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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2008 TURKISH GRAND PRIX - RACEDAY AT ISTANBUL PARK
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Raceday at Istanbul Park
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:00 Good morning everyone, and welcome to autosport.com Live for raceday at Istanbul Park, as we approach the 2008 Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix.

Yesterday an interesting and tightly contested qualifying session resulted in Felipe Massa securing pole position for this afternoon's race. Heikki Kovalainen drove excellently, bouncing back in style after his heavy crash in Barcelona two weeks ago, and he will start on the front row alongside Massa.

The drivers who are first and second in the World Championship - Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, will start from the second row of the grid today, with Robert Kubica starting fifth for BMW, and Mark Webber alongside the Pole on the third row.

Massa takes commanding pole in Turkey

Today we will be bringing you updates and news from the circuit in the build-up to the race and a look back at the qualifying hour, along with live text commentary of the race itself, later this afternoon.

08:02 We'd like to hear from you on the prospects for today's race.

Will Felipe Massa convert his hat-trick of poles into a third successive win from the front? What can Kovalainen do on his maiden launch from the front row of the grid? What are the prospects for Hamilton and Raikkonen as they start behind their team-mates?

After a strong qualifying, can Mark Webber hold off a hungry pack of Alonso, Trulli and Heidfeld?

Will the accident-prone first corner claim further victims?

Click on the live forum link in the red bar at the bottom of your screen to join in.

08:12 Today has dawned by far the best of the three days this weekend. The sun is currently shining, although there is still a reasonable amount of cloud cover around.

The race today is expected to be dry, with the current weather expected to continue all day. The maximum temperature today will reach 18 degrees Celsius.

08:27 On the track, the GP2 series is about to start their second race of the weekend - the Sunday morning sprint race. Unfortunately there is a sparse crowd in the main grandstand and around the circuit to catch the early morning action.

08:51 Formula One safety car driver Bernd Maylander has already had a customary early morning workout today, thanks to a string of incidents on the first lap of the GP2 sprint race.

Pastor Maldonado, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Andy Soucek, Yelmer Buurman, Ho Pin Tung, Adrian Valles, Andy Zuber and Adam Carroll are all out of this one.

Vitaly Petrov leads the race after nine laps, but the pack behind him are close and the racing so far has been excellent.

09:03 The GP2 sprint race continues at Istanbul Park, but the race has been under safety car conditions for the second time, after an unfortunate incident.

The first sign of trouble was Bruno Senna trailing into the pits with damage to the right front corner of his car. The Brazilian was clearly unhappy as he drove towards the garage.

Senna was livid as he jumped out of the car, and stormed over to the pitwall to inform his team manager that he'd just hit a dog on the circuit.

Moments later the safety car was deployed, as a second dog was spotted roaming around the racetrack.

The safety car pitted, and racing resumed, with nine laps to go and Romain Grosjean now leading - having successfully passed Vitaly Petrov a few laps ago.

09:21 An action-packed GP2 sprint race has concluded with Romain Grosjean taking his first GP2 main series win by a sizable margin, after the Frenchman sailed off into the distance from the lead at the second restart.

Vitaly Petrov finished in a hard-fought second, ahead of Sebastien Buemi, Giorgio Pantano, Mike Conway, Ben Hanley, Alberto Valerio and Alvaro Parente.

Grosjean wins bizzare sprint race

Massa celebrates pole in Turkey
09:35 With pole position and a win on the previous two visits to Istanbul Park, few would bet against Felipe Massa making it three in a row from the front this afternoon.

The Brazilian was in a confident mood when speaking with the scrum of reporters after qualifying.

"Coming here and having the third pole position in a row, in three years, it's pretty amazing. It's a fantastic track, a fantastic place and I feel very comfortable and happy to come here every year. I did a fantastic lap as well.

"If you cannot do the perfect lap, you don't start in the front so, I think, for sure, I'm very strong here but definitely not unbeatable. If you do everything right you have a big chance to start in the front.

"McLaren are very quick on sector one, but we are maybe a bit quicker on sector two and even quicker on sector three. They are two different cars, you cannot compare that. But, if you compare to my team mate with the same car, I mean we are quite competitive sector by sector, but I have to say I feel very comfortable in the second and third sector."

