F1

Spanish GP: McLaren Mercedes race report

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in third place. After 66 laps (307.104 kms), Lewis came home 4.1 seconds behind winner Kimi R0x00e4ikk0x00f6nen. Lewis's team mate Heikki Kovalainen hit...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in third place. After 66 laps (307.104 kms), Lewis came home 4.1 seconds behind winner Kimi R0x00e4ikk0x00f6nen. Lewis's team mate Heikki Kovalainen hit the tyre barrier at the Campsa corner on lap 22 and the exact cause of the accident is still to be confirmed. Lewis was on a two-stop strategy and came in on laps 21 (8.4 seconds) and 47 (7.6 seconds). After the fourth of 18 Grands Prix, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is third in the Constructors' Championship with 34 points; Ferrari took the lead with 47 points ahead of BMW Sauber on 35 points. Lewis moved up to second in the drivers' ranking with 20 points; Heikki is sixth with 14 points. R0x00e4ikk0x00f6nen leads with 29 points.

LEWIS HAMILTON

"First of all I am really happy to hear that Heikki is OK. During the race I saw a car had gone into the barriers and was told it was Heikki. As soon as the team knew he was OK, Ron came on the radio and told me which was a great relief. With regard to the race it's good to be back on the podium. After qualifying, we knew it would be a difficult Grand Prix so I am actually pleased to be third. I made a good start and was able to get lots of traction and could go to the right alongside Robert almost immediately. I managed to overtake him which is usually not easy as I recall from our battles in Formula 3. I pushed extremely hard, particularly in the second and third stints and tried to keep up with the Ferraris. Actually I was pleasantly surprised about how close the competition at the top was which is great for Formula 1. We did a good job today, but there are areas where we definitely need to improve, but it's comforting to know that we are relatively close to Ferrari. I look forward to the Turkish Grand Prix where hopefully Heikki will be back in his usual fine form."

RON DENNIS

"Lewis drove very well to third place today - but for obvious reasons our main concerns during the race were with Heikki. I am therefore extremely pleased to be able to report that he is safe and well. Heikki was airlifted to the Hospital General de Catalunya in Sant Cugat del Valles, for precautionary checks, and will remain there overnight. However, he has no broken bones and CT scans performed at the hospital confirm that he has no head injuries and the team is optimistic that he will make a full recovery over the next few days. Subject to the results of an FIA medical examination we hope that he will be able to compete in the Turkish Grand Prix. The precise cause or causes of his accident are not yet known. Our data shows evidence of a sudden tyre deflation shortly before the accident, but it is still too early to identify what triggered that deflation other than to say that it is likely to have been the result of a wheel rim failure. The impact was a relatively heavy one, but our car's passive safety devices, designed in compliance with the FIA's safety regulations, protected the driver in the way they were intended to do. Equally, I would like to pay tribute to the FIA Medical Team, whose work was both rapid and efficient. Finally, the local Spanish marshals also did an excellent job."

NORBERT HAUG

"According to the circumstances, Heikki is OK, and this is the most important news today. We all would like to thank the medical team for their professional actions. Lewis was competitive and drove a great race with an excellent start. The drivers in the top three stayed reasonably close together with a maximum of eight seconds on lap 46 from the restart after the Safety Car on lap 28 until the finish line on lap 66. We will now work very hard to make a further step forward."

-credit: mclaren

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