Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Kimi Raikkonen - 1st, David Coulthard - Retired )
"Clearly a tremendous result for Kimi and the whole team. Australia
had some unusual circumstances clouding our competitiveness, but today we
showed the excellent work done by the whole team and especially Michelin
who provided us with an outstanding tyre has paid off. A driver's first GP
win is his most significant and Kimi will be even better for it. Apologies
to David who suffered an electrical fault which stopped his car. We look
forward to the remainder of the season, but we are under no illusions
about the competitiveness of our principal rivals."
"A fantastic performance by Kimi and the team. Today we had the best
package and the Michelin tyres which we have been developing together
suited our car perfectly. I'm sorry for David who had to retire with an
"I'm very pleased with my first ever Formula One victory, but I'm not
sure it's really going to sink in until tomorrow. I would like to thank
everybody in the team not only here in Malaysia but also the McLaren and
Mercedes-Benz people back in Woking, Brixworth, Stuttgart as well as
Michelin for all the hard work they have put in.
I made a good start and was coming into the second corner when I saw two
cars hitting each other. I was going to stay on the outside, but at the
last moment I saw one of the cars going backwards and I managed to take
the inside line -- it was the right decision. I then overtook Nick
Heidfeld to take second. I was taking it easy for the last 20 laps to
ensure that I brought the car home and was not pushing. I'm going to fly
home to Switzerland tonight so I don't think we will have a big party, but
I'm sure we will celebrate a bit. I'm now looking forward to the next race
and the rest of the season."
"I made a good start off the line. I saw that there was going to be a
coming together at the second corner and managed to take a wide line to
avoid it. However on lap three at turn four the engine started to cut and
finally stopped completely at turn nine whilst I was in second place. The
team later told me that it was an electrical problem and obviously I'm
disappointed as we could have finished on the podium today.
Congratulations to Kimi on winning his first Grand Prix which is a very
special feeling for every Formula One driver."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 2nd, Michael Schumacher - 6th )
Jean Todt: “It was a very tough race, as indeed we
had expected. The start was the critical moment, when Michael collided with
Trulli and Rubens lost a few places. On lap 3, we called Michael into the pits
to replace the front wing, damaged in the incident. This same incident also
saw Michael given a penalty and he drove through the pit-lane on lap 9, losing
ground even more. All things considered, Michael's sixth place is significant
for the Drivers' championship. Rubens drove a good race to take second place.
We have therefore picked up a total of eleven points, which are important for
We knew our competitors had made progress and this race only serves to confirm
that. Now we have to work along with our technical partners Bridgestone and
Shell to be as well prepared as possible for the next race in Brazil, where we
will continue to race the F2002. In the meantime, we will continue with the
development of the F2003-GA, which we know is more competitive than the
Michael Schumacher: “It was a tough race with an unfortunate
start. I made a mistake and hit Jarno and I have apologised to him. That was
the decisive moment of my race. It came as a big surprise that I was still
able to fight for points after I pitted for the drive-through penalty. So, I
am happy enough in the circumstances. I have no complaints about my car, which
worked very well, thanks to the team. Let's hope the next race will be better.”
Rubens Barrichello: “After
the start I was running almost alongside Michael and then I noticed a car
spinning towards me. I had to take avoiding action and then Trulli ran wide
and I had to move back inside and that cost me a lot of time. There was a lot
of debris from other cars and I was lucky not to hit everything. I found
myself behind Heidfeld, but we had good straight line speed and I was able to
pass cars. The car set-up was fantastic but having fallen back, I had to catch
up and that compromised my race.
After that it was trouble free. When I was running with nothing ahead of me, I
could tell that Kimi was managing to pull away a bit. After the second stop, I
had a slight misfire, but I kept pushing until, with 15 laps to go, the team
told me to hold position. I must thank the Stewards for allowing me to race
without the HANS system. Sid Watkins checked me out and agreed that I should
not use it, as I have got a small hernia which is quite painful. I tried all
weekend to make the HANS work and for the next race, we will have a solution
which should fix the problem.”
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( Fernando Alonso - 3rd, Jarno Trulli - 5th )
Flavio Briatore: "This was an excellent weekend for us. We
proved that our choices in terms of strategy were correct. It's a shame
for Jarno, who drove a very good race and, had it not been for his
collision caused by Michael Schumacher, we could have a had a
double-podium finish. Fernando drove a superb race and I am delighted of
the good points that both drivers brought to the team. It's an important
day for Renault: it's our first podium since the beginning of our re-entry
challenge in Formula One as a full-work team and we are all very proud and
Mike Gascoyne: "It's a fantastic result for the
team. Jarno's first lap was spoiled by Michael Schumacher. He had also some
problems in the pit-stop. Without this, I'm sure he would have finished
fourth. Fernando drove a fantastic race considering that he had an electronic
problem just before his last stop which meant that he had to shift manually.
