2008 Malaysian Grand Prix report



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.


Coulthard, having been openly critical of Massa’s move in the Australian Grand Prix which took him out of the race, has since changed the mirrors on his Red Bull – perhaps not the best advert for being innocent?

Although Ferrari can leave the weekend with a well-deserved win it will be playing on their minds that, after losing three cars to engine failures last weekend (Raikkonen, Massa and a Toro Rosso which uses a Ferrari engine), Adrian Sutil’s engine (another Ferrari customer) failed on Friday. It is rare for even one engine to fail during a weekend’s racing, let alone an average of 2 every Grand Prix.

The Australian Grand Prix it wasn’t; there were certainly less accidents for a start, but Sepang’s final results were a remarkably fair reflection on all the drivers’ and cars’ pace. The BMWs were the second quickest cars out there, behind the Ferraris. While the McLarens, even though they started down in 8th and 9th, really didn’t have the pace to have fought for a win.

Well done Kimi for another typically relaxed win.


Pos Driver Team Time/Retired Grid Pts
1. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:31:18.555 2 11
2. Kubica BMW +19.57 secs 4 8
3. Kovalainen McLaren +38.450 secs 8 10
4. Trulli Toyota +45.832 secs 3 5
5. Hamilton McLaren +46.548 secs 9 14
6. Heidfeld BMW +49.833 secs 5 11
7. Webber Red Bull +1:08.130 6 2
8. Alonso Renault +1:10.041 7 6
9. Coulthard Red Bull +1:16.220 12
10. Button Honda +1:26.214 11
11. Piquet Renault +1:32.202 13
12. Fisichella Force India +1 Lap 17
13. Barrichello Honda +1 Lap 14
14. Rosberg Williams +1 Lap 16 6
15. Davidson Super Aguri +1 Lap 22
16. Sato Super Aguri +2 Laps 20
17. Nakajima Williams +2 Laps 18 3
Ret Vettel Toro Rosso Hydraulics/Electric 15
Ret Massa Ferrari Accident 1
Ret Sutil Force India Hydraulics 21
Ret Glock Toyota Accident 10
Ret Bourdais Toro Rosso Accident 19 2

Constructors Championship

Pos Team No of podiums Best Result Points
1. McLaren 2 1 x 1st 24
2. BMW 2 2 x 2nd 19
3. Ferrari 1 1 x 1st 11
4. Williams 1 1 x 3rd 9
5. Renault 1 x 4th 6
6. Toyota 1 x 4th 5
7. Red Bull 1 x 7th 2
8. Toro Rosso 1 x 7th 2
9. Honda 1 x 10th
10. Force India 1 x 12th
11. Super Aguri 1 x 15th

You may also like