Raikkonen wins race

WINNER: Ferrari's driver Kimi Raikkkonen celebrates after winning  the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix yesterday, Pic. Euge Hoshiko. 07/10/2007. © AP
WINNER: Ferrari's driver Kimi Raikkkonen celebrates after winning the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix yesterday, Pic. Euge Hoshiko. 07/10/2007. © AP

SHANGHAI - Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari won the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix yesterday as McLaren's Lewis Hamilton missed his chance to clinch the drivers' title by running off the track while entering the pits.

SHANGHAI - Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari won the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix yesterday as McLaren's Lewis Hamilton missed his chance to clinch the drivers' title by running off the track while entering the pits.

Fernando Alonso of McLaren was second with Felipe Massa of Ferrari third.

The championship will now go down to the final race in Brazil on October 21 with three drivers capable of winning the title.

Hamilton has 107 points, Alonso has 103 and Raikkonen 100. A win is worth 10 points. Second through eight at 8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Seemingly hampered by tyre problems, Hamilton ran off the track and into a gravel trap while entering pit lane after 31 laps.

"Just unfortunate," Hamilton said.

"We still have got one more race to go," Hamilton said. "We're still ahead."

Hamilton started from pole knowing he only needed to finish ahead of Alonso to become the first rookie to win the drivers' title, but rain began to fall just as the drivers began the warm-up formation lap.

Eight laps into the race it stopped raining and a dry line emerged on the track. By that time Hamilton was leading, more than five seconds ahead of Raikkonen and nine up on Massa. Alonso was 11 seconds back.

By the 28th lap they were wheel-to-wheel. Hamilton fended off two passing attempts, but Raikkonen got by on the third.

Just three laps later, Hamilton's race was finished. Finally giving up, Hamilton walked calmly away, missing out on his chance to clinch the driver's title in Shanghai.

With Hamilton out of the race, Raikkonen continued in the lead, followed by Alonso.

Raikkonen was eight seconds ahead at the start of the 35th lap, and he maintained that buffer the rest of the way as the rain held off.

Behind the place-getters, 20-year-old Sebastian Vettel of Toro Rosso finished fourth, Jenson Button of Honda was fifth, followed by Vitantoni Liuzzi of Toro Rosso in sixth. - Sapa-AP

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