We had a very strong, competitive weekend and I hope we will achieve with the
same good result again this season."
Denis Chevrier : "Both drivers did a superb job even though
they had few problems during the race. The performance of both cars was
excellent and it's a very encouraging sign to have scored valuable points
in the first two races of the season."
Fernando Alonso: "Today is the best day of my life. It's a
great feeling to finish on the the podium, especially since halfway
through the race I started to have problems with my gearbox and I was
forced to shift manually until the end. Frankly, I thought I wasn't going
to finish and instead I got this great result! I am sorry for Jarno
because he could have had a podium finish as well but we both scored
points and that's very good. A big thank you to everyone in the team to
whom I dedicate this first podium."
Jarno Trulli: "Honestly I think we missed a good
opportunity today. Everything was going smoothly but then Michael pushed
me out. He eventually apologised but at that point, my race had been
spoiled. I incurred in other problems, such as a long pitstop and I had to
fight till the end to keep my position. Certainly my fifth place brings
some more points to myself and the team, however, I am disappointed
because I feel I could have done better."
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Williams ( Ralf
Schumacher - 4th, Juan Pablo Montoya - 12th )
Sam Michael: "Ralf
did a good job by driving from 17th position to fourth and secured
valuable points for the championship. It was unfortunate that Juan got hit
in the rear right on the first lap. He was well placed regarding the fuel
load and strategy he was on. But at this incident he lost his rear wing
and after the repair had dropped far behind. His lap times were good, but
we don't know were he could have finished. For Brazil we will have some
new parts and we are looking forward to the next race."
Mario Theissen: "It
was another exciting Grand Prix. The accident right after the start mixed
up the field. Ralf took advantage of the situation and managed to reach
the midfield. You don't often see a driver achieving fourth place after
having started 17th. Ralf really did the very best he could. Shame for
Juan Pablo, who was unlucky. After the start somebody hit him from the
back and he lost his rear wing."
Ralf Schumacher: "This
race was as demanding as 56 laps of qualifying. Driving at the front as I
did last year was obviously much easier. I am happy that I achieved fourth
position after I started 17th. The new rules are proving positive. They
mix up the field so much that a lot goes on in the race."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "No
doubt my race was decided in the first lap. I was hit by Pizzonia's Jaguar
and I lost most of the rear wing which forced me to pit. Unfortunately we
had a mechanical problem that slowed down the wing change but the
mechanics changed it as quick as they could. When I went back to the track
I was 3 laps behind the leader. Such a gap was impossible to close!
Furthermore my drink bottle stopped working after a dozen laps which made
the rest of my race today very, very hard."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
7th, Jacques Villeneuve - Retired )
"A weekend of mixed emotions; clearly very disappointing for Jacques
because I'm sure his race strategy would have led to a very solid result, but
on the other hand the team can take encouragement from the overall performance
of both cars. Jenson battled with the balance of his car throughout the race
and was unfortunate to drop a couple of places on the last lap. But then
again, we have a couple of points in the bag and a car that is clearly
improving with every race."
"A good result for the team in getting our first points of the season
in a very tough race. Jenson put in a determined drive despite struggling with
a difficult car. It was however very disappointing that Jacques was unable to
start the race. Just before his car left the garage we had an electrical
problem and then, at the start of the parade lap, the problem returned and
damaged the gearbox so he was unable to make it off the grid. Although we've
had excellent reliability for most of the weekend, we have struggled to get
the best out of the car and tyres in these hot conditions. However, we go to
Brazil optimistic that we can realise more of our potential."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "What a frustrating day! I
think Jenson did a very good job battling in the high temperatures right
to the end and I'm very pleased that we have scored our first points of
the year. I'm also encouraged for the future by the race pace we showed
today. As always, it is a very tough race on the engine and I'm glad it
made it to the end. This was obviously not a good day for Jacques but
we're looking ahead to Brazil now where we know we can do better."
"It was a very tiring race and the car was so difficult to drive. We
were a lot slower than the Renault today and when the car is that hard to
handle it's very difficult to stay in front. I had very low grip, not just on
the rear but also on the front, and the oversteer got progressively worse
towards the end; it just destroyed the tyres. I held off Jarno for as long as
I could, then on the last corner I braked where I normally would and the rear
just locked up. I went straight on and Michael was able to get through. It's
very disappointing because I was fighting hard to hold on to 5th. We got some
points though and that's the main thing so I'm optimistic for Brazil."
