Raikkonen wins Spanish Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday in spectacular style taking him to third place in the drivers’ championship…

Raikkonen set the tone for the day with a storming qualifying display in the morning to grab pole position. He went on to lead the race from start to finish at the Circuit de Catalunya.

He made an excellent start building up a 10 second lead over the rest of the grid in just a few laps, which he extended to 27.6 seconds over the course of the race.

Raikkonen said the his car performed perfectly throughout the whole weekend.

“We knew we would be strong and it was an easy win,” he said.

“I was pushing hard until the pit stops, but then I was far enough ahead that there was no point pushing harder. I didn’t need to go full speed at the end of the race.

“I am very happy for me and for the team because everyone has worked so hard and I hope to start winning more,” he added.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished second after starting from third on the grid and driving a good race despite having problems with wear on his rear tyres.

He was forced to change the pressure on them during his last pit stop and then had to nurse the car home.

“It was very tough to follow Kimi, the McLarens were very strong and I was being conservative with the tyres,” he said.

“The car was better after lap 25 or so, but when it was good it was too late to push.”

Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher finished third and fourth respectively with Giancarlo Fisichella and Mark Webber finishing fifth and sixth after a close battle in the closing stages.

Montoya finished a disappointing seventh after spinning in the early part of the race then suffering from a faulty fuel nozzle causing him to have to pit a third time.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said he was “delighted with Kimi’s result but disappointed with Montoya’s as it could have been a third place finish”.

David Coulthard finished eighth scoring one point for Red Bull ahead of Barrichello who did well to get into the top 10 having started from the back of the grid due to an engine change on Saturday.

Tiago Montiero and Narain Karthekeyan finished 11th and 12th for Jordan after a solid race performance by both drivers.

Villeneuve, Liuzzi, Albers and Freisacher all retired from the race as well as Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher who both suffered punctures and tyre failures.

Schumacher, who suffered two punctures within a few laps said it was a bit unusual.

“Maybe I picked up some debris but I didn’t see anything,” he said.

“We didn’t have any problem with tyre wear and we would have been competitive to the end of the race,” he added.

The result means Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli have hung on to their first and second places in the driver’s championship with 44 and 26 points respectively, however Kimi Raikkonen jumped to third place with 17 points ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher who are both on 14.

In the constructor’s championship Renault and Toyota remain the top two teams with 58 points for the French outfit and 40 points for the Japanese team, but McLaren have now moved to third place and are only three points behind with a total of 37.