Malaysian GP 2006

MARCH 19, 2006

Race incidents from Sepang

Start, Malaysian GP 2006
© The Cahier Archive

There is a large crowd at Sepang. hoping to see an exciting race. The cars line up on the grid without a problem.

* Lap 1: At the start of the race Giancarlo Fisichella takes off into the lead while further back on the grid Fernando Alonso makes a storming start to go from seventh on the grid to third in the first corner. Mark Webber finds himself being squeezed on the inside of the track by his own team mate Nico Rosberg but the Australia holds out out and takes the corner. Rosberg is then overtaken by Juan Pablo Montoya and Nick Heidfeld, another very fast starter. There is a mess in the midfield as Christian Klien taps the back of Kimi Raikkonen. This breaks the Austrian's front left suspension and causes Raikkonen to spin a few hundred metres later. That is the end of the race for the McLaren. At the end of the lap Fisichella leads by nearly a second from Button, Alonso, Webber, Montoya, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Jarno Trulli, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. At the end of the first lap Tonio Liuzzi pits to have adjustments made to his car and rejoins at the back.

* Lap 2: Fisichella begins to pull away from Button but both men pull away quickly from the rest of the field with aheavy Alonso holding up a light Webber. Montoya is also heavy, while Heidfeld is under pressure from Rosberg. Further back Ralf Schumacher overtakes Scott Speed for 12th place.

* Lap 3: The pattern remains the same at the front but Speed drops another place to a charging Felipe Massa. At the tail of the field Yuji Ide overtakes Tiago Monteiro for 18th place.

* Lap 4: Heidfeld makes a mistake and that allows Rosberg to get ahead in sixth place. Further back Monteiro repasses Ide for 18th.

* Lap 7: The order is the same as before but Rosberg suddenly disappears with a spectacular engine blow-up.

* Lap 10: Fisichella has a lead of 4.2secs with Button 9.3secs ahead of Alonso, who is under pressure from Mark Webber. Montoya is unable to keep up with them. Further back David Coulthard comes into the pits to retire with a mechanical problem, dropping out of 12th place. At the back Klien returns to the pits having had hsi suspension fixed but finding the car impossible to drive.

* Lap 11: A curiously lacklustre Michael Schumacher passes Villeneuve for eighth place.

* Lap 12: Monteiro is the first man making a scheduled stop.

* Lap 13: Ralf Schumacher stops and thus falls from 10th place and drops three places.

* Lap 14: Webber peels into the pits and drops from fourth to 10th. His hopes of a fast first sector having been frustrated by Alonso.

* Lap 15: Down at the back Christijan Albers passes Takuma Sato for 14th.

* Lap 16: Webber pulls off with an hydraulic problem, ending Williams's involvement for the weekend.

* Lap 17: Fisichella goes into the pits and Button takes the lead. Giancarlo rejoins in third place. Further back Massa passes Trulli for eighth place.

* Lap 19: Button astops and so Alonso takes the lead. Jenson rejoins but he is stuck behind Montoya. Further back both Albers and Liuzzi stop.

* Lap 20: Trulli has his first pitstop. He falls from ninth to 12th.

* Lap 22: The pit stops continued with Speed and Ralf Schumacher pitting.

* Lap 23: it is busy in the pits as Montoya, Michael Schumacher and Villeneuve all stop.

* Lap 24: Heidfeld stops and drops from fourth place to sixth.

* Lap 26: Alonso heads for the pits and so Fisichella takes the lead with Button second. Massa is now up to third place but he still has to stop.

* Lap 31: Fisichella is nearly 10 secs ahead with a gap of five seconds between Button and Alonso, the World Champion closing in quickly on the Honda. Further back Barrichello pits for the first time (he is on a one-stop strategy) and so drops from seventh to 11th.

* Lap 36: Trulli is the first man to stop twice and he drops behind Ralf Schumacher as a result. Rubens Barrichello is given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane and so loses all the advantage he had hoped to gain with just one stop. A major blow.

* Lap 38: Button loses time as he tried to pass Scott Speed. At the end of the lap Fisichella and Button both pit and so Alonso takes the lead. Fisichella gets out ahead, much to Button's frustration. This means that his chance to gain time on Alonso has been lost.

* Lap 41: Villeneuve stops again but remains in eighth place. Speed retires.

* Lap 42: Montoya and Heidfeld both stop with Massa falling back to fifth place and Heidfeld to seventh.

* Lap 43: Alonso finally stops. Fisichella goes back into the lead and it is a fight to see whether Alonso can get out before Button arrives. The Spaniard makes it by several seconds.

* Lap 45: Alonso celebrates being in second and sets the fastest lap of the race. Button can do nothing. Michael Schumacher, who is up to fourth, has to pit again and so he drops back to seventh.

* Lap 48: Liuzzi overtakes Albers to take 12th place.

* Lap 49: Heidfeld's engine blows up and he retires from fifth.

* Lap 56: Fisichella and Alonso come home to give Renault a 1-2. Button is third with Montoya a disappointing fourth for McLaren. Massa is fifth and finishes ahead of Michael Schumacher and the points scorers are completed by Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher. Trulli and Barrichello are lapped while Liuzzi, Albers and Monteiro are two laps down.