One of Ferrari's key strengths in 2008 is the ability to run quickly and consistently over a series of laps with race fuel in the car. Massa was confident that this form would continue: "I think we showed a good potential yesterday [Friday] and we are looking forward to repeat a good long run tomorrow [Sunday]. We have many long runs tomorrow to do."

09:42 Under a spell of cloud cover, the Porsche Supercup cars are now lining up on the grid.

10:01 Jaap van Lagen leads the Supercup race in Turkey after starting second and sliding up the inside of teammate and polesitter Christian Mamerow in the first corner. The pole man was further demoted by Jan Seyffarth in a move around the outside.

Chaos reigns behind the leading trio, with much of the top ten involved in a frantic battle for position.

10:14 The battle for fourth in the Supercup race has predictably ended in disaster. Danny Watts was holding of a pack of Rene Rast, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Uwe Alzen.

Rast caught Watts locking up on the approach to turn 12 and dived to the inside. Watts was keen to retain his position, and fought back stoutly along the pit straight and in to turn one.

In turn two, Rast, edged on to the run-off by Watts, came back on to the track and clipped Watts - spinning him in to Bleekemolen. The championship leader was immediately out of the race, with Watts and Rast falling down the order.

10:25 Jaap van Lagen has won the Porsche race in Turkey. Leading out of the first corner, the Dutchman was never challenged as Jan Seyffarth fell away while successfully defending a continuous attack from third-placed Christian Mamerow.

Uwe Alzen finished fourth, ahead of Damien Faulkner, David Saelens and a recovering Danny Watts.

10:40 The last action on the circuit prior to the Grand Prix, is the traditional Formula One drivers parade.

The stands and general admission areas are slowly starting to become more populated as we tick down with 80 minutes to go until the start.

Nick Heidfeld
10:56 Track position is of paramount importance in Grand Prix racing, as BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld knows only too well. The German was left to reflect on a poor qualifying lap, which leaves him with work to do this afternoon. Speaking in the paddock after yesterday's grid-deciding session, Nick was typically honest about his performance.

"I think with our BMW we should be a bit further ahead, but I did a mistake in the last sector and that is the price we have to pay," said Heidfeld, who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday.

"I think it would have been thereabouts with Robert if you look at the sectors. My first two sectors were the same, which for me was quite positive because I struggled a lot all weekend with the tyre temperatures, and at least I could see that once the tyre temperatures come up, it could work - but then unfortunately I didn't work."

Turning his attention towards the race, Heidfeld was wary of the competition around him.

"Well points is always our minimum target for sure. We managed to already score three podiums this year, so we hope to be able to do that again tomorrow [Sunday], but at the moment Red Bull seems quite strong and it will be interesting to see what they do tomorrow."

Heidfeld will start today's 58-lap event from ninth position on the grid.

11:13 Weather update.

Conditions have remained largely the same all morning, with prolonged sunshine, although with plenty of cloud around. The clouds do appear to look a touch darker from time to time.

The live rainfall radar this morning has maintained a dry and bright theme - that was until a short time ago. Very small pockets of heavy cloud with almost negligable rain are now showing in the area. This would tie in with the darker areas of cloud that have appearred recently over the circuit.

The risk of rain at this time is now minimal, but a few spits of rain cannot be completely ruled out.

11:15 In front of the main grandstand, the grid is beginning to prepare for the cars to arrive when the pit lane opens in 15 minutes.

11:25 The pits will be opened in five minutes ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix. The cars will then be permitted to make their way to the grid.

11:30 The pits are now open in Istanbul.

11:33 Mark Webber is making his way to his excellent sixth position on the starting grid.

11:37 Most of the front-runners are now in position on the grid. Those qualifying in the top ten are unable to add fuel to their cars at this stage, so can only make one lap to the grid

11:38 The track temperature is 35c, with 17c ambient. A notable 3.3 meters/sec breeze is blowing.

11:41 Rubens Barrichello, the driver who this afternoon will have taken part in the most Grands Prix in the history of the sport, makes his way to the grid.

On the team radio he says he may like to switch to the other tyre (hard) for the first stint.

Barrrichello at the time was rounding the track on his reconaissance lap on soft tyres.