"A big disappointment as we concentrated all weekend on the race set-
up and fuel strategy. We didn't look too good in qualifying but we were
confident for the race. We couldn't show it though because of an electrical
problem from the start. Bad luck, but that's life."
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( Nick Heidfeld - 8th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 9th )
Peter Sauber: "Honestly, we had expected
more points today, especially here in front of our partner Petronas and
our loyal Malaysian fans. Unfortunately the race started with Heinz-Harald's
problem, and then both engines cut out in the first stops due to fuel
evaporation. Luckily we were able to solve that for the second stops and
to secure eighth and ninth places and another championship point.
Congratulations to our former driver Kimi Raikkonen, on his first Grand
"I made up one position at the start, and then several cars came
together in Turn Two. I reacted quickly and was lucky that I was able to go
down the inside of Schumacher and Trulli and avoid everything. For a while I
was running third. Unfortunately, when I selected first gear during my first
pit stop (on lap 13) the engine stalled, which cost me a lot of time. When I
made my second one (on lap 34) I wasn't sure if the problem had been fixed, so
I opted to make a manual start. Overall, the car was reasonable today, and at
least I scored a point."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"Right from the start I had a problem when I couldn't get first gear
on the grid, so I was very slow away. At least I avoided the second corner
melee. Then I lost more time when the engine cut out during my first pit stop
(on lap 17), and after that I was just trying to catch up. It was not an easy
race for us today, and we didn't get the best from the car. But I did pass
Ralph Firman in Turn Three on the last lap."
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( Ralph Firman - 10th, Giancarlo Fisichella - Retired )
"This is just what Ralph needed as it's all about confidence at this
stage. It will make him feel better and more confident in himself, and so
he should because he'll never get a more hostile environment in his racing
career than a Grand Prix in this heat. We made it more arduous by asking
him to do a one stop strategy and he came through it. He did it like a man
with a lot of spirit and speed."
"The way the race turned out for us was quite disappointing because
there were points to be had and in the end we didn't get them. Giancarlo
made a bit of a mistake at the start when he got in the wrong grid slot
and had to do a bit of manoeuvring. After that the clutch got too hot and
the launch control wouldn't work correctly. Ralph drove very well and his
one stop strategy worked but unfortunately we didn't get all the fuel in
during the stop. He had to drive the last stint, which was the long stint,
with a lean mixture and low revs to make it to the end, and on the last
lap we noticed a couple of fuel pressure spikes, before he lost a place to
Frentzen. There was a problem getting away from the pit stop and we won't
know exactly what it was until we see the data. Ralph did a good race - he
learned a lot about the car and a lot about racing. It bodes well for the
"A strong performance by the team, and in particular Ralph, in these
energy-sapping conditions. Ralph's application throughout the race was
professional and to have finished his first Grand Prix in such heat and
humidity will have done his confidence a power of good."
"I had a problem with launch control. We don't know what was wrong as
we are still investigating. I have to look ahead to the next race."
Ralph Firman: "It was a good race with the car
showing reliability. It was very very hard work but I had some good
battles and it's great to finish. In the pit stop the car wouldn't pull
away with the normal system, I don't know why, but we did a manual start
and that was okay, but I lost a bit of time and it is a shame I ran out of
fuel on the last lap. The team has done an excellent job this weekend and
I'm looking forward to Brazil."
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Toyota ( Cristiano da Matta -
11th, Olivier Panis - Retired )
Ove Andersson: "I am very disappointed because
we were in a strong position to get very good results today, with a
competitive car and a good strategy, but we have had the same problem as
we had in Melbourne on both cars. We at least have a specific problem to
deal with now, and simply have to get it fixed for the next race.
Competitiveness is one thing, but we now have to focus on the most
important thing, which is reliability."
Cristiano da Matta: "It was a very tough race today. On the
way to the grid I had a problem with the race car, so I had to jump in the
T-car and start from the pitlane. We then had a problem with the fuel
pressure running on a lighter fuel load, so I had to run the whole race on
a full tank, which made overtaking impossible. It is very frustrating, but
as the race started I had to forget about it and just do my best.
Obviously, it is disappointing, as I feel we could have finished in the
points today, but hopefully we can do just that in my first home F1 race
in Brazil in two weeks' time."
Olivier Panis: "I had a really good start in
the race and was up into the top five, having a good battle early on with
Barrichello. Things were looking really promising for us and the car was
very competitive. I came in for my scheduled pit stop and we put in some
fuel, but after three corners the fuel pressure suddenly went down and the
engine died. The problem was very similar to what we experienced in
Melbourne, but at the moment we don't know if it is exactly the same.
