Felipe Massa survived a potential penalty to win the first European Grand Prix on the roads surrounding Valencia's Americas Cup port, leading from start to finish to make up for the disappointment of Hungary three weeks ago.
The Brazilian got the jump from pole to head title rival Lewis Hamilton throughout the 57-lap distance, and was only troubled when the stewards decided to investigate whether or not he had been released dangerously from his second pit-stop. Force India's Adrian Sutil was very close to the Ferrari at the time, but the officials opted to delay any decision until after the race.
Hamilton was never able to run with Massa, being dropped gradually in the first half of the race and then only pegging the Ferrari thereafter, while Robert Kubica held station in third throughout, despite an early scare when debris got caught on his BMW Sauber.
Hungary winner Heikki Kovalainen came home fourth, having got the jump on Kimi Raikkonen at the start. The McLaren man proved a serious obstacle for his countryman throughout the first stint, to the point that Massa was able to slot back in ahead of his team-mate when he rejoined. Raikkonen's day got worse after he left early at his second stop, bowling over the refueller as the hose was still attached, and then retired with apparent engine failure a handful of laps later.
The world champion's exit not only prompted suggestions that Massa would now become the Scuderia's title challenger-elect, but also allowed Jarno Trulli, Sebastian Vettel, Timo Glock and Nico Rosberg to claim additional points.
Home hero Fernando Alonso was punted out of the race on lap one following a skirmish with Kazuki Nakajima.
Full report and result to follow....