"You never quite know what strategy the teams are running, not even I get to find out. But I hope we have a strong race, I'm sure we are going to look quite good."
Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony

11:46 The pre-race formalities continue, as the Turkish national anthem rings out over Istanbul Park.

"The outside is the better place to start because it is a clean line."
Nico Rosberg, Williams.

"We've got to do our best, and hopefully get to the end with 10 points."
Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa's race engineer

11:49 A power trio of Renault's Flavio Briatore, McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh and Red Bull's Christian Horner are chatting on the grid.

"Our race pace in the last few races has been very good, so if we can continue to do that, that would be good."
Mark Webber, Red Bull

"I think for the race we will be in good shape. I think Felipe will be very hard to beat, he's been very quick all weekend, he's quick here all the time, he's on the front row. It will be tough, so I think that we'll be focusing on the two silver cars today, and we'll see what we can do against them."
Chris Dyer, Raikkonen's race engineer

11:55 The formation lap is five minutes away in Turkey.

11:57 All the drivers are now safely strapped into their cars.

Three minutes until the start of the formation lap.

"I think most people will be on a two-stop strategy. For us the hard tyre is most consistent. I think we have one car on each (for the start)."
Ross Brawn, Honda Racing

11:59 With one minute to go, the engines are firing up on the grid.

11:59 Kimi Raikkonen will start with the soft tyres on his Ferrari.

12:00 Poleman Massa also has the soft tyres, whereas the McLarens are on hard rubber.

12:00 The formation lap for the 2008 Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix begins.

All 20 cars leave the grid without problems.

12:01 Felipe Massa leads the field through the infamous turn eight as the formation lap continues.

12:02 Jock Clear reminds his driver Rubens Barrichello to warm his soft tyres. He also gives Rubens a good luck and thankyou wish on behalf of everyone in the team. We wish him well on this historic race.

12:02 Felipe Massa pulls in to pole position to await the rest of the field and the lights ...

12:03 The five reds lights go out and we are racing at the Istanbul Park Otodrom!

12:03 Polesitter Felipe Massa gets a good start and leads easily in turn one.

12:04 Massa leads from Hamilton, Kubica, Kovalainen, Alonso and Raikkonen

12:04 The safety car has been deployed.

12:04 An incident at the rear of the field at the first corner has meant the SC deployment.

12:04 Giancarlo Fisichella was involved in the turn one accident and is walking back to the pits. He is out of the race.

12:05 Kazuki Nakajima is touring round the track on this the first lap with a broken rear wing.

12:05 Adrian Sutil reports on the team radio that he needs to come into the pits for a new front wing.

12:06 Replays of the rear of the field show that Giancarlo Fisichella who was last in the braking zone for the first corner, locked up heavily, crashed into Nakajima's Williams, and vaulted over the Japanese driver.

12:06 Kimi Raikkonen was pinched into the first corner by compatriot Heikki Kovalainen. Kimi was forced to back out of a crash and was then passed by Alonso in the Renault.

12:07 Kazuki Nakajima has come into the pits. He also is out of the race as his Williams is comprehensively damaged after being crashed into by Fisichella.

12:07 The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

12:08 Heikki Kovalainen comes into the pits with a possible left rear puncture.

12:08 Kovalainen has pitted the McLaren with a puncture. The Finn falls to the rear of the pack but is away with new rubber.

12:09 Adrian Sutil came into the pits, got that new front wing on his Force India car, and has rejoined the race in 18th and last position.

12:09 Massa leads from Hamilton, Kubica and Raikkonen after the Finn pulled a spectacular outside move on Fernando Alonso.

12:10 Raikkonen breezed past the Renault of Alonso on the run down to turn 12.

12:11 Heikki Kovalainen rejoined the race in 18th position, promoting Sutil to 17th, after the Finn's pitstop. Kovalainen will now push and try to climb up through the field.

12:12 Heikki Kovalainen looks to have no ill-effects after that tyre change in the early stages of the race, and he is catching 17th placed Adrian Sutil at a rate of three seconds per lap.

12:13 Massa has pulled a 1.5 second gap from Hamilton's McLaren. They are rapidly dropping the BMW of Kubica, who has Kimi Raikkonen chasing him down.

