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Formula 1 News - October, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Sunday, China

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Amid pressure and criticism, Lewis Hamilton was peerless in China, humbling the Ferraris by finishing a quarter of a minute ahead, and setting up a stroll to the title for Brazil. "We've got to stay calm and keep our heads," said the Briton in contemplation of the season finale in two weeks. Heikki Kovalainen's race was far more complicated; fiery brakes on the grid, a puncture, and finally a 'pneumatic system' problem. "The team called me in as a precautionary measure," said the Finn, and the DNF means he can use a fresh engine for the last race of 2008.



The Ferraris were no match for Hamilton, and title challenger Felipe Massa only finished second because his teammate Kimi Raikkonen let him past. The Brazilian's 7 point deficit to Hamilton means that, to become champion, he must win on home turf in Brazil, with Hamilton lower than fifth place.



Fernando Alonso came within two seconds of Raikkonen's podium in Shanghai, which combined with Nelson Piquet's single point secured fourth place in the constructors' championship. "Another strong race for us," said engineering boss Pat Symonds.



Robert Kubica had a spirited drive from 11th on the grid to sixth at the chequered flag, but the result ended his outside shot at the world championship. His teammate Nick Heidfeld finished one place higher. "The team has had a fantastic third season, and Robert especially had a very good year," said the German.



Jarno Trulli was furious with Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais, after their first lap clash caused terminal damage to the Toyota. "It is frustrating because he did this once before this year at Spa, where he also ruined my race at the first corner," Trulli said of the Frenchman. After a difficult weekend, Timo Glock finished seventh.



The Trulli crash also spoiled Bourdais' race, as he climbed back through the field to be just 13th. "The car was good enough to score points today," he said. Teammate Sebastian Vettel, ninth, also failed to score despite starting the race sixth and suffering tyre graining and a bad pistop.



From a long way down the grid, David Coulthard and Mark Webber managed 10th and 14th places respectively.



Rubens Barrichello made the best of his bad RA108 in China, outperforming his teammate all weekend and finishing 11th of the 17 finishers. "We are very pleased that we beat several cars that have been faster than us of late," said team boss Ross Brawn. Jenson Button however had a disastrous weekend, finishing a lap down and next to last.



Williams' bad weekend did not improve on Sunday, when Nico Rosberg finished a painful 15th. "We ran a different strategy to Kazuki just to see if we could generate some advantage, but it didn't pay off," he lamented. Kazuki Nakajima held off Bourdais and Webber to finish 12th. "On this type of circuit the car is just not quick enough," said team co-owner Patrick Head.



Adrian Sutil has failed to finish many races this season, and in China his problem was a faulty gearbox. Giancarlo Fisichella finished a lonely last on a one-stop strategy, annoying a flying Raikkonen at one stage as the blue flags waved. "He did a good job to get the car home in what's been a difficult event for us," said technical boss Mike Gascoyne.

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