Raikkonen wins again

Istanbul, August 21:

Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren-Mercedes won the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix from the pole, increasing the pressure on season-points leader Fernando Alonso. The Finn’s fifth victory of the season — and seventh career win — left him 24 points behind Alonso in the season standings with five races left. Alonso was second in a Renault, with third going to Raikkonen’s teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. McLaren should have had a 1-2 sweep, but on the second-last of 58 laps, Montoya drove wide on a turn and let Alonso slip by.

Montoya nearly lost second on the previous lap when he spun after a bump from behind by Jordan driver Tiago Monteiro. Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth, with fifth for BAR-Honda’s Jenson Button and sixth for Jarno Trulli. Renault has a narrow edge over McLaren in the constructors’ championship — 130-121. Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher endured a horrible weekend. He skidded off in qualifying, started from 19th on the 20-car grid, and went off the track after 16 laps following a minor collision with Mark Webber of Williams-BMW.

The Ferrari driver sat out 19 laps while mechanics fixed his damaged steering, but returned to run about 15 laps more before retiring again. Officials were expecting a crowd of 75,000. Among the fans at the race were Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.