2008 Japanese Grand Prix: second win in a row for Fernando Alonso 

Written by David on October 12th, 2008 at 10:01 amLast Update: October 12th, 2008 at 11:11 am

Fernando AlonsoRenault’s Fernando Alonso took his second consecutive win in a row at the 2008 Japanese  Grand Prix after an eventful race. Championship contenders Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton finished the race 8th (7th after a 25-second penalty given at the end of the race to Bourdais) and 12th respectively as both of them were penalised with drive through penalties. BMW’s Robert Kubica got back on the podium by finishing second ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi  Raikkonen.

At the race start, Kimi Raikkonen made an excellent start from P2 quickly putting his car in front of Hamilton‘s  McLaren. Right before Turn 1, however, the Briton tried to re-take the lead but locked his wheels while on the inside and run wide forcing at the same time the Finn off track. Kubica, Alonso, Kovalainen, Trulli and Massa took advantage of the situation and passed them. In the meantime, David Coulthard collided with Kazuki Nakajima with the Scot ending immediately his race after crashing onto the barriers.

2008 Japanese Grand Prix

A few turns later and while on Turn 10 chicane, Massa made a mistake and run wide allowing Hamilton to pass him. The  Brazilian however, tried to regain the lost position by crossing the kerb but hitted the Briton who spun and lost precious positions. Raikkonen then took advantage of the situation and gained a few positions.

On lap 15, Heikki Kovalainen – P3 at the time – had to surrender to what appeared to be an engine problem. A few  seconds later the race stewards announced a drive through penalty for Hamilton for having ‘forced a car off track‘  during the race start. A drive through penalty had been announced also for Massa for his collision with Hamilton in the chicane.

Half way through the race, Alonso, Kubica and Raikkonen were in the first three positions with Webber fourth, Trulli  fifth, Piquet sixth and the two Toro Rosso seventh (Bourdais) and eighth (Vettel).

After the last pit stops Felipe Massa managed to climb up to the points for a few laps with Alonso leading comfortably the race followed by Kubica, Raikkonen and Piquet.

But with 17 laps to go, Felipe Massa spun on the track following a collision with Sebastien Bourdais, who had just  rejoined the track after a pit stop. The Brazilian lost precious seconds but managed to continue the race from P9. The  race stewards then, announced that their incident will be investigated at the end of the race.

With two laps to go, the Brazilian clocked a series of fastest laps and was able to pass on the straight Mark Webber, gaining P8 and a precious point for the Drivers’ Championship.

Fernando Alonso got the chequered flag and won the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Robert Kubica, Kimi Raikkonen, Nelsinho Piquet, Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa.

But as expected, the race stewards gave at the end of the race a 25-second penalty to Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais for his incident with Massa. Therefore, the Frenchman dropped to P10 in the race results but most importantly Felipe Massa climbed to P7.

Lewis Hamilton keeps the lead on the Drivers’ Championship standings with 84 points but Felipe Massa follows with 79 and Robert Kubica with 72.

2008 Japanese Grand Prix, Race Results:

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 67 1:30:21.892 4 10
2 4 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 67 +5.2 secs 6 8
3 1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 67 +6.4 secs 2 6
4 6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 67 +20.5 secs 12 5
5 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 67 +23.7 secs 7 4
6 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 67 +39.2 secs 9 3
7 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 67 +46.1 secs 5 2
8 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 67 +50.8 secs 13 1
9 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 67 +54.1 secs 16
10 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 67 +59.0 secs 10
11 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 67 +62.0 secs 15
12 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 67 +78.9 secs 1
13 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 66 +1 Lap 17
14 16 Jenson Button Honda 66 +1 Lap 18
15 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 66 +1 Lap 14
Ret 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 21 Gearbox 20
Ret 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 16 Engine 3
Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 8 Puncture 19
Ret 12 Timo Glock Toyota 6 Accident damage 8
Ret 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 0 Accident 11

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