Raikkonen holds off Massa to win Spanish Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, capturing his 17th race after starting from the pole position and leading Ferrari to a third straight Formula One victory.

Kimi Raikkonen won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, leading Ferrari to a third straight Formula One victory.

Raikkonen, the defending world champion, captured his 17th race after starting from the pole position in Barcelona. Teammate Felipe Massa, who was coming off a win at Bahrain three weeks ago, was second.

"We didn't have the perfect start, but it was good enough to stay in front," Raikkonen said.

Raikkonen led from start to finish for the sixth time to record his second win of the season. He won the Malaysian Grand Prix last month.

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren was third. Teammate Heikki Kovalainen was airlifted to hospital after a high-speed crash. The Finnish driver was in stable condition.

Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber was fourth and Mark Webber of Red Bull rounded out the top five.

Raikkonen, who won here in 2005, leads the overall standings with 29 points, nine more than Hamilton. Massa is next with 19 points.

Jenson Button of Honda was sixth, followed by Kazuki Nakajima of Williams and Jarno Trulli of Toyota in the final positions to earn points.

The 28-year-old Raikkonen topped both Friday practice sessions before taking his 15th career pole. That makes it eight straight winners here to have won from the pole.

Ferrari's one-point effort at the season-opening Australian GP in Melbourne — its worst start for 16 years — is now a distant memory with the Italians winning all three races since.

McLaren said that a loss of pressure caused Kovalainen's front left tire to explode and send him skidding into the wall at turn No. 9. Stewards needed almost 10 minutes to pry his mangled car out.

The Finn was flown to a Barcelona hospital by helicopter after leaving the track wearing a neck brace, but he gave a thumbs-up sign to spectators.

In all, nine drivers retired because of mechanical problems or accidents.

Hamilton, who finished more than four seconds behind Raikkonen, returned to the podium for the first time since winning the Australian GP.

Alonso out with engine problems

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Renault, who started second, retired with engine problems after 34 laps.

"The motor broke, I think," said Alonso, who won his home race two years ago. "It's tough because we're here in Spain.

"But I think in the next race we can do a better performance."

Alonso was the first of the grid leaders to pit — after 16 laps — and Hamilton moved into third. Massa was at least 10 seconds ahead, however.

The field was bunched after Kovalainen's accident with BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who started ninth, moving up to fifth. But the German, who was second in the championship coming in, was forced to do a stop-and-go penalty after pitting to refuel with the safety car out.

Heidfeld was last in 14th place when he re-emerged, before eventually placing back where he started.