tampabay.com

Raikkonen charges from back to front for No. 7 this season

By wire services
Published October 10, 2005


SUZUKA, Japan - Stuck behind Giancarlo Fisichella heading into the final lap of the Japanese Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen was debating which side to try to pass on.

Fisichella made Raikkonen's decision easier.

"I was thinking which way to go because the inside is more easy to overtake," Raikkonen said. "But Fisichella was on the inside so I didn't have much choice. I went to the outside to try to go around him and luckily I made it. I was very happy."

Raikkonen passed on the outside on the first turn on the Suzuka circuit for a stunning win Sunday. The McLaren driver charged from the back of the starting grid to take his seventh victory of the season and ninth of his career.

In the constructors' race, Renault reclaimed the lead over McLaren with new world champion Fernando Alonso finishing third. Renault takes a 176-174 lead into the final race of the season at Shanghai this weekend.

With five laps to go, Fisichella's lead was 3.0 seconds and shrinking and with only two remaining, Raikkonen was within a few car lengths.

Entering the final lap, Raikkonen moved alongside Fisichella, almost touching cars. He made a darting move just before the first turn to take the lead.

FIA: The body that runs motor sport is in talks with at least four parties that may be interested in setting up new teams if a breakaway series by existing operators goes ahead, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The negotiations are aimed at ensuring a full roster of competitors in F1 in 2008 if some participants drop out, the paper reported. The Grand Prix Manufacturers Association, including Renault SA, DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes-Benz AG arm, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Renault SA, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are considering the breakaway because they want more than 25 percent of the sport's income, which tops $1-billion.

NHRA: John Force reclaimed the Funny Car points lead after Frank Pedregon broke on the starting line in the final at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at Ennis, Texas. Force drove his Ford Mustang to a 4.797-second finish at 324.05 mph. He holds a 36-point lead over Gary Scelzi, who fouled out for the second time in his nine-year career in the first round of eliminations.

Tony Schumacher won Top Fuel and Greg Anderson took the Pro Stock. Schumacher drove his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster to a win in 4.523 seconds at 331.77 mph, and Anderson defeated teammate Jason Line with a 6.690 at 206.61 effort in his Pontiac GTO.