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Sunday, October 12, 2008
2008 Japanese Grand Prix
Image: courtesy of Daimler AG

Fernando Alonso Wins Japanese Grand Prix For Renault

Fernando Alonso, driving his Renault F1 car, drove a fast and consistent race in Japan today to win the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix on the Fuji circuit. Alonso completed the 67 laps and a total of 305.416 km to take the chequered flag, followed by Robert Kubica who finished second in the BMW Sauber F1 car, and Kimi Raikkonen who took third place in the Ferrari. Inclusive of the Japanese race results, Ferrari maintains its leadership in the Constructor's Championship with 142 points, followed by the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team who are second with 135 points.

One of the focus areas in Japan was the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa for the Driver's Championship. Both Lewis Hamilton in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 car and Felipe Massa in the Ferrari were given drive-through penalties for a collision that occurred between the two drivers on lap two during an overtaking manoeuvre. Hamilton finished the race in Japan in 12th place and scored no points, whereas Felipe Massa managed to achieve a seventh place finish result in his Ferrari to score two points. The Japanese race result scores Lewis Hamilton with 84 points, leading Felipe Massa by 5 points in the Driver's Championship.

The race started with Lewis Hamilton in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on pole position, and Kimi Raikkonen beside him on the front of the grid in second. At the start, the traffic got very busy at the first corner and Lewis was forced to go wide and lost five places to end up in sixth position at the end of the first lap. During an overtaking manoeuvre on lap 2, Hamilton passed Felipe Massa in the Ferrari, but the two drivers touched at the braking to the chicane causing Hamilton to spin. Lewis was forced to let the entire field pass him by before re-joining the track, and this put him at a great disadantage to score any points in Japan.

For Hamilton it was a difficult race in Japan as he tried to get the speed and race positions back after his collision with Massa. Lewis said "Obviously I'm not happy after a result like today's - but I'm already getting over it and tomorrow will be another day. Disappointingly, I didn't make a great start, but I slipstreamed Kimi and went up the inside. I braked a bit late - but so did everybody. A lot of cars went wide at Turn One - and I just went a bit wider than everyone else. But you can't undo the penalty or change today's result. On lap two, Felipe went wide and I went up the inside, giving him room, but he tapped me quite hard into a spin."

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