The race marked the first pole position for Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, as well as the first Grand Prix meeting for Sebastian Vettel, who was assigned Friday tester for the BMW team.
The start of the race was affected by a multi-car accident entering the first corner. Massa, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella all battled for position entering the first corner, but Fisichella (in fourth place) spun, causing a chain reaction behind him.
During the chain reaction, Scott Speed collided with the McLaren of Kimi Räikkönen, causing a puncture to one of Räikkönen's rear tires. Räikkönen pitted for a new tire, but soon had another rear tire issue due to damaged bodywork. On the next lap he went straight off the outside of turn 4 and into a barrier.
Nick Heidfeld, Fisichella, and Speed all needed repairs from the incident, as did Ralf Schumacher and the Midland of Tiago Monteiro, who retired.
At lap 13, Vitantonio Liuzzi, who had climbed to seventh place in the first corner chaos but was dropping back, lost control entering the first turn and spun, stalling the engine. The car was left stranded on the racing line at the exit of the corner, and the Safety Car was deployed. Massa, Michael Schumacher, Alonso, Jenson Button, Robert Kubica and Mark Webber all came in to make pit stops whilst the Safety Car circulated. The first four drivers stayed at the front, but Webber and Kubica dropped to near the back of the pack. Alonso, however, was able to jump Schumacher, as his title rival was forced to 'stack' behind Massa before the mechanics could set to work on his car.
The final 15 laps of the race were focused on Alonso and Michael Schumacher, who fought for second place behind Massa as part of their championship battle. Schumacher pursued Alonso for the last laps, but was unable to catch Alonso until the final corners of the final lap. Schumacher was right on the gearbox of Alonso exiting the last corner, but did not get past.
The winner of the race was Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. This was Massa's first career Formula One victory, making it the second Formula One race in a row with a first-time winner (following Jenson Button's win at Hungary three weeks earlier). The previous time this had happened was in 2003, when the Malaysian Grand Prix was won by Kimi Räikkönen and the following race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, was won by Giancarlo Fisichella.