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Raikkonen wins Malaysian GP
March 23, 2008 14:19 IST
Last Updated: March 23, 2008 15:23 IST
The world champion failed to finish last weekend's season-opener in Australia but the Finn's 16th grand prix victory was sealed when he took the lead from team mate Felipe Massa [Images] at the first set of pitstops.
BMW [Images] Sauber's Robert Kubica finished second, the best result of his Formula One career to date, and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen was third with team mate Hamilton having to settle for fifth.
Massa's race came to an end on lap 31 when the Brazilian, who started on pole position with Raikkonen alongside on an all-Ferrari front row, spun out at turn eight and could not escape the gravel trap.
"It was a pretty easy race from that first pitstop really," said Raikkonen.
"We had quite a difficult weekend in Australia and we were not 100 percent sure it was going to be any different here.
"But everything worked perfectly. This is a good start to the season for us and we're in a pretty good position."
Hamilton, who started ninth on the grid after he and Kovalainen collected five place penalties for impeding rivals in qualifying, finished behind Italian Jarno Trulli who took a fine fourth place for Toyota.
Nick Heidfeld (BMW), Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images] (Renault) collected the rest of the points.
Hamilton, who won in Melbourne, was fifth at the end of the first lap but could not find a way past Australian Webber.
Problems in removing the McLaren's right front wheel at the first pitstop cost Hamilton 20 seconds and ultimately wrecked his chances of catching the leaders.
"I was pushing Mark for a long, long time but being behind someone is extremely difficult so it doesn't matter how much quicker you are, it makes it extremely difficult to get past," said the Briton.
"And then we were in with a good shot for third place and then we had the wheel gun at the pitstop."
Hamilton leads the championship with 14 points after two races, ahead of Raikkonen and Heidfeld with 11. Massa has yet to score a point.
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