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2008 Malaysian Grand Prix

Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

Sunday, March 23, 2008
Hot, dry and cloudy
Fastest Lap:
Heidfeld, 1m35.366
2008 season:

The second round of the World Championship saw Ferrari take a dominant victory, with Raikkonen crossing the line some 20 seconds ahead of BMW’s Kubica. Massa, who took pole yesterday, was leap-frogged by his Finnish team-mate during the first round of pit stops and later spun off. It isn’t clear as to why he lost the back end but I suspect there was a slight driver error, something that Massa isn’t new to. As for the McLarens, well, both of the cars were penalised 5 grid places yesterday for holding up Nick Heidfeld, and in my opinion rightly so. As I mentioned in the Qualifying report, the speeds which they were doing their fuel saving in lap at were lethal considering the BMW was closing at 170mph. So having started from 8th and 9th, Hamilton got a great start and come the end of lap one was up to 5th. Kovalainen did well, but didn’t manage to get higher than 7th in the opening stages. It was during Hamilton’s first pit stop that his hopes of a podium were dashed as there was so much brake dust on his front right that the pit crew couldn’t get the wheel off. The stop took some 20 seconds meaning that a final position of 5th was about all he could hope for. The real surprise for the day was that Trulli managed to keep his qualifying pace and ended the race in 4th position. After two dreadful seasons it seems that Toyota have finally made a more competitive car. Indeed they were one of the only teams to start with a blank piece of paper for their 2008 car, most teams being content to revise their 2007 cars considering the rule changes coming in to place next year.