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Felipe Massa Clinches His First Grand Prix Victory in Fine Style

Felipe Massa won the Turkish Grand Prix, closing a weekend in which he achieved both his maiden pole position and more significantly his first victory.

Michael Schumacher finished in third position after a tense battle with championship rival Fernando Alonso, who very narrowly clung onto the second podium spot.

Following the race Jean Todt stated: 'Thanks to the great work being done by our technical partners, first and foremost Bridgestone and also Shell, we will be in the best possible shape to try and win both championships.'

Massa had left fellow competitors in his wake at Saturday qualifying, clinching the first ever pole position of his career. For the fourth time this season, the two Ferraris would be starting from the front row of the grid, as Schumacher qualified in second place, locking out the two Renaults.

'I am very happy for Felipe for his first ever pole position. Our package, with the support of exceptional partners like Bridgestone and Shell once again showed itself to be very competitive today.' Todt commented once the qualifying session had closed.

All three front runners held position as the lights went out at three o'clock on Sunday afternoon, although the first lap was anything but routine. As the Ferraris and Renaults funnelled into the first corner Fisichella lost control spinning into the oncoming traffic. This left chaos and debris on the track, as drivers had fractions of a second to avoid collision and manoeuvre their vehicles safely through.

The two Ferraris, running on high performance Shell V-Power, initially made good progress with Schumacher setting some of the fastest laps.

However, the safety car was summoned when the Toro Rosso of Liuzzi gave up the ghost, causing the Italian to leave his car stranded half way across the track.

Teams seized the opportunity to pit. In doing so, Schumacher lost second position to Alonso, when both pulled away from their respective pit crews to rejoin the track. Massa, pitting first, maintained his lead.

The Brazilian, whose pace and performance could not at any point be doubted, went on to open up a significant gap. He eased his way round the circuit to seal the victory, accomplishing a personal best and perfect Grand Prix weekend.

His team mate's race was not so straightforward. After a disappointing pit stop, Schumacher continued to set strong lap times. The German regained ground on Alonso allowing him to set his sites on a valuable second podium position. Nail biting action ensued as Alonso hung on, trying to ward off the 248 F1 of Schumacher just metres behind him, but this was not meant to be. Schumacher crossed the line in third place.Mike Copson Shell Formula One Technical Manager said: 'Many congratulations to Felipe on his first win. A solid result for the Constructors' Championship, which just goes to show that Shell Formula One fuels and lubricants continue to be a significant part of the chase for the championships.'

With four races remaining, Scuderia Ferrari maintains second position in the Constructors' Championship. Schumacher also retains second place in the Drivers' Championship, now twelve points behind Alonso.

Monza - the final European race of the 2006 season - is Formula One's next destination. This race will take place on 10th September.