Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Malaysia F1 results 2008


No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 56 1:31:18.555 2 10
4 Robert Kubica BMW 56 +19.5 secs 4 8
23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 56 +38.4 secs 8 6
11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 56 +45.8 secs 3 5
22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +46.5 secs 9 4
3 Nick Heidfeld BMW 56 +49.8 secs 5 3
10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 56 +68.1 secs 6 2
5 Fernando Alonso Renault 56 +70.0 secs 7 1
9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 56 +76.2 secs 12
16 Jenson Button Honda 56 +86.2 secs 11
6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 56 +92.2 secs 13
21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 17
17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 55 +1 Lap 14
7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 55 +1 Lap 16
19 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 55 +1 Lap 21
18 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 54 +2 Laps 19
8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 54 +2 Laps 22
15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 39 Hydraulics 15
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 30 Spin 1
20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 5 Hydraulics 20
12 Timo Glock Toyota 1 Accident 10
14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 0 Spin 18

Raikkonen rekindles title defence at circuit where he won maiden victory

REIGNING world champion Kimi Raikkonen could not have chosen a better venue to spark a fight-back for Ferrari in the F1 World Championships.

It was at the Sepang F1 Circuit in 2003 where Raikkonen bagged his first Grand Prix victory and the Finn repeated the feat by winning the 10th edition of the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix in commanding fashion yesterday.

While Raikkonen romped to a trouble-free victory, winning the 56-lap race by nearly 20 seconds, his McLaren rival, Lewis Hamilton, endured a torrid afternoon.

Shake it up: Kimi Raikkonen spraying champagne on the podium after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday.
Hamilton, winner of the season-opening Australian GP last week, finished in fifth place after a pit-stop mistake by his crew delayed him by nearly 20 seconds.

Polish driver Robert Kubica gave BMW Sauber their first ever podium finish in Sepang in second place behind Raikkonen. He finished the race in 1'31:38.155 and it was his career best performance in F1 thus far.

Heikki Kovalainen restored some pride for the battered McLaren when he fought his way to third place in 1'31:57.005 after starting from eighth on the grid.

But the day certainly belonged to his more illustrious Finnish compatriot, who was in a class of his own.

Raikkonen took the lead after the first pit stop from Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa, who later spun off on the 30th lap.

Red-hot: Ferrari’s Felipe Massa (right) and Kimi Raikkonen (left) leading the pack at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday. – GLENN GUAN / The Star
Massa had started from pole ahead of Raikkonen and was in a position to give Ferrari a 1-2 finish but lost the back end of his Ferrari and spun off into the gravel.

Raikkonen had already built up a lead of four seconds by then and it was just a steady cruise home for the Finn.

Raikkonen’s win cut Hamilton's lead in the drivers' standings to three points after two races and the Finn, who seldom smiled to the cameras, had reasons to flash a big grin after the podium celebrations.

The victory was also Ferrari's fifth in Sepang and the first since Michael Schumacher won in 2004.

More importantly, Ferrari will see it as a boost to their championship aspirations after Raikkonen suffered from engine trouble and failed to finish the race in Melbourne. He was only classified in eighth place and picked up one point after Honda's Rubens Barrichello was disqualified for exiting the pit lane while the light was still red.

“For sure we had quite a difficult weekend in Australia when I didn't really expect to have such difficulties,” said Raikkonen.

“We were not 100% sure that things would be different here. We knew that speed wise, we would be fine, even in Australia the speed should have been fine. But everything worked perfectly here and we took it easy to make sure nothing went wrong.

“We saved the engine. It was a perfect job by the team to come back. But I would have been happier if Felipe got second but things went wrong.”

Massa said that he still did not know what happened to the car and said they would get to the bottom of the matter.

“I just lost the car completely when the rear came round suddenly,” said Massa, who was also on pole in the Malaysian GP last year.

Hamilton was not pleased with the outcome of the race despite finishing among the points. Also not helping his cause was the fact that his water dispenser failed to work during the race.

“I was very thirsty. We were in with a good shot for third place and then had trouble with the pit-stop. I pressed hard for fourth, I really wanted that point, but it wasn't to be,” said the Briton.

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F1: SIC hope to stage race under floodlights by next year

SEPANG: After successfully hosting 10 editions of the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, race organisers Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will be bracing for the new challenge of staging their first-ever night race as early as next year.

Malaysia have signed a deal with promoter and rights holder Bernie Ecclestone to remain as one of the venues for the F1 World Championships until 2015 but on condition that they must be ready to stage the race at night from 2011.

Best turnout: Attendance at the Malaysian Grand Prix exceeded the 125,000 mark this year.
But SIC are receptive to the idea of making the switch earlier than required as a way to ensure that the Malaysian GP remains a big pulling factor for fans in South-East Asia.

And the SIC general manager Datuk Azmi Murad said if things went well, Malaysia would be the second venue after Singapore to host a night race.

Singapore will make their debut on the F1 stage with the 15th round of the championships scheduled for Sept 26-28.

“After 10 years as F1 hosts, it is a natural progression for Sepang to prepare to switch to a night race and we want to do it next year if it is feasible,” said Azmi.

He added that the SIC had started negotiations with lighting system contractors.

“We have to make sure the system is applicable for other events. There is the cost factor to consider and also other areas to look into. Our circuit is unlike Singapore. They have a street circuit and the characteristics are not the same.”

Proposals have been received from the lighting specialists who worked on the Qatar track and also the Singapore street circuit. Qatar hosted the first-ever MotoGP night race early this month.

A system to light up the entire track will cost at least US$5mil.

Hosting the night race as early as next year should also be seen as a financially viable option to the SIC.

“After 10 years, one of the issues we faced in recent years is the lack of track time. We have many bookings for the track. If the lighting system is in place, it will be possible for people to hold their events in the evening,” said Azmi.

The 10th edition of the Malaysian GP marked a milestone when it breached the 125,000-spectator mark for the first time. A total of 126,690 fan thronged the Sepang F1 Circuit. Last year's event attracted 115,000 people while the inaugural race in 1999 drew about 80,000 fans.

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