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GP Week : Issue 5
Pos # Driver Team Laps Time Grid 1 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 57 1:31:06.970 2 2 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 57 +3.3s 4 3 4 Robert Kubica BMW 57 +4.9s 1 4 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW 57 +8.4s 5 5 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +26.7s 5 6 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +41.3s 7 7 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 57 +45.4s 11 8 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 57 +55.8s 8 9 12 Timo Glock Toyota 57 +69.5s 13 10 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 57 +77.1s 10 11 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 57 +77.8s 12 12 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 18 13 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +1 Lap 3 14 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 56 +1 Lap 16 15 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 15 16 19 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 56 +1 Lap 21 17 18 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 56 +1 Lap 22 18 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 56 +1 Lap 17 19 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 55 +2 Laps 20 Ret 6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 40 Gearbox 14 Ret 16 Jenson Button Honda 19 Accident 9 Ret 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 0 Accident 19 FORMULA 1 | Round 2 MALAYSIA Points – Drivers: Raikkonen 19, Heideld 16, Hamilton 14, Kovalainen 14, Kubica 14, Massa 10, Trulli 8, Rosberg 7, Alonso 6, Webber 4. Manufacturers: BMW 30, Ferrari 29, McLaren-Mercedes 28, Williams-Toyota 10, Toyota 8, Renault 6, Red Bull 4, STR-Ferrari 2. F1 bahrain >> FOUR cars in under 10 seconds. That’s better than a GP2 result! But sure enough, that’s what in the F1 race in Bahrain provided. Sakhir may not be the world’s most exciting circuit, but it provided a pretty sure sign that the 2008 season is set to be just as exciting as we had hoped. A first ever pole for Robert Kubica and BMW was the tonic the paddock needed to shake itself out of its temporary trance, and the competitiveness of the white and blue cars on Sunday was astounding. It was telling that McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh looked more than a little lost for words when asked after the race if he’d expected BMW to be quite so fast. That was the thing though. BMW weren’t just fast, they were considerably faster than anyone had expected of them. Sure they’d got pole, but maybe they were playing with fuel levels? When race day came, the answer was that no, they hadn’t been playing around. Their pace was real. That the two white and blue cars finished so close to the Ferraris may well have been more due to Massa and Raikkonen taking it comparatively easy, but it is BMW who will lead the constructors’ championship for the next three weeks, not Ferrari. That alone speaks volumes. So do we have a three way fight for the 2008 title? I honestly think we might. It’s been said all winter that the first three races are something of an anomaly, and that the true picture will come out in Europe. But if the false image painted is usually one of complete dominance by one team at each different track, that’s not something we’ve been given in 2008. It seems as though we have three teams which, give or take, are all pretty much on a similar playing field. Will we see a BMW win before the year is out? Right now I’d say it looks very, very likely. And not even on the proviso that another team has reliability issues. If the team keeps going the way it is, there’s every reason to expect BMW to win races on merit. This season truly then is shaping up to be something rather special. A three way fight for top dog and, who knows, six potential race winners… Out on track at least, it’s a very good time for Formula 1. o p in io n WILL BUxtOn GPWeek Editor BMW’s rise is no mirage 31