Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the world championship on Sunday despite finishing behind both Ferraris at the French grand prix. The McLaren driver met the chequered flag half a minute after Kimi Raikkonen, who leapfrogged his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa in the second pit stops during a dry race at Magny Cours.

Hamilton's teammate Fernando Alonso struggled in traffic for the entire 70 laps in overcast France and finished just seventh, widening his championship deficit to 14 points. Raikkonen's win brings to an end a three-race drought for Ferrari, while it is the Finn's first trip to the top step of the podium since Melbourne in March.

Jenson Button recorded Honda's first point of the season with eighth, while Christijan Albers ensured the most farcical moment of the weekend by knocking over a Spyker colleague and dragging his fuel hose out of the pit lane following a stop.

News Briefs from the race

A spokeswoman for formula one tyre supplier Bridgestone on Sunday said she could not confirm or deny reports that team members were among the two passengers killed in a helicopter crash near Magny Cours on Saturday night.


Felipe Massa said traffic was to blame for losing the French grand prix to his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, after setting pole and leading the race until the second and final pit stop. "I'm so disappointed with the traffic. I lost the race because of that," the Brazilian said.


Runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton finished more than half a minute behind both Ferraris on Sunday but he insisted that his unique three-stop strategy was the right choice by McLaren. "I think our strategy worked quite well," he told reporters at Magny Cours, "and overall I'm happy because the most important thing is the championship."


It rained about four hours before the start of the French grand prix on Sunday but the 70-lap race remained dry.