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Kovalainen wins first Grand Prix in Hungary

Latest update : 2008-08-04

Heikki Kovalainen enjoyed his first Formula One triumph at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Finn, a member of the McLaren-Mercedes team, finished first after a technical problem cost Felipe Massa the race three laps before the end.

Finn Heikki Kovalainen secured his maiden Formula One motor racing victory in dramatic circumstances Sunday when he won the Hungarian Grand Prix for the McLaren Mercedes team.

The 26-year-old McLaren driver took full advantage when luckless Brazilian Felipe Massa pulled up and retired with three laps remaining after the engine on his Ferrari car blew up on the main straight.

As smoke billowed from his car, Massa slowed and stopped, gifting the quiet Nordic driver his first win in his first season with the McLaren team after spending his rookie year at Renault last season.

Massa's Ferrari team-mate, defending drivers world champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen, came home third behind the amazing German Timo Glock who was second for Toyota just a fortnight after leaving the German Grand Prix in an ambulance following a big crash.

Two-times world champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, the man who swapped seats with Kovalainen, was fourth for Renault ahead of championship leading Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren.

Hamilton, who started from pole ahead of Massa, was out-paced off the grid and passed at the opening corner. He ran second for a long period until a puncture after 41 of the 70 laps wrecked his hopes of completing a hat-trick of wins.

Massa led brilliantly until three laps from the finish when he was hit by misfortune and had to pull out leaving Kovalainen to grab the best result of his career.

The result left Hamilton five points ahead of Raikkonen in the drivers championship with Massa now eight points behind.

Date created : 2008-08-03

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