Right now, I am quite angry and I am disappointed for the team, because
everybody has done a very good job this weekend. The car still has a lot
left to give and I am not the type of guy to give up, so we will get
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( Jos Verstappen - 13th, Justin Wilson - Retired )
Paul Stoddart: “Our congratulations go to Kimi Raikkonen for his
first Formula One win and to Fernando Alonso for his first podium. Sadly for
Minardi, today's race was hampered by different problems, starting with Jos
having to pit at the end of the first lap after he was hit from behind by
another competitor and lost the rear wing of his car, and followed by Justin
having to retire after having climbed as high as seventh following a great
The cause of his retirement appears to be a trapped nerve in his shoulder. Jos
showed grit and determination to complete today's gruelling event, and Justin,
who probably stayed out too long in excruciating pain, again drove a great
race, but as in Australia, was unfortunately denied the finish he deserved.
Finally, I'd like to say a big thank you to all the guys - they have done a
fantastic job throughout the weekend in the extreme heat and humidity here at
Jos Verstappen: “I had a very good start. I gained quite
a lot of places and then, all of a sudden, there was something going on at
the front of the field, because everybody went to the outside. I think
someone behind hit the side of my car and something flew through the air,
taking my rear wing off. I therefore had to come in to change the wing. On
the first set of tyres, the car was really well balanced, then on the
second set, we developed more and more oversteer, and the handling became
It was the same for the third set. During that final stint, I have to
admit that my arms and neck got tired. This is certainly one of the two
hardest circuits of the whole season, along with Brazil. I'm very glad to
have finished the race, however, and to have brought the car home. That
was our goal, and I believe I did the best I could today.”
Justin Wilson was unavailable for comment, having been airlifted to
hospital in Kuala Lumpur following the race.”
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( Antonio Pizzonia - Retired, Mark Webber - Retired )
Dr Mark Gillan: "It's been a tough weekend
right from the beginning. We have suffered several issues this weekend
with the most prominent being the fuel pick-up problem. This raised its
head again during the race but our strategy looked as if it had
compensated for it.
The first corner incident affected several cars but it was certainly no
fault of Antonio who ended up the victim. His front wing was damaged and
having to pit at the end of the first lap effectively cost him his race.
Mark, however, drove a storming race today but his points reward was
robbed by a loss of engine oil problem. We were monitoring the problem
throughout but it soon became clear that Mark was not going to finish the
race and in an effort to avoid serious damage to the engine, we took
pre-emptive action and called him in.
We are not entirely sure what caused Antonio to spin out of the race but
it appears to be a brake problem. The pace of the Jaguar R4 was again very
encouraging and upon examination of Mark's sector times, it is clear to
see that he was right on the pace today, particularly in sectors one and
two. Very impressive given the handicap he was carrying versus the fuel
load. Both drivers have worked hard this weekend and their approach,
despite the retirements, remains very professional and positive.
It's Antonio's home race next at Interlagos in Brazil and everyone at
Jaguar Racing will be working tirelessly to correct the frustrating issues
that have affected us here this weekend. The pace is clearly there, no
doubt. Making it reliable will, I'm sure, generate points and that's
obviously what we are all now focused on doing."
Antonio Pizzonia: "My race effectively ended after the first
corner incident. I was hit from behind and pushed into another car that
caused the front wing damage. Coming into the pits on lap one cost me too
much time to make any real impact on the race. Nonetheless, race
experience is something that I am short of and it was important to keep
pushing and getting mileage under my belt. The balance and feel of the
Jaguar R4 was quite good but on lap 43, it all ended with what felt like a
brake problem. The back end of the car snapped and I was a passenger as it
spun into the gravel. My home race is next and given how much work is
going into solving the niggles from this weekend, I am confident of making
better progress at Interlagos."
Mark Webber: "Disappointing, yes, but there is
a lot to be encouraged about when it comes to the pace of our race car.
The fuel pick-up problem that has plagued us all weekend came and went
throughout my race but nonetheless, the speed and balance were very good
given the fuel strategy we employed. I managed to squeeze my way through
the first corner incident and then began pushing as hard as I could.
The Michelin tyre worked very well today and we could have got points from
this race today -- even after the delay in the pit-lane after my first pit
stop. That probably cost me around 30 seconds but once back out, the
performance of the car shone through, albeit until lap 35 when we had no
choice but to call it a day. The potential of this car is clear and we
must remain calm, get our heads down and get on with the task of tapping
into the car's true capability."
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