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Tough day for Ferraris at Canadian Grand Prix

6/10/2007

MONTREAL -- The Canadian Grand Prix did not turn out as
Ferrari expected.

Instead of seeing its drivers, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen,
challenge Mercedes McLarens that started on the front row, the
Ferraris never got into contention.

Massa, winner of two races this year, led three laps after
eventual winner Lewis Hamilton made his first pit stop, but the
Brazilian's day ended early when he and Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella were disqualified for running a red light at the end of
pit road.

Raikkonen, who has one win this year, didn't have a much better
day, although he did score points by finishing fifth.

"In a race that was confusing and chaotic, thanks to the
numerous safety car periods, we come away with just four points for
Kimi, whose car was damaged in a collision at the first corner
after the start and then after [Robert] Kubica's accident,'' said
team boss Jean Todt.

"What happened at the pit stop is a real shame,'' Massa said.
"I was having a good race and I could have brought home some
important points for the championship. Unfortunately, when I left
the pits, I did not even look at the lights, partly because there
were so many cars in pit lane behind me.''

Raikkonen, who drove off course several times, said, "At the
end of the day, I picked up some points. It could have been better,
but it could also have been worse.''

The results left Massa third in the driver standings, trailing
Hamilton by 15 points and the other McLaren driver, Fernando
Alonso, by seven. Raikkonen remained fourth but moved within six
points of his teammate.

Ferrari now trails McLaren in the Constructors' Championship by
28 points heading into Sunday's United States Grand Prix in
Indianapolis.

"Now we have to study everything about this weekend to
understand how to move on,'' Todt said. "It's not the first time
we have been in a situation like this, and we have always shown
that we can extricate ourselves from these difficulties.''

Podium success

Alexander Wurz, who began his F1 career here in
Canada 10 years ago, finished third, giving Team Williams its first
top-three finish in two years.

"Scoring a podium the 10th anniversary of my Formula One debut
is a dream,'' the Austrian driver said. "It was one of those
hectic races, but I had a super car and the team did everything
right in terms of strategy and keep me well informed about all the
various incidents.''

Nobody had to tell Wurz about one of the incidents. Scott Speed,
the only American in F1, collided with Wurz on the ninth of 70 laps
at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The crash knocked Speed out of the
race, but Wurz was luckier.

"My rear wing got damaged but the team knew it was safe and
everything was OK to continue, even if I was giving some downforce
and straight line speed away for the rest of the day,'' Wurz said.

Speed acknowledged the incident was his fault.

"I have to say sorry to the team because I made a bit of a
mistake,'' the Californian said. "Alex was quicker than me down
the straightaway, but he made a mistake at the hairpin and then
another at the corner before I tried to pass. When I did try, there
was just not enough room for two cars.''

Good finish

Finnish rookie Heikki Kovalainen crashed in
practice on Friday, started last in the 22-car field and wound up
with a career-best fourth-place finish Sunday.

"This was very satisfying,'' Kovalainen said. "Of course, I
needed some luck to score points after starting last, but you have
to take advantage of your opportunities and I think I did exactly
that.''

He drove a mistake-free race on an afternoon when most of the
other drivers were not as fortunate. At the end, Kovalainen was
able to fight off Raikkonen and two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to retain his position.

"All the problems I had over the weekend only made me more
determined to succeed,'' Kovalainen said. "It just goes to show
that you should never give up. You have to stay position.''

His previous best was seventh last month in Spain.

Wandering wildlife

Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson of
England surprised his crew when he pitted on lap 38 after hitting a
beaver and damaging his front wing.

The course was on an island a few miles from downtown, and there
were several wooded areas nearby with ample wildlife. On Friday, a
squirrel was hit when it wandered onto the track.

Davidson's crew scrambled out of the team garage after the
accident, serviced the car and he went on to finish 11th.

Sparkplugs

Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson of England had a
surprise when he pitted on lap 38 and found no one waiting for him.
His crew scrambled out of the team garage, serviced the car and
Davidson overcame the slow stop to finish 11th. ... Sunday's race
was a sellout, with more than 100,000 spectators on hand. ...
Alonso, seventh, and Nico Rosberg, who finished 10th, were both
penalized 10 seconds for pitting before the pit road was opened
during a caution period.