• European Grand Prix

Massa takes easy win in Valencia

ESPNF1 Staff
August 24, 2008
Massa won at the new street circuit © Sutton Images
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The new street circuit around the port of Valencia looked great on paper and after a weekend of incidents and drama across the support races, there was an air of expectation as the European Grand Prix approached. Sadly it didn't deliver.

It produced a tame affair won by Felipe Massa - in his 100th grand prix outing - from Lewis Hamilton. If that sounds easy, it was. Not once did Hamilton look as though he had the pace to catch the Ferrari ahead and Massa's only scare came when he and Adrian Sutil's Force India were released from the pit lane simultaneously. They ran side-by-side for a few seconds before common sense prevailed and Sutil slowed. Massa was lucky to escape a penalty - it was his team that copped the 10,000 euro fine.

Hamilton, troubled by a fever on Friday, took a solid second to maintain his championship lead while Kubica was third despite collecting a stray plastic bag early in the race that wedged itself in his suspension and affected the handling for a few laps.

Kimi Raikkonen was heading for fourth despite being released from a pit stop too early and dragging mechanic Pietro Timpini with him as he accelerated away - Timpini suffered a broken leg. This didn't upset Raikkonen's rhythm and continued to challenge until his engine let go as Massa's had done in Hungary - the problem was later linked to a faulty batch of conrods. His retirement allowed Kovalainen to take fourth despite a lacklustre performance.