Just a little taste of the British press reviews of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Most of the reports mention Kimi winning the race but for some reason I think they would have excluded that if they could have gotten away with it.
‘Kimi Raikkonen drove Lewis Hamilton to drink as he stormed to victory in the sweltering heat of Malaysia.
‘Britain’s race ace was left gasping for liquid after his water bottle pump failed for the 56 hardest and hottest laps of the season.
‘And the problems of his pursuit were compounded when a broken wheel nut left him sitting stationery in the pit lane for a race-wrecking 20 seconds under a burning Sepang sun.
‘Hamilton could barely focus on the fleeting departure of 13 crucial seconds and with them his podium hopes as the cockpit burned somewhere beyond a sauna.
‘In a race where drivers routinely sweat away three kilos, fate found another notch on the dial of torment for the sport’s favourite son,’ – Byron Young, The Mirror
‘Lewis Hamilton struggled home fifth in the Malaysian grand prix, rounding off a weekend in which McLaren-Mercedes had been beset by a succession of problems. For the 23-year-old British driver, who had predicted that the torrid tropical conditions in Kuala Lumpur would make this the toughest event on the world championship calendar, the contest degenerated into a damage-limitation exercise, and it left his team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen, to claim third place on the podium behind Kimi Raikkonen and the runner-up, Robert Kubica,’ – Alan Henry, The Guardian
‘Lewis Hamilton said he needed a beer at the start of the race. A crate was required by the end. The Malaysian Grand Prix is a torment at the best of times. When your water supply dries up and a wheel nut refuses to budge, drowning sorrows is the only option left.
‘Race winner Kimi Raikkonen, who has some expertise in dealing with disappointment, and draining lager bottles, drove like the champion he is to squeeze the maximum from a sub-standard afternoon at McLaren. In fairness, Ferrari were out of reach all weekend.
‘Hamilton’s blitz off the line, which saw him catapult from ninth to fifth by turn four, ought to have yielded a place on the podium. Instead, it was rendered a cameo by a pit stop from Hades. Hamilton was stranded for 20 seconds while the pit crew wrestled with his front right wheel. The wheel gun could make no impression on the offending nut. A second gun eventually cracked it but, by then, 10 seconds had ticked by agonisingly. Hamilton rejoined the race 11th, behind the slower Red Bull of Mark Webber, who had held him up in the first stint. Game over,’ – Kevin Garside, The Telegraph
‘The Australian Grand Prix might have been a nightmare for Ferrari, but a week is a long time in Formula One and yesterday Malaysia proved to be a dream as Kimi Raikkonen crushed his opposition and sped home to an easy 22-second victory.
‘What made the triumph sweeter still for the world champion, whose engine had blown up the previous week, was that his closest challenger was not arch-rival Lewis Hamilton, but Robert Kubica in a BMW Sauber. On a day when luck ran against him, Hamilton had to be satisfied with a fifth place finish that nevertheless maintained his lead in the Drivers’ Championship table,’ – David Tremayne, The Independent
‘Ferrari got their own back on McLaren Mercedes yesterday as Kimi Raikkonen, the world champion, claimed an emphatic victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix, helping to banish memories of the Scuderia’s fruitless efforts in Australia a week earlier. While Raikkonen drove imperiously in the oppressive heat and humidity at the Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur, Lewis Hamilton could manage only fifth place.
‘The British driver, victorious in Melbourne, started from ninth on the grid after a five-place penalty for an incident in qualifying on Saturday. After a fighting start which enabled him to rise to fifth, he was held up by a delay in changing his tyres at his first pitstop, which almost certainly cost him a podium finish.
‘As if that was not enough, it emerged after the race that Hamilton’s water bottle stopped working early in the race, turning an already gruelling experience into a real test of both his stamina and fitness. All in all it was a difficult weekend for Hamilton as he and Heikki Kovalainen, who finished third and outqualified his British team-mate at McLaren for the first time, struggled from Saturday morning to match the superior pace of the Ferraris,’ – Edward Gorman. The Times