ICEMAN HOT

Win and Worldchampionship Lead for Kimi Raikkonen

Fernando Alonso, Spaniard and 21 years of age, ist the youngest pole sitter the entire world of Grand Prix Racing has ever seen. Alonso, who had given is Formula One debut at Minardi in 2001, had put his Renault onto the first grid position in a very exciting second qualifying session ahead of his Italian team mate Jarno Trulli. It was the first front row for the French national car manufacturer since Alain Prost and Eddie Cheever had put their yellow cars to the top at the 1983 French Grand Prix at their home ground of the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Two cars were not able to take part in the 2003 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuve´s BAR Honda suffered under electronic problems during the formation lap. Giancarlo Fisichella, who had driven into his start position by using the reverse gear, stalled his Jordan Ford because of a defect launch control. When the red lights went off both the Renaults took the lead, Alonso ahead of Trulli. But from behind came Michael Schumacher´s championship winning Ferrari. But as in Melbourne the fivetimes world champion made a driving error and collided with Trulli in turn 2 to force him into a spin. While the Renault remained undamaged, the Ferrari had to come into the pits for a new nose scone. A little later the German was sentenced a drive through penalty for causing an avoidable collision by the stewards of the meeting. With four pit stops overall Schuey was able to drive into the points again - as he is doing since the 2001 German Grand Prix held at the old circuit of Hockenheim - an extraordinary record !

At the top of the field Fernando Alonso, who once had been discovered by former Spanish Grand Prix driver Adrian Campos, drove an excellent race increasing his lead lap by lap ahead of David Coulthard and Nick Heidfeld. The German also showed a good performance in the home Grand Prix of Sauber´s technical and commercial partner Petronas also being the traditional event sponsor of the Malaysian round of the Formula One Worldchampionship. Heidfeld brought the Swiss car home 8th position to score his first 2003 championship point. The other Sauber Petronas driver Heinz Harald Frentzen, who also stood still at the start, finished 9th on the first rank without points. Both the Sauber Moenchengladbachers suffered under poor pit stops. Faces of sorrows were seen at the West McLaren control stand, when Melbourne winner David Coulthard had to retire with electronic box troubles already in lap 3. In lap 15 Alonso came in for his routine pit stop that only took 9.2 seconds. The young Spaniard, who suffered under a flue with 38.5 °C of fever, dropped down to fourth place to finish on excellent third position.

After the pit stop of Alonso Kimi Raikkonen in the Silver Arrow took the lead for the first time ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button in the only remaining BAR Honda. The popular Briton, in 2000 behind the wheel of a Williams BMW, finished 7th with two points. Raikkonen entered his pit in lap 19 for the first time, the halt took 10.8 seconds and the lead was handed over to Rubens Barrichello in the second Ferrari. After two rounds of the 2003 championship the Brazilian is the only Bridgestone driver among all the podium finishers.

Very mixed emotions very seen at Williams BMW. While Ralf Schumacher scored a fine fourth place with 5 valuable points Juan Pablo Montoya had been hit by Antonio Pizzonia shortly after the start and also in turn 2. The Colombian had lost his rear wing, the repair cost him three laps to make him finish 12 and last but one. As in Melbourne, where they both had to drop out by broken suspensions, the Jaguars of Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia again did not finish in Sepang. Webber retired by a collapsed fuel pump, Pizzonia had got defect brakes making him fly into the gravel trap.

After Barrichello´s pit stop Raikkonen took the lead again to remain there in spite of his second halt that took only 8.6 seconds. When the chequered flag dropped the Finn, successor of his famous fellow countryman Mika Hakkinen at McLaren Mercedes, had a comfortable lead of more than half a minute. Raikkonen´s triumph was a very convincing one, his career looks very promising, a thing that must also said about that one of Fernando Alonso. You must not be a prophet to say that the Finn and the Spaniard will be the stars of the future, in a time, when the generation of Michael Schumacher will have retired from active competition sooner or later. Sepang should be the race under the hottest weather conditions of the whole 2003 Grand Prix season, but the Iceman was in good shape in spite of them after the race. During the final press conference and the following television interviews he allowed himself sometimes a shy smile.

Jutta Schmitt

 

 

Results
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Qualifying

1 F Alonso 1:37.044

2 J Trulli 1:37.217

3 M Schuma. 1:37.393

4 D Coulthard 1:37.454

5 R Barrichello 1:37.579

6 N Heidfeld 1:37.766

7 K Raikkonen 1:37.858

8 JP Montoya 1:37.974

9 J Button 1:38.974

10 O Panis 1:380.94

11 C da Matta 1:38.097

12 J Villeneuve 1:38.289

13 HH Frentzen 1:38.291

14 G Fisichella 1:38.416

15 A Pizzonia 1:38.516

16 M Webber 1:38.624

17 R Schuma. 1:38.789

18 J Verstappen 1:40.417

19 J Wilson 1:40.599

20 R Firman 1:40.910

 

Race

Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang Circuit, 56 Laps á 5.543 km = 310.408 km, Air 35°C, Track 42°C, sunny and dry, 80.000 spectators

1 K Raikkonen 1:32:22.195

2 R Barrichello + 39.286

3 F Alonso + 1:.04.007

4 R Schuma. + 1:28.026

5 J Trulli + 1 Lap

6 M Schuma. + 1

7 J Button + 1

8 N Heidfeld + 1

9 HH Frentzen + 1

10 R Firman + 1

11 C da Matta + 1

12 JP Montoya + 3 Laps

13 J Verstappen + 4

 

Retirements

A Pizzonia, Lap 43: Brakes

J Wilson, 42: HANS System

M Webber, 36: Fuel Pump

O Panis, 13: Fuel Pressure

D Coulthard, 3: Electronics

G Fisichella, 0: Launch Control

J Villen., 0: Electronics

 

Fastest Lap: M Schumacher 1:36.412 (Lap 45)

 

 

 

Worldchampionship Standings
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Drivers

1 K Raikkonen 16 Points

2 D Coulthard 10

3 JP Montoya 8

4 R Barrichello 8

4 F Alonso 8

6 M Schumacher 8

7 J Trulli 8

8 R Schumacher 6

9 HH Frentzen 3

10 J Button 2

11 N Heidfeld 1

 

Constructors

1 McLaren Mercedes 26

2 Ferrari 16

3 Renault 16

4 Williams BMW 14

5 Sauber Petronas 4

6 BAR Honda 2

 

 

Photos
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© by Schlegelmilch Photography

A new winner: Kimi Raikkonen from Finland in the McLaren Mercedes

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

Iceman hot: Kimi concentrating

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

Front row at the grid for Renault, here Italy´s Jarno Trulli

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

Schuey´s mistake: Michael Schumacher colliding with Jarno Trulli

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

Two points for Jenson Button in the BAR Honda

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

Old friends ? McLaren CEO Ron Dennis with his 1984 world champion driver Niki Lauda,
the former boss of Jaguar Racing

 


© by Schlegelmilch Photography

The beauties of Malaysia

 

The Schlegelmilch images on this page are brought to you by permission of Schlegelmilch Photography .

 

 

 

© 2003 by researchracing

 

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