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article imageROUNDUP: Räikkönen keeps F1 hopes alive as Ferrari dominate in Spa

article:228979:2::0
By dpa news     Sep 16, 2007 in Sports
Kimi Räikkönen kept alive his hopes of winning the Formula One championship by leading a Ferrari 1-2 ahead of Felipe Massa at the Belgian Grand Prix Sunday.
Ferrari led from pole for his 13th Grand Prix victory and his third in a row at the Spa track, the longest in F1.
It was the third Ferrari one-two of the season as the Italian team dominated, leaving the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton to make do with third and fourth places.
Two-time world champion Alonso cuts Hamilton's overall lead in the championship to two points with three races remaining.
Räikkönen is 13 points behind, but with a maximum of 30 points available, the title is still up for grabs.
Ferrari's win was expected on a circuit which suits its aerodynamics, and Räikkönen and Massa had little trouble reversing the McLaren one-two victory in Monza last week.
With Japan, China and Brazil the final stops in the championship, Hamilton has 97 points, Alonso of Spain 95, Räikkönen of Finland 84 and Massa of Brazil 77.
Ferrari can no longer be caught in the constructors' standings, moving to 161 points, with BMW-Sauber (90) assured of second spot
BMW's Nick Heidfeld of Germany was fifth, fellow German Nico Rosberg in a Williams finished sixth, with Mark Webber of Australia in a Red Bull seventh and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland in a Renault eighth.
After the FIA hearing on Thursday which led to McLaren losing its constructors' points, the action on the track at Spa was anything but spectacular.
The top four on the grid led a procession after Hamilton was shoved aside by Alonso in an attempt to get past the Spaniard on the first bend.
Hamilton was forced to run wide of the track as Alonso drifted left, and the two team-mates came close to crashing.
"It was the most interesting part of the race," said Alonso,
"I was confident going into the bend. I was on the inside and was able to keep my position," he said.
McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said it was a fair challenge.
"They are racing drivers, but they weren't being overly aggressive, no problem," he said.
"(We've had) 100 per cent reliability so far which is pretty remarkable. It was a bit of a boring race but we have to make sure we make no mistakes before these last three races.
"We will be a little bit more aggressive in the last races and see if we can get the points we need to win the drivers' championship."
Alonso had little trouble keeping Hamilton at a distance after the initial challenge in which the tyres of the two McLarens came close to touching, but there was no catching the dominant Ferraris.
Räikkönen took the chequered flag 4.695 seconds ahead of Massa, with Alonso a further 14.343 seconds back and Hamilton 23.615 seconds adrift.
"The car was very good. Everything went well and it was a nice race. It was perfect for the team," Räikkönen said.
"We knew we would be stronger here than in Monza. We're still in the championship and we'll keep pushing and see what we can do." dpa bw
article:228979:2::0
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