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Malaysian GP 2008

MARCH 23, 2008

Race Notes - Raikkonen wins Malaysian GP

Kimi Raikkonen, Malaysian GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive

World Champion Kimi Raikkonen won the Malaysian Grand Prix with ease today in his Ferrari. BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica finished in second place, 19.5 seconds behind - his career best finish Heikki Kovalainen in his McLaren-Mercedes finished in third place, some 38.4 seconds behind the winner.

The victory is the first for the Finnish driver of the season, and the 16th of his career.

Jarno Trulli finished fourth in the Toyota, just ahead of Championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren-Mercedes. Nick Heidfeld in the BMW Sauber was sixth, followed by Mark Webber in the Red Bull-Renault in seventh and Fernando Alonso in the Renault finished in the final points paying position.

At the start, Massa squeezed Raikkonen to the inside down to the first corner taking the lead, while Trulli and Heidfeld bumped, dropped Trulli back from third to fifth, Kubica and Webber getting by, and Heidfeld back to 10th. Bourdais spun off off. At the end of the lap Glock and Rosberg coming together, both having to pit.

At lap 2 Massa led Raikkonen, Kubicam Webber, Hamilton, Trulli, Kovalainen, Coulthard, Alonso and Heidfeld in 10th.

On lap 4 Heidfeld passed Alonso and Coulthard to take 8th, with Alonso battled Coulthard side-by-side to take over ninth,

On lap 6, Sutil pulled off the circuit and retired.

On lap 10 Nakajima passes Vettel for 13th place.

By lap 10, Massa led Raikkonen by 1.6 seconds, the two Ferraris trading fastest laps, streaking out to a eight second lead over Kubica, Webber, Hamilton, Trulli, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Alonso and Coulthard in 10th.

Hamilton closes in on Webber in fourth place, his left front tyre showing signs of wear

On lap 16 Webber is the first to pit - his rear rain light falling off in the stop, while leader Massa pits a lap later, Trulli and Heidfeld also pitted, Raikkonen pitting on lap 18 coming out just ahead of Masa.

On lap 19 Hamilton makes his first stop from second place, the team having trouble changing the right front tyre, dropping Hamilton to 11th place. Kovalainen pitting on lap 20.

At lap 21 leader Kubica makes his first stop, handing the lead back to Raikkonen. Alonso and Button pitting on lap 22. Coulthard, the last of the leaders to pit, comes in on lap 23, The rest yet to make their first stop - Piquet, Vettel and Barrichello, pit on lap 24

On lap 25, Raikkonen leads Massa by 4 seconds, followed by Kubica 12 seconds further back, Kovalainen, Trulli, Webber, Hamilton, Heidfeld, Alonso and Coulthard in tenth.

On lap 29 Sato has an excursion across a gravel trap, but continues.

Webber, Hamilton and Heidfeld continue to travel in close formation for sixth place.

On lap 31 Massa car, in second place, snaps into a spin at the apex and winds up beached on a gravel trap at the outside of the corner and is unable to rejoin - his day finished.

Trulli pushes hard and closes on Kovalainen in third.

At lap 35, Raikkonen leads Kubica by 23 seconds, followed 18.5 seconds back by Kovalainen in third, Trulli on his tail in fourth, followed another 11 seconds back by Webber, Hamilton, Heidfeld, Alonso Coulthard and Button in 10th place.

On lap 38, leader Raikkonen is the first of the front runners to pit, Kubica taking over the lead. Webber pits from 5th on lap 39, followed by Trulli on the next lap, whilte Sebastian Vettel's engine lets go out on the track.

On lap 41 Heidfeld and Alonso pit, followed on lap 43 by race leader Kubica making a fast stop, and Button. Hamilton and Coulthard stopping on lap 44, followed by Kovalainen from second position the next lap.

At lap 46, Raikkonen leads Kubica by 20 seconds, followed 20 seconds further back by Kovalainen in third, Trulli, Hamilton, Heidfeld, Webber, Alonso, Coulthard and Button in 10th.

On lap 47 Barrichello stops to take a penalty for speeding in the pits.

Hamilton closes on Trulli in fourth place, while Alonso closes on Webber in 7th place.

On the final lap Button goes off into the grass, but rejoins - the order remaining the same to the line.