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Hamilton takes his most convincing win to date

NEWS STORY
25/05/2008

Following heavy overnight rain, there was further rain during both of this morning's support events. As we look ahead to this afternoon's big race, things are brightening up but the experts predict further downfalls once this afternoon's event is underway, and who are we to doubt them.

Due to the fact that we are essentially in the lap of the gods, it is hardly worth trying to make any sort of prediction regarding what will happen this afternoon, for once the rain falls, particularly in Monaco, the form book goes out of the window.

What we would say however, is that rain or shine (or a mixture of the two) we have a strong feeling that both Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica should be watched this afternoon. Nothing else to add, just that we have a feeling that one of these guys could pull off a surprise.

Another driver to keep an eye on this afternoon is Nico Rosberg, who has looked superb in every session. Then again, there are the other drivers who excel once the rain begins to fall… Alonso, Webber and Button.

As the cars make their way on to the grid, the rain begins to fall, albeit lightly, at which point the officials duly announce that there is a 60 percent chance of rain.

It's widely speculated that the McLaren are on a heavier fuel load, but that's exactly what it is, speculation. What with the doubts over the weather, drivers cannot even decide on what tyres to start the race, the fuel load issue is entirely academic.

With five minutes to go before the start, the air temperature is 20 degrees C, while the track temperature is 20 degrees. In the grandstands, the umbrella are up as the intensity of the rain increases. Officials announce that the rain will continue for the next twenty minutes.

The field heads off on the parade lap, everyone appear to be on 'light wets'. Heikki Kovalainen doesn't get away, the Finn appearing to have stalled. He is pushed into the pitlane, from where he will start the race. Dreadfully frustrating for the young McLaren driver.

They're away, and thankfully there is no silliness. Raikkonen is slow getting away which allows Hamilton to move into second behind Massa. As they venture into the great unknown the drivers are cautious.

At the end of lap one, it's Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kubica, Alonso, Rosberg, Trulli, Glock, Heidfeld and Nakajima.

Clearly, there was some silliness, Button clouts Heidfeld necessitating a trip to the pits for the Honda driver for a new nose. Also, the replay shows Rosberg hitting Alonso at the hairpin.

At the end of lap 3, Rosberg pits, the Williams driver having a new nose fitted. This drops him right to the back of the field.

Behind Trulli, who is running in sixth, Glock has lost his nose, the German heading a train of six very frustrated drivers, including Heidfeld and Webber. At the end of lap 4, the Toyota number two pits. The replay show the German losing his nose after spinning at the exit of Rascasse.

After 5 laps, Massa enjoys a 3.1s advantage over Hamilton, who leads Raikkonen by a further 7.3s. In the (relatively) clear conditions, the leading five are lapping around 5s a lap quicker than the rest.

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