Kimi Raikkonen won first F1 race in Turkey where he celebrated in front of Fernando Alonso in Renault and team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya who lost the second place in the final laps.
After 13 of the 19 races of the championship, Alonso had 26 points ahead of Raikkonen, but the Finn used speed advantage of his McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 and secured the pole position with a heavier car than two Renault drivers Fisichella and Alonso who started second and third. Montoya started fourth and completed the first two rows for McLaren and Renault.
Raikkonen lost a place to Fisichella in the first lap, but overtook him in the third sector of the same lap and clawed back the lead after Fisichella’s mistake. The Finn had no problems and secured the victory while Montoya was on his way to the second place that he eventually lost to Alonso because he spun while trying to overtake Monteiro who was one lap behind.
Fisichella finished fourth after starting from the second place and Button finished fifth, 1.4 behind the Fisichella, starting from 13th place due to his mistake in Turn 8 in qualifying.
Raikkonen led all the laps in the race while Montoya only took the fastest lap in which he was 0.260 seconds faster than him. After Turkey, Raikkonen reduced Alonso’s advantage to 24 points and McLaren was nine points behind Renault, five races before the end.
“I am very happy to have won the first Turkish GP, here we have come up with a strong basis thanks to the good work done at the factory which definitely made our weekend a lot easier,” Raikkonen said.
“I did not make the best of starts, because I had a wheelspin which allowed Fisichella to pass, but later he went wide to allow me to get the lead again. I pushed as much as I could but we knew our strategy would work so really after the first stops I could be safe . ”
“I had a few moments with traffic which is always frustrating, but there is no doubt that our package is very fast. As a team we were a bit unhappy today for what happened to Juan Pablo because two points in the end could mean a lot.”
McLaren failed to clinch their first 1-2 of the season despite having the fastest car since fourth race of the season. They will achieve their first 1-2 in 2005 at the 18th race of the season in Brazil where Alonso will seal the title with third place.
RACE – Part 1