12:14 A five car battle is developing in the midfield, with Button, Barrichello, Glock, Bourdais and Piquet all scrapping over 11th position.

12:14 In the sister BMW, Nick Heidfeld has moved from ninth to seventh, aided by the problems for Kovalainen.

12:14 Lewis Hamilton matched Felipe Massa for lap time on the sixth tour, an encouraging sign for the McLaren driver.

12:15 Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race, 1:27.427, shaving a tenth off the gap to leader Massa.

12:16 With Massa starting on the softer rubber and Hamilton's McLaren on the hard, this is a fascinating battle between the leading pair as they trade sector times.

12:17 Jenson Button is losing a lot of ground to Jarno Trulli ahead of him. Button is 11th and still leading the train with Barrichello, Glock, Bourdais and Piquet behind him.

Button's pace is so slow that now Sebastian Vettel in 16th position has now caught the group.

12:18 Heikki Kovalainen continues to catch Adrian Sutil in 17th place. The Finn is now 3.2 seconds behind Sutil and running around 1.5 seconds per lap quicker.

12:18 As Massa eluded to in the build up, the McLaren is strong in the first sector of the lap, with the Ferrari better in the latter stages.

Hamilton again stretches the fastest lap with a 1:27.307, pegging the gap at 1.5 seconds.

12:19 The pace of Massa and Hamilton can not be matched by Kubica's BMW and he has fallen 4.2 seconds behind.

12:20 Jenson Button now starts to slowly edge away from his teammate Rubens Barrichello - the gap is 1.5 seconds between them. The pace of this five-car train is now slower than the pace of Adrian Sutil in 17th position.

12:20 Meanwhile Hamilton continues to push Massa with another fastest lap of 1:27.162.

12:21 Heikki Kovalainen has now caught Adrian Sutil and the battle for 17th should be decided quickly.

12:21 Massa now pinches the best lap with a 1:27.001 but Lewis is not allowing the Ferrari to get away.

12:23 Lewis Hamilton is quicker again with a 1:26.869, closing down Massa to 1.1 seconds.

12:23 Heikki Kovalainen tries to pass Sutil as we work lap 12 but the German holds off Heikki's first attempt to overtake.

12:23 Kimi Raikkonen has a similar gap to Robert Kubica's BMW in a battle for third.

12:23 Heikki Kovalainen has passed Adrian Sutil for 17th place on the outside entering turn 12.

12:24 Fernando Alonso runs fifth, some distance ahead of Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard.

12:25 Kovalainen's next target is the train of drivers that are now led by Rubens Barrichello is 12th. Vettel is on the tail of that group, and they are just 3.2 seconds ahead of Kovalainen.

He will catch this gaggle very quickly.

12:26 As we draw closer to the first round of stops, Massa and Hamilton are in an outstanding battle for the lead. Hamilton remains 1.1 seconds behind the leader and just shaved the fastest lap 14.

12:26 Replay: Sebastian Vettel - who has been behind Nelson Piquet for several laps, makes a move alongside the Renault on the run to turn 12, but cannot make the move stick. Piquet remains 15th, Vettel 16th.

12:27 Hamilton closes to seven tenths with a fastest lap of 1:26.641.

12:27 Fernando Alonso pits his Renault and takes more hard rubber. He resumes behind Trulli in 10th.

12:28 Heikki Kovalainen has now caught the Piquet - Vettel battle for 15th position.

12:28 Lewis Hamilton is right with Massa as he dives for the pit lane.

12:28 Hamilton takes more hard Bridgestones and returns to the fight. He will hope that Massa is soon to pit in the Ferrari.

12:30 Massa starts another lap as the strategy of running longer than Hamilton sways the chance for victory in his favour.

12:30 Heikki Kovalainen passes Sebastian Vettel and is now in 16th position.

12:30 Lewis Hamilton is back out in sixth with the fuel-laden McLaren.

12:31 Mark Webber pits his Red Bull on lap 18. He takes further hard rubber and resumes behind Alonso.

12:32 Leader Felipe Massa is in for the team's favored soft tyre.

12:32 In the midfield, Jenson Button managed to pull away from Rubens Barrichello to the tune of 2.7 seconds in this opening stint of the race.

Barrichello has Glock on his tail..

