F1 Grand Prix Of HungaryFinal
Kovalainen wins Hungarian Grand PrixAug 3, 2008 - 2:32 PM By Ian Parkes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
BUDAPEST, Hungary (Ticker) -- Heikki Kovalainen won Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix in surprising fashion, claiming his first career victory to become the 100th race winner in Formula One history.
Kovalainen's win was totally unexpected, as Felipe Massa was on course to comfortably take the checkered flag, only to see his Ferrari engine blow just three laps from the finish.
The bitter blow for Massa means Lewis Hamilton, who ran fifth Sunday, now has a five-point lead over reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen in the series points standings.
Hamilton's teammate at McLaren, Kovalainen had not finished higher than third in his first 10 starts this season. The Finn's best career performance came in last year's Japanese Grand Prix, where he ran second behind Hamilton.
But the 26-year-old Kovalainen capitalized on Massa's misfortune and upstaged Hamilton on Saturday to win for the first time in 28 career starts.
"There have been various incidents this season that have happened when I've been in a position to fight for a victory," Kovalainen said. "At the end, I tried to put pressure on Massa and hoped something would happen - and it worked out that way."
Kovalainen also received words of praise from McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who welcomed the driver to "the world of winning" as he crossed the finish line.
"The team have kept pushing, and I'm very glad to get this first win," Kovalainen said. "It's fantastic, a great moment, something I've been targeting for many years. Hopefully this is the first of many."
In another surprise, Toyota's Timo Glock took second just two weeks after his horror shunt at Hockenheim. Raikkonen finished third, followed by Renault's Fernando Alonso.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw Felipe's engine go and I was P2," said Glock, who recorded his first career podium finish. "This is remarkable after the race in Hockenheim and the big crash. To get a podium is just a perfect weekend."
- Hungarian Grand Prix Preview Jul 29