Alonso came home a distant third in his 100th grand prix at the end of a somewhat lacklustre weekend, with the ever-consistent Heidfeld a strong fourth, Hamilton hanging on for fifth, Kovalainen an inspired sixth, former GP2 title rival Rosberg an equally impressive seventh and Kubica a disappointed eighth.
Fisichella and Coulthard rounded out the top ten at the close of proceedings, followed by Alex Wurz, Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson, Tonio Liuzzi, Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Takuma Sato, Sebastian Vettel
and the Spykers of Sakon Yamamoto
and the delayed Adrian Sutil.
Massa had promised his guest, Brazilian footballing legend Roberto Carlos, pole position and victory this weekend. Having been every bit as good as his word, it's now very much game on.