Bourdais in 14th is a couple of seconds behind Glock, and on his tail are Nelson Piquet and Heikki Kovalainen.

12:33 Massa resumes ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the road.

12:33 Robert Kubica also pitted on lap 19 to put hard tyres on his car.

12:34 Kimi Raikkonen leads but has yet to stop. He's pushing hard to try and jump Kubica for third, setting the fastest lap in 1:26.506.

12:35 Kovalainen is now 0.5 seconds behind Nelson Piquet as the pair battle for 15th place.

12:35 Raikkonen pits his Ferrari from the lead to take more soft rubber.

12:36 Raikkonen is away and the Ferrari has leapfrogged Kubica using Kimi's customary quick laps before the first stop.

12:37 Adrian Sutil pits for the second time in the race on lap 22. His total pitlane time is 27.8 sedconds and he rejoins the fray.

12:37 Heidfeld's BMW also stopped on lap 21.

Lewis Hamilton is now 0.8 seconds behind leader Felipe Massa.

12:38 Jarno Trulli came into the pits from 10th at the end of lap 21, and has dropped down the field to 17th position.

12:38 With Hamilton stopping earlier, he must try to pass Massa on the road as he will inevitably stop earlier again after a very short first stop.

12:38 Sebastian Vettel pits in the Toro Rosso. He rejoins after a total pitlabne time of 25.5 secconds.

12:39 Heidfeld running long to the first stop has elevated the BMW beyond Alonso and Webber.

12:39 Heikki Kovalainen. is still behind Nelson Piquet. The Renault has been able to hold off the attentions of the McLaren driver for the last couple of laps.

12:39 Hamilton is all over the gearbox of the leader!

12:40 Hamilton dives to the lead up the inside in turn 12.

12:40 Lewis Hamilton leads in Turkey.

12:41 Sebastien Bourdais pits and it's a horrible stop for the Toro Rosso driver, whose total pitlane time was a very long 43.6 seconds.

12:41 Sebastian Vettel has just come into the pits for a third time. He also endures a long stop and a pitlane time of over 40 seconds.

12:42 In a move reminiscant of Hamilton's GP2 sprint race in 2006, replays show Hamilton left Massa with little option to let him by after slip-streaming the Ferrari on the run to turn 12, before the McLaren jinked out and barged down the inside.

12:43 The one-stopping Honda drivers are now in eight and ninth places.

12:43 Sebastien Bourdais has lost control of his Toro Rosso and has spun off the track at turn 12. The Frenchman is out of the race, stuck in the gravel.

12:44 Hamilton is streaking off in to the lead and is already 3.8 seconds up on Massa. His early and short first stop, along with significant pace advantage over the Ferraris, leads to the possibility that the McLaren team are running an aggressive three-stop race for Lewis.

12:45 Heikki Kovalainen now pits in the McLaren. He had just passed Nelson Piquet prior to the pitstop, after spending around five laps tucked up behind him. Kovalainen takes on another set of hard tyres and the stop time is 9.9 seconds.

12:46 Rubens Barrichello is the first of the Hondas to stop. He rejoins the race after a pitlane time of 31.0 seconds.

12:46 Hamilton is on a sensational pace, now lapping almost a second quicker than the Ferraris. Could Ferrari be struggling to hold on to the graining on their softer tyres at this phase of the race?

12:46 Jenson Button in the sister Honda, Timo Glock, and Nelson Piquet are the other one-stoppers this afternoon who have yet to come in.

12:48 Now free from having Rubens Barrichello directly in front of him, Timo Glock has set about and caught Jenson Button. They will both be in the pits soon as they battle over eighth place.

12:48 Robert Kubica runs fourth, over 12 seconds ahead of teammate Heidfeld.

12:49 Nelson Piquet, who was three seconds behind the Button-Glock battle, now pits in the Renault. He is back out there after a good 27.6 seconds total pitlane time.

12:49 Lewis Hamilton is now 6.3 seconds in the lead on lap 30 from the Ferraris of Massa and Raikkonen.

12:50 Nelson Piquet rejoined after his stop and regained the place he lost to Heikki Kovalainen. That is excellent pitwork from the Renault team.

12:50 Robert Kubica is told on the radio that they are racing Lewis Hamilton, indicating that the BMW team think that the leader will stop three times.

