Archive for March, 2008

A new rule is being imposed for the qualifying session in Bahrain next weekend.
F1’s governing body said the change was necessary after slow-moving cars that were saving fuel got in the way of runners on their final flying laps at the end of Q3 in Malaysia.

“Our clarification to the teams and drivers will be that cars returning to the pits having completed their flying lap or laps will be required to do so within a time that we will set,” an FIA spokesman confirmed.
“This could be approximately 120 percent of the normal time as we do to prevent drivers going very slowly to the grid to save fuel,” he added.

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has decided to have a short break in Thailand, on the island of Koh Samui, before the next race in Bahrain
Lewis has gone with F1 mate Adrian Sutil, and his trainer Adam Costanzo
He said after the race “Last year Ferrari were on top in Australia and we struck back in Malaysia, this time it was the other way around, but Bahrain will see us improve again.
Reliability was fantastic. We can improve in certain areas, but we are still going there leading the championship.
I wasn’t surprised by the Ferraris as they are going to keep pushing. I’m not down. I’m not as happy as if I’d won the race, but I still feel very, very optimistic.
We are going off for a few days. It’s a chance to recharge, have some good food and do some good training.”

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Malaysia Podium

Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen was back on form when he won the Malaysian Grand Prix
The one-two finish the team had hoped for was wrecked when Felipe Massa spun off while running second.
It was also Raikkonen’s seventh win for Ferrari and his second win in Malaysia.

Robert Kubica finished second and almost 20 seconds behind Raikkonen
It was Robert Kubica’s best formula 1 career result

Lewis Hamilton, who won in Australia, had a problem with his first pit-stop, when the front right wheel took a while to remove, and for most of the race was stuck behind Webber.
So Hamilton ended up finishing 5th despite a last minute charge for Trulli’s 4th spot

Raikkonen has now cut Hamilton’s lead at the top to just three points

David Coulthard and Jenson Button finished 9th and 10th

1. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:31:18.555
2. R. Kubica BMW Sauber + 19.570
3. H. Kovalainen McLaren + 38.450
4. J. Trulli Toyota + 45.832
5. L. Hamilton McLaren + 46.548
6. N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber + 49.833
7. M. Webber Red Bull Racing + 1:08.130
8. F. Alonso Renault + 1:10.041
9. D. Coulthard Red Bull Racing + 1:16.220
10. J. Button Honda + 1:26.214
11. N. Piquet Jr. Renault + 1:32.202
12. G. Fisichella Force India + 1 Lap
13. R. Barrichello Honda + 1 Lap
14. N. Rosberg Williams + 1 Lap
15. A. Davidson Super Aguri F1 + 1 Lap
16. T. Sato Super Aguri F1 + 2 Laps
17. K. Nakajima Williams + 2 Laps
Non Finishers
18. S. Vettel Toro Rosso Unknown
19. F. Massa Ferrari Spin
20. A. Sutil Force India Unknown
21. T. Glock Toyota Collision
22. S. Bourdais Toro Rosso Spin

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Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have each been given a 5 grid place penalty
Both drivers were being investigated by the stewards after qualifying, because Heidfeld & Alonso complained to stewards about being blocked by both drivers on their final hot laps
Following several hours of deliberation by the stewards about whether or not the McLaren pair had done anything wrong, it was eventually decided that the duo should be punished.

A McLaren spokesman confirmed that the two drivers had been moved back five places each.
The Mclaren team have also confirmed they will not be appealling the stewards decision.

Hamilton was penalised for blocking Heidfeld, and Kovalainen got penalised for blocking both drivers

The Revised Grid Places :

 1.  Massa         
 2.  Raikkonen          
 3.  Trulli         
 4.  Kubica       
 5.  Heidfeld        
 6.  Webber
 7.  Alonso         
 8.  Kovalainen *
 9.  Hamilton *
10.  Glock           
11.  Button            
12.  Coulthard 
13.  Piquet           
14.  Barrichello           
15.  Vettel
16.  Rosberg  
17.  Fisichella
18.  Bourdais
19.  Sato
20.  Sutil
21.  Davidson
22.  Nakajima **

*  Penalised for blocking
** Penalised for last weeks crash with Kubica

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 Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa has claimed pole position for the Malaysian grand prix
The ferrari team dominated qualifying leaving Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton second best on the second row of the grid.

