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Cozz
03-27-2008, 02:08 AM
Raikkonen fights back with victory in Malaysia


Kimi Raikkonen fought back from his disappointing Australian Grand Prix by taking victory in Malaysia and closing to within three points of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship. The Finn cruised home ahead of Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen.

Kimi Raikkonen made a good start and challenged Felipe Massa down the inside of turn one, but the Brazilian wasn't having any of it and outbraked his Ferrari team mate to retain the lead. Meanwhile the two McLarens had a good start after their five-place penalties for blocking in qualifying, climbing to fifth and seventh. Massa led Raikkonen, Kubica, Webber, Hamilton, Trulli, Kovalainen, Coulthard, Heidfeld and Alonso.

Alonso was on the move and took advantage of a mistake from Heidfeld on lap two to take ninth while Nico Rosberg pitted to replace a damaged front wing, Timo Glock pulled into the pits to retire after being hit by the Williams and Sebastien Bourdais' race ended in the gravel.

Heidfeld finds a way past as Alonso lines up a move on Coulthard to pass both the cars while Alonso too pulls off a move to dispatch the Red Bull in a wheel to wheel battle through turns one and two.

The race stabilised until Mark Webber was the first frontrunner to pit on lap 16 and Massa came in on lap 17 just as Raikkonen set a new fastest lap of the race. The reigning champion really put the hammer down going even faster in the first and second sectors of his in lap, to pit on lap 18 and rejoin ahead Felipe Massa.

Lewis Hamilton pitted on lap 19 but his luck turned and a problem changing his front right tyre kept cost him an extra 12 seconds on everyone else's stops, causing him to rejoin the race again behind Webber. Alonso and Kubica were the final frontrunners to pit on lap 22.

After the first round of stops on lap 26 Raikkonen led Massa, Kubica, Kovalainen, Trulli, Webber, Hamilton, Heidfeld, Alonso and Coulthard.

The race took a turn for the worse for Ferrari on lap 30 as Felipe Massa lost the rear end of his car in between the fast turns seven and eight, getting stranded in the gravel. Raikkonen continued in the lead ahead of Kubica and Kovalainen.

The final round of stops began with Raikkonen on lap 38 followed by the rest of the field in the following seven laps. Raikkonen resumed the lead ahead of Kubica, Kovalainen and Trulli. Lewis Hamilton was up to fourth after Webber got caught in traffic and had the Toyota in his sights, with not very long to do anything about it.

Kimi Raikkonen cruised to his first win of the season, to close to within three points of championship leader Lewis Hamilton. Robert Kubica continued BMW's impressive start to the season taking second place ahead of Heikki Kovalainen taking his first podium for McLaren.

Jarno Trulli fended off a late challenge from Lewis Hamilton to take fourth place for Toyota, while Hamilton's fifth place kept him the lead in the drivers' championship. Nick Heidfeld finished sixth ahead of Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso taking the final point for Renault.

side note.... damn you Massa!

Driver Standings:
1. L. Hamilton 14
2. K. Räikkönen 11
3. N. Heidfeld 11
4. H. Kovalainen 10
5. R. Kubica 8
6. N. Rosberg 6
7. F. Alonso 6
8. J. Trulli 5
9. K. Nakajima 3
10. M. Webber 2
11. S. Bourdais 2

Team Standings:
1. McLaren 24
2. BMW 19
3. Ferrari 11
4. Williams 9
5. Renault 6
6. Toyota 5
7. Red Bull 2
8. Toro Rosso 2