12:51 Jenson Button and Timo Glock are still tied together fighting over eighth place, and both are still to come in after 31 laps.

The come in together now. Pitstop race for position coming up ...

12:51 Kubica was also told on his radio that the team are not receiving transmissions from the driver.

12:52 Lewis Hamilton pits on lap 32 from the lead.

12:52 Glock takes on hard tyres and sets off, but Button rejoins ahead and maintains track position over the Toyota driver.

12:52 Hamilton again takes hard tyres and a splash of fuel - confirming his three stop intentions.

12:53 Hamilton has resumed third, ahead of Kubica, with both needing to stop again.

12:54 Jenson Button took on soft tyres on his stop, and he still has Glock hounding him.

The Button-Glock battle rejoined the track right in the middle of the Piquet-Kovalainen battle. The four of them are now altogether on the track and battling for 11th place.

12:54 Hamilton is 2.6 seconds behind Raikkonen's Ferrari and must pass him on the road if he wants to improve his podium position.

12:56 Massa leads on lap 35 from Raikkonen, Hamilton, Kubica, Heidfeld, Alonso, Webber, Rosberg, Coulthard and Trulli.

12:57 Hamilton is only matching the lighter Ferraris in his fuel-laden McLaren.

12:57 Kovalainen is climbing all over the back of Timo Glock - great racing down the field. Piquet sends a move to the outside of Button but can't pull it off.

Simultaneously Kovalainen tries to pass Glock round the outside, and the pair battle through the final complex of corners.

The order is still Button, Piquet, Glock, Kovalainen as they battle for 11th.

12:59 On the next lap the fight between the four scrapping drivers continues.

Heikki Kovalainen passed Timo Glock successfully for 13th place. While up ahead Button and Piquet go wheel to wheel for the second lap in a row.

This time Piquet takes the place with some good aggressive driving. Piquet up to 11th.

12:59 On the following start-finish straight Button loses momentum, and Kovalainen also passes him for 12th position.

13:00 Hamilton's objective must now be to jump the Ferrari of Raikkonen for second. Lewis is likely to run longer than Kimi before the last of his three stops and will have a good chance if he can return to the 1:26 pace demonstrated earlier.

13:01 Felipe Massa is 10.5 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, with Hamilton a further 2.2 seconds back and closing.

13:02 After that squabbling in the midfield during the last few laps, we now have the situation as it was many laps ago.

Heikki Kovalainen now now, once again, behind Nelson Piquet, and he still hasn't managed to clear the Renault. This is a good, fighting performance from the Brazilian. These two are battling over 11th position.

13:02 The leaders are now catching to lap the chaotic Glock/Button/Kovalainen/Piquet scrap.

13:03 Adrian Sutil pitted from last position for a third time a lap ago and has rejoined the race.

13:04 The Ferrari mechanics receive Felipe Massa to take the manadatory hard tyre back on to the track.

13:04 Robert Kubica has also visited the pits on lap 40.

13:05 The gap between Hamilton and Raikkonen is fluctuating at just over two seconds as the pair pass some traffic.

13:06 There are three retirements in the race so far:

Giancarlo Fisichella and Kazuki Nakajima on lap one, after a collision.
Sebastien Bourdais who spun out of the race at turn 12 just before half-distance.

13:06 Fernando Alonso pits his Renault after a lengthy middle stint. He is away on the soft tyres.

13:06 Nelson Piquet in 11th is now starting to edge away from Heikki Kovalainen. The gap between the pair is 1.4 seconds.

13:06 Lewis Hamilton is closing the gap to Raikkonen as a fascinating race continues to unfold in Turkey.

13:07 Nick Heidfeld is down and away with soft tyres and he slots back in to the order behind his teammate.

13:08 Raikkonen is in the pits on lap 43. The Ferrari is away cleanly with the hard tyres.

13:09 The big question now is how quickly can Lewis Hamilton lap in the lead, and how long he can go before a final stop.

13:09 Rubens Barrichello is having a tough afternoon sadly in his 257th Grand Prix. His pace is reasonable given the one-stop strategy he is on. He is keeping in touch with Glock ahead of him, and he will be hoping that the strategy pays off as the two-stoppers come in for their final stops of the afternoon.