Kovalainen beat Hamilton by a tenth of a second and starts 3rd

Heidfeld was put in a dangerous situation as he did his final hot laps, as many of the other drivers were on slowing down laps to save fuel

Alonso was 9th and team-mate Nelson Piquet was 13th.

Jenson Button came close to making it into the final round of qualifying in his Honda, but ended up 11th with team-mate Rubens Barrichello finishing 14th.

Williams driver Nakajima was awarded a 10 place grid penalty for his collision last week with Robert Kubica in Australia

1. F. Massa Ferrari 1:35.748   17
2. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.230 +0.482 13
3. H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:36.613 +0.865 12
4. L. Hamilton McLaren 1:36.709 +0.961 18
5. J. Trulli Toyota 1:36.711 +0.963 18
6. R. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:36.727 +0.979 13
7. N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:36.753 +1.005 13
8. M. Webber Red Bull Racing 1:37.009 +1.261 18
9. F. Alonso Renault 1:38.450 +2.702 18
10. T. Glock Toyota 1:39.656 +3.908 20
11. J. Button Honda 1:35.208 -0.540 15
12. D. Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1:35.408 -0.340 12
13. N. Piquet Jr. Renault 1:35.562 -0.186 12
14. R. Barrichello Honda 1:35.622 -0.126 15
15. S. Vettel Toro Rosso 1:35.648 -0.100 15
16. N. Rosberg Williams 1:35.670 -0.078 13
17. G. Fisichella Force India 1:36.240 +0.492 9
18. K. Nakajima Williams 1:36.388 +0.640 9
19. S. Bourdais Toro Rosso 1:36.677 +0.929 8
20. T. Sato Super Aguri F1 1:37.087 +1.339 9
21. A. Sutil Force India 1:37.101 +1.353 10
22. A. Davidson Super Aguri F1 1:37.481 +1.733 9

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Lewis Hamilton 

Lewis Hamilton has once again ended Friday practice fastest, just like in Australia 1 week ago.

The ferrari’s were quickest until 10 minutes left of the final practice, when Hamilton put in his quick lap. Sebastian Bourdais suffered engine problems, so took no part in the session. Jenson Button ended up 4th fastest, although its believed he simulated a low fuel qualifying lap. Alonso finished 14th, he had a gearbox problem half way through the session. David Coulthard has a front suspension failure in morning practice, so the team decided not to send him out in the afternoon session, while they investigated what caused his suspension to fail.

Final Practice Times :

 Pos Driver Team Time Difference Laps
1. L. Hamilton McLaren 1:35.055   32
2. F. Massa Ferrari 1:35.206 +0.151 33
3. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:35.428 +0.373 36
4. J. Button Honda 1:36.037 +0.982 40
5. S. Vettel Toro Rosso 1:36.474 +1.419 35
6. J. Trulli Toyota 1:36.493 +1.438 38
7. H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:36.512 +1.457 30
8. R. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:36.671 +1.616 33
9. G. Fisichella Force India 1:36.756 +1.701 37
10. K. Nakajima Williams 1:36.838 +1.783 34
11. R. Barrichello Honda 1:36.879 +1.824 38
12. N. Rosberg Williams 1:36.908 +1.853 36
13. N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.106 +2.051 35
14. F. Alonso Renault 1:37.328 +2.273 23
15. N. Piquet Jr. Renault 1:37.331 +2.276 42
16. M. Webber Red Bull Racing 1:37.346 +2.291 37
17. T. Glock Toyota 1:37.512 +2.457 35
18. A. Sutil Force India 1:37.614 +2.559 35
19. T. Sato Super Aguri F1 1:39.021 +3.966 27
20. A. Davidson Super Aguri F1 1:39.361 +4.306 30
21. D. Coulthard Red Bull Racing no time   0
22. S. Bourdais Toro Rosso no time   1

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Massa & Coulthard

Michael Schumacher has said that the 2 Ferrari drivers contributed to the teams disasterous start to the season

Schumacher told Auto Motor und Sport that Felipe Massa’s first corner crash, and collision with David Coulthard, were both driver errors.
Schumacher said data shows that Massa was in too low a gear when he spun into the barriers on lap one at Albert Park.
“At the moment we do not know why,” he said, “but now without traction control, and on cold tyres, the car in that moment becomes very critical.”
Schumacher also said that, while Coulthard should shoulder some of the responsibility, Massa was to blame for the crash later in the race. 
“You have to say that David could have been a little cleverer about it,” he said, “but there is no question that Felipe was the cause.”

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