Fernando Alonso wins 2008 Japanese Grand Prix

Sunday, October 12, 2008

File photo of Fernando Alonso (2008)
Image: Mark McArdle.
Fuji Speedway
Image: Will Pittenger.

Renault driver Fernando Alonso won the FIA 2008 Formula One Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix on the Fuji Speedway at Oyama, Sunto District, Shizuoka, Japan.

This became the second in a row victory for the Spaniard since the previously won Singapore Grand Prix.

Although Alonso started only fourth, after two McLaren-Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen with Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari third on the grid, he raced second behind Robert Kubica from BMW Sauber after the leaders missed the first corner.

The first shortened pit stop and the following sprint of Alonso allowed him to make a comfort gap in front of Kubica, who finished second.

Alonso's teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr. also performed well, finishing fourth from the 12th place on the starting grid. The Renault rookie driver even tried to push on Kimi's third on the dying laps of the race.

Jarno Trulli gained two positions from the starting place for Toyota finishing fifth, while his teammate Timo Glock retired from the race after 6 laps.

Both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers, Bourdais and Vettel, finished higher on 6th and 7th place.

Felipe Massa was penalized by a drive-through penalty for causing a collision with Hamilton. Still he was able to run up and overtake Mark Webber's Red Bull. His Ferrari finally closed the top eight. He was promoted to 7th after Bourdais was given a 25-second penalty for colliding with Massa.

In the Drivers's standings, Lewis Hamilton retains his lead losing two points to Felipe Massa and is five points ahead of him. Robert Kubica came much closer to Lewis, now only 12 points behind. Alonso is on a distant 7th in the provisional standings. Earlier Alonso said that he "remained realistic as it will be difficult to race the Ferraris and McLarens, but we will give our maximum to score as many points as possible because the fight for fourth in the Championship remains very close." Ferrari is now seven points ahead of McLaren and fourteen over BMW Sauber in the Constructors' Championship.


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