13:10 Hamilton leads on lap 33 by 14.4 seconds over Massa and 21.5 over Raikkonen. The McLaren must push hard to his final, short, pit stop.

13:11 Hamilton pits the McLaren to take soft tyres.

13:11 Lewis Hamilton comes out second on the road ahead of Kimi Raikkonen!

13:12 Sebastian Vettel recently came into the pits from 16th position. It was his fourth stop of the afternoon, and he rejoins 17th and last, but only 3 seconds behind Adrian Sutil who passed while Vettel was getting back up to speed.

13:12 The top three is Massa, Hamilton and Raikkonen after an aggressive three-stop game plan from the McLaren team.

Can Lewis do anything about the leader on the road?

13:12 Vettel is now catching Sutil at a rapid rate, and soon there will be a battle on the track for the final racing position.

13:13 Hamilton is 5.2 seconds down on leader Felipe Massa with 12 laps to go in Instanbul.

13:14 Nelson Piquet pits for a second time in the Renault. His total pitlane time is 28.6 seconds. Finally Kovalainen is rid of the Renault ahead.

13:14 There are lots of marbles, pieces of discarded rubber, just off the racing line in the high-speed flick of turn 11. The cool conditions in Istanbul have proven difficult for the harder end of Bridgestone's tyre range.

13:14 Predictably Heikki Kovalainen now sets his personal fastest lap of the race so far.

13:16 The BMWs of Kubica and Heidfeld run fourth and fifth, well separated from Alonso's Renault in sixth.

13:16 Nico Rosberg in eighth has been caught by David Coulthard in the Red Bull. They are 0.5 seconds apart, but Kovalainen is now just 1.2 seconds behind both of them and catching up fast.

13:17 Hamilton is not making significant inroads on to the leader with similar fuel now aboard both cars. It seems the McLaren runs better on the hardest available rubber, where its characteristic of working the tyres hard is less damaging.

13:19 Kovalainen now goes for Nico Rosberg's eighth place, and eventually he passes the Williams into turn one after some strong resistance from Rosberg.

Kovalainen eighth.
Rosberg ninth.
Coulthard tenth.

13:19 Hamilton is now slipping back towards the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. The world champion sniffs the chance of improving his position over the driver closest in the 2008 standings.

13:21 Heikki Kovalainen comes in for a splash of fuel and changes to the soft tyres. He rejoins after 26.3 seconds total pitlane time and should easily emerge ahead of Nelson Piquet, who he had been battling with for most of the day.

13:21 Six laps remain in a thrilling Turkish Grand Prix.

13:22 Raikkonen is now right on the gearbox of Hamilton's McLaren as they continue to deal with the lapped cars.

13:22 Heikki Kovalainen rejoined the race in 13th place - over nine seconds ahead of Piquet, and he also emerged ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

13:22 Hamilton's McLaren is still strong in the first sector of the lap, while Raikkonen catches as the lap ends.

13:24 Heikki Kovalainen is catching Timo Glock ahead of him by around one second per lap. This will be the next battle to look for down the field as Heikki continues his move slowly up the field.

13:24 Felipe Massa leads by almost six seconds with four laps to go. All eyes are on the battle for second between Hamilton and Raikkonen.

13:25 Kovalainen passes Glock quite easily around the outside into turn three.

Kovalainen 12th.
Glock 13th.

13:26 Lewis Hamilton continues to hang on to second with three to go at Istanbul Park.

13:28 At the rear of the field, Sebastian Vettel has caught Adrian Sutil, but so far can't make an impression on the Force India driver as they battle for 16th place.

Some 46 seconds up the road Nelson Piquet has caught Rubens Barrichello. They're battling over 14th.

13:29 In to the final lap, Massa leads with Hamilton continuing to resist pressure from Kimi Raikkonen.

13:30 Felipe Massa exits the final corner to make it a hat-trick of victories at Istanbul Park. He wins the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix after a hard-fought battle. Congratulations Felipe!

13:30 Second place is the prize for an outstanding drive from Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren. A three-stop strategy, with flawless stops from the team, and a gritty drive on the track got the best out of the McLaren package on the day.

Raikkonen fought well for third, claiming vital championship points.

13:31 Robert Kubica comes home a solid fourth in the BMW.

