Mon, Jul 27, 2009 - Page 20 News List

F1: Hamilton ends his drought, Massa remains in a coma

AFP AND AP , BUDAPEST

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton finally ended his winless run yesterday when he came home triumphant for McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old Englishman, who started from fourth on the grid, drove a near-faultless race to claim victory for the first time since last year’s Chinese Grand Prix. It was the 10th win of his career.

Hamilton’s win endorsed emphatically the McLaren team’s return to form after a dismal opening half to this season.

Hamilton won by 11.5 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, with Australian Mark Webber third for Red Bull, two weeks after his maiden victory in Germany.

Pole-sitter and two-time former champion Fernando Alonso of Renault was forced to retire after leading the opening laps when he lost his front right wheel.

World championship leader Jenson Button of Brawn GP endured a tough afternoon and struggled home seventh behind fourth-placed German Nico Rosberg of Williams, Finn Heikki Kovalainen of McLaren and German Timo Glock, who was sixth for Toyota. Italian Jarno Trulli finished eighth for Toyota.

The race saw German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull forced to retire after suffering suspension damage at the opening corner in a collision with Raikkonen.

Button’s two points enlarged his total at the top of the drivers standings to 70, ahead of Webber on 51.5 and Vettel third on 47.

Meanwhile, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa remained in “life-threatening” but stable condition yesterday following his crash during qualifying on Saturday, a doctor said.

Peter Bazso, AEK hospital medical director, told reporters that Massa would remain in an induced coma until today, but would be woken up periodically during that time.

When asked whether Massa’s life remained in danger, Bazso answered: “Yes, of course.”

Bazso said doctors were able to “remove the broken bones and stabilize the area,” which was necessary since Massa arrived with “an open skull fracture and a contusion.”

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