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MARCH 20, 2005

Race incidents from Sepang

A smoky haze descended on the Sepang circuit in the hours leading up to the race, reducing the air temperature a little but the track temperature at the start was a startling 52-degree C.

* Lap 1: At the start of the race Fernando Alonso takes the lead from Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella. Mark Webber fends off Ralf Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, while Jenson Button and Nick Heidfeld both have a strong first lap to pass the two Red Bull drivers. Further back Felipe Massa gets the better of Michael Schumacher to grab 13th place, while Jacques Villeneuve ends his first lap ahead of Anthony Davidson's BAR. Behind them Tiago Monteiro is ahead of Narain Karthikeyan in 17th. At the end of the lap Alonso is 0.8secs ahead of Trulli, who is a second clear of Fisichella.

* Lap 2: Alonso increases his lead to 1.2secs while the field begins to sort itself out. Jenson Button overtakes Raikkonen for sixth place, while at the back of the field Monteiro goes off and so Karthikeyan moves up to 17th. Patrick Friesacher spins out.

* Lap 3: Alonso moves further ahead with a gap of 2.1secs of Trulli with the Toyota 1.3secs clear of Fisichella. The overtaking is over further back but Webber is fourth under pressure from Ralf Schumacher. Button's BAR blows up and so Raikkonen moves to sixth and Heidfeld is seventh ahead of David Coulthard and Christian Klien, Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren and Rubens Barrichello, the first of the Ferrari-engined cars. Massa is next with Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve following. Davidson also goes out with an engine failure. A poor day for Honda.

* Lap 9: Alonso increases his lead to nearly six seconds with Fisichella 2.5secs behind. At the tail of the field Monteiro passes Christijan Albers for 16th.

* Lap 15: Alonso's lead is up to seven seconds but Fisichella is beginning to fall away in third. At the back the pit stops begin with Albers heading into pitlane.

* Lap 18: Trulli sets the fastest lap and begins to close the gap to Alonso. In the midfield Klien pits for tyres and falls from ninth to 14th.

* Lap 19: Trulli sets another fastest lap. At the back of the field Monteiro pits.

* Lap 20: The first of the frontrunners stop with Ralf Schumacher pitting. He is followed into the pits by Heidfeld and Coulthard. Also pitting is Karthikeyan.

* Lap 21: Alonso and Trulli both pit. In the midfield Massa also stops and falls from 10th to 13th.

* Lap 22: Fisichella leads for a lap and then pits, followed into the pits by Webber. This puts Raikkonen into the lead with Alonso behind him and Trulli in pursuit.

* Lap 23: Raikkonen sets the fastest lap. Montoya pits and drops from fifth to 10th. Also pitting is Villeneuve.

* Lap 24: Raikkonen pits and Alonso goes back into the lead. Trulli is second ahead of Fisichella, Webber and Barrichello (who has still to pit). Next up is Ralf Schumacher with Michael behind him. The World Champion pits.

* Lap 25: Raikkonen rejoins but suffers a high-speed tyre blow-up and has to limp around to the pits, shedding rubber as he goes. He is back in 13th place by the time he pits.

* Lap 27: Villeneuve exits the race, spinning out of 13th place at the first corner. Fisichella suddenly begins to lose time in the middle sector.

* Lap 30: Alonso's lead is up to 13.5secs and Trulli is 10secs ahead of Fisichella, who is under pressure from Webber and Ralf Schumacher is closing in. Further back the two Red Bull drivers are all over Barrichello for eighth place.

* Lap 32: Ralf Schumacher challenges Webber for fourth and makes a mess of it, pushing the Williams offline. This allows Heidfeld to get with them and there is an entertaining joust which sees Webber getting ahead again and Heidfeld also dealing with the second Toyota.

* Lap 34: Coulthard and Klien both get ahead of Barrichello to move up to eighth and ninth places. At the back Albers has his second stop.

* Lap 35: Barrichello pits and falls from 10th to 13th.

* Lap 37: Webber has recovered from the assault by Ralf Schumacher and has chased after Fisichella, who is clearly in trouble. The Australia tries to pass Fisichella and seems to be through but Giancarlo spins and takes the Williams off. Both men are out. The FIA Stewards announce that the incident will be investigated.

* Lap 40: Alonso has his second stop and Trulli goes into the lead. Also stopping are Klien, Massa and Karthikeyan.

* Lap 41: Ralf stops again and is followed into pitlane by Coulthard and Raikkonen.

* Lap 42: Trulli stops and Alonso goes back into the lead. Also stopping is Heidfeld.

* Lap 43: Montoya has briefly run in third place but pits and drops back to fourth under attack from Ralf Schumacher.

* Lap 44: Michael Schumacher stops again and drops behind Coulthard.

* Lap 45: Raikkonen overtakes Massa for ninth place.

* Lap 49: Barrichello goes into the pits and retires from 11th position.

* Lap 56: Alonso wins a dominant victory ahead of Trulli, scoring Toyota's first podium. Heidfeld is third for Williams. Montoya is fourth ahead of Ralf Schumacher in the second Toyota and Coulthard gets across the line in sixth. Behind him Michael Schumacher, Klien and Raikkonen cross the line together, battling for seventh. Massa is a lap down. Karthikeyan is two laps down. Monteiro is three laps behind and Albers is four laps down.