13:32 Nick Heidfeld finishes a lonely fifth, a good result after starting ninth. Alonso crosses the line sixth for Renault, Webber seventh for Red Bull racing netting two valuable points for the team, and Nico Rosberg, who was fearful before the weekend started about tyres on his Williams, scores the final point in eighth.

13:33 Jenson Button had to push very hard in the final laps as Kovalainen caught him too. Button sets his personal fastest lap of the race on the final lap and held off Heikki for 11th by 0.7 seconds.

13:35 It was a fantastic fight at the front, enriched by the three-stop strategy from Hamilton. Massa drove brilliantly, scoring the win that was widely expected and putting the Brazilian right back in the championship race.

13:36 Rubens Barrichello managed to hold off Nelson Piquet in the all-Brazilian battle for 14th in the final stages, and similarly Adrian Sutil who lost a lot of time early in the race with a front wing change, successfully held off the advances of Sebastian Vettel over the last six laps. Sutil finished 16th, Vettel 17th and last of the cars that completed the race.

13:37 The gates are opened and the crowd pour onto the circuit ahead of the podium celebrations.

13:37 Felipe Massa, the hat-trick man, comes out onto the podium as the winner of the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix.

The Brazilian national anthem rings out over Istanbul Park.

13:38 The Italian national anthem rings out for today's winning constructor - Ferrari.

13:39 Felipe Massa accepts gratefully his trophy for taking victory in Turkey this afternoon. He is absolutely delighted with his afternoon's work.

"For Lewis, we had a bit of a structural concern on the tyres, which we experienced in practice. We discussed it carefully with Bridgestone and took the decision on safety to run three stops. Lewis did a great job and we go away knowing that we were very completive, we could have won the race, and looking forward to Monte Carlo. We've taken a few points out of the leader, and we're competitive."
Ron Dennis, McLaren

13:40 Lewis Hamilton receives his trophy for coming home second this afternoon. He holds the trophy above his head in pleasure.

13:41 Kimi Raikkonen accepts his award for coming third in today's race.

13:42 The champagne is sprayed and all three of the drivers look reasonably satisfied with today's result.

13:46 Matt Beer reports on an action-packed race in Turkey:

Massa eases to Turkish GP hat-trick

13:47 The race today has many talking points. The battle at the front was close and exciting at various stages, as Lewis Hamilton took the fight to the Ferrari drivers.

BMW finished fourth and fifth, but the gap to McLaren and Ferrari is edging up to over 20 seconds over the course of a race distance. BMW will obviously not want to lose any further ground to the top two teams.

13:50 Our news service has further details on McLaren chosing a three stop strategy as a result of concerns over possible tyre failures.

McLaren chose three stops over tyre fears

13:51 Rubens Barrichello's 257th Grand Prix ultimately ended up with no points, but the Brazilian drove hard throughout the race. In the early stages he was less than two seconds behind his teammate Jenson Button

The one-stop strategy didn't really pay off for either Honda driver, when you compare to the two-stop competitors, however Barrichello continued to press on, and ended the race only 11 seconds behind Button.

So unfortunately, a disappointing result, but a very solid, hard-charging drive all the way through, and the battle with Piquet in the final stages will have given Rubens some pleasure.

13:58 Today's result closes Kimi Raikkonen's lead in the drivers' standings to seven points over a tie between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.

Kubica's BMW is four points behind second place, with his teammate a similar margin further back.

Kovalainen's failure to score leaves him behind the BMW drivers.

The potential for a close points battle remains on track as the series heads for Monaco.

13:59 In Turkey this weekend we've had records broken, hat-tricks scored, and hard racing in abundance. The fight this weekend was entertaining all the way from the top to the bottom of the field.

This was the 2008 Formula One Turkish Grand Prix on autosport.com Live. We hope that you have enjoyed the commentary and debate through the event, and we will be back to do it all over again for the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in two weeks' time.

  OVERVIEW TURKISH GRAND PRIX  
Race length: 58 laps
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Monday 05 May Start GMT
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Friday 09 May
 Friday Practice 06:30
Saturday 10 May
 Final Practice and Qualifying 07:30
Sunday 11 May
 Raceday at Istanbul Park 08:00
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Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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