Felipe Massa of Ferrari won the French Grand Prix on Sunday and moved top of the overall standings after his third F1 victory of the season.
"It's nice but my dream is not just to lead the championship, my dream is to win the championship," the Brazilian said.
Massa overtook teammate and pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen with 32 laps to go and held on to win by 17.9 seconds. It's the second consecutive Ferrari sweep at the Circuit de Nevers.
"It was fantastic, I didn't expect that. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck and today we got that," Massa said.
Massa leads the title race with 48 points _ two points ahead of Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber, who finished fifth. Raikkonen trails Massa by five points in third.
Toyota's Jarno Trulli finished third ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, who had started 10th after a five-place qualifying penalty. Teammate Lewis Hamilton's frustrating day was compounded by an extra penalty that left him out of the points in 10th. The British driver now trails Massa by 10 points.
Hamilton, eager to move up into the points from 13th, passed Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel at the third corner and got as high as ninth. But his impatience earned a drive-through penalty after he went off-course in the maneuver.
"I felt I had got past fairly and was ahead going into the corner," Hamilton said.
Massa's eighth victory meant F1 has a new leader for the fourth straight GP. The 27-year-old driver is the first Brazilian to lead the championship since three-time champion Ayrton Senna.
"It was a great race, we showed our competitiveness here," Massa said. "It was a great job from everybody, I'm very happy because we advanced a lot more in the championship. We still need to work a lot but it's a step in the right direction."
Raikkonen lost the edge when his exhaust came undone and Massa passed for Ferrari's eighth win in 12 races at the Circuit de Nevers. The Italians rebounded from poor races at Monaco and Montreal that had robbed it of the early season momentum after four wins in the first five races.
"It's disappointing in the end after having a really good car all weekend and being on pole ... but that happens sometimes," the 28-year-old Raikkonen said. "Still, eight points is good for the championship and a good result for the team."
Red Bull's Mark Webber was sixth ahead of Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr., who earned his first F1 points after eight races. Teammate Fernando Alonso, who had started third, rounded the points in eighth.
Teams faced the dilemma of playing it safe and running the wet tires or gambling on dry tires with a light rain sprinkling the countryside track in intervals.
Raikkonen and Massa pulled away on the hard tires with Trulli and Kubica squeezing Alonso back into fifth with quick overtaking moves at the first turn.
"I felt we had a chance and I had to play it," Trulli said. "With the experience I have, I had to go for it."
Hamilton, eager to get up into the points from 13th, passed Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel at the third corner and got as high as ninth but his impatience earned a drive-through penalty after he went off-course in the maneuver. The 23-year-old driver, who was dropped 10 places on the grid for causing an accident at the preceding Canadian GP, was lapped by Raikkonen after 20 laps.
Massa stayed out longer to try and catch Raikkonen but couldn't make up the four-second gap. World champion Raikkonen had won the 70-lap race last year after overtaking pole sitter Massa on a similar strategy.
Raikkonen was nearly 35 seconds up on Trulli halfway to the checkered flag but the tail pipe problem then cost him with Massa pressuring for an eventual pass.
"We lost all the power and then it came back and it was too slow in the straight," Raikkonen said. "Luckily we went fast enough in the beginning to pull away from the others and set a gap. I was lucky to finish the race. The last couple of laps the car almost stopped sometimes."
By the time Massa pitted with 16 laps left, the lead hadn't changed even with light rain. Raikkonen lost the exhaust pipe for good with nine laps left but Trulli couldn't make up the 21-second difference and was more concerned with the cars behind him.
Trulli and Kovalainen touched wheels with two laps to go as the Finn attempted a pass but Trulli steered the Japanese team to its first podium since the 2006 Australian GP.
"I did my job and kept the inside line ... I could see the podium and I didn't want to lose the position," Trulli said. "Everybody knows me, I'm hard to pass. Sometimes you get it wrong, this time I got it right."