrichello.
And, in his penultimate grand prix before retirement, Red Bull's David Coulthard finished tenth.
In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari hold an 11-point lead over McLaren Mercedes heading to Interlagos.

Chinese Grand Prix, result:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:31:57.403
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari +00:14.925
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 00:16.445
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 00:18.370
5. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 00:28.923
6. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 00:33.219
7. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 00:41.722
8. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 00:56.645
9. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso 01:04.339
10. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull 01:14.842
11. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 01:25.061
12. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams 01:30.847
13. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso 01:31.457
14. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 01:32.422
15. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams 1 lap
16. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1 lap
17. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India 1 lap

r. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren 7 laps
r. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 43 laps
r. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 54 laps

(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton, 1:36.325, lap 13.