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Malaysian Grand Prix
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Race Report - Results
Ralf Schumacher wins the race just under 40 seconds
ahead of his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya and his brother Michael Schumacher.
Jenson Button finishes 4th after losing 3rd on the last lap to Michael while
the Sauber pair of Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa make up the top 6.
The race started with Juan Pablo Montoya getting alongside Michael Schumacher going into the first corner. They touch with Michael losing his front wing while Juan Pablo going onto the grass. Michael had to pit and rejoined in 21st place while Montoya lost a few places and rejoined back in 11th. Both drivers started to make up places. At the front Rubens Barrichello took the lead and slowly started to build a gap to Ralf. Behind them were the 2 McLarens of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard and they were lapping slower than the 2 in front.
On lap 8, Montoya who was up into 6th place was given a 'drive through the pit lane' penalty due to his touch with Michael at the start. After driving through the pit-lane he rejoined in 9th place. Meanwhile Michael Schumacher was slicing his way through the field reaching 13th place.
By lap 15, Rubens Barrichello was leading Ralf Schumacher by
6 seconds with Raikkonen in 3rd almost 18 seconds behind and Coulthard right
behind his team-mate. At that stage it seemed as if the 2 in front were on 2
stops while Raikkonen and Coulthard were on 1.
By lap 20 and the first round of pits for the 2 stoppers
started. Michael Schumacher made his pit stop and Rubens Barrichello followed
on the following lap giving the lead to Ralf Schumacher. A lap later Juan
Pablo Montoya pits.
Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button made their only pit stop on lap 32. Rubens Barrichello took the lead with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya behind.
On lap 36, Rubens Barrichello made his second stop and rejoined in 2nd place just in front of Juan Pablo Montoya. Meanwhile Michael Schumacher takes 4th after passing Heidfeld and Button.
On lap 40 disaster stuck for Ferrari with an engine failure
for Rubens Barrichello. Juan Pablo Montoya makes his second pit stop and
rejoins behind Jenson Button. A lap later Michael Schumacher makes his second
stop and rejoins behind Montoya.
On lap 44 Juan Pablo Montoya manages to get by Jenson Button and takes 2nd. Michael Schumacher was catching Jenson Button but was 20 seconds behind. Allan McNish lost 6th place to Felipe Massa due to a mix-up in the Toyota pits looking for one of Allan's tyres.
The race order remained the same until the final lap with Jenson Button slowing, Michael Schumacher managed to pass him on the and take third. Button was certainly very unlucky.
So the race finished with Ralf Schumacher winning ahead of his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher. Jenson Button finished 4th ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa.
With both Williams finishing the Malaysian GP, it looks as
if they are both fast and reliable.
Juan Pablo's 'drive through' penalty will be talked about for a long time. It was the first such penalty and even Michael Schumacher who was at the receiving end thought it was extreme.
The drivers' championship now looks close with Michael
Schumacher leading with 14 points followed by Juan Pablo Montoya with 12 and
Ralf Schumacher with 10.