West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen took his maiden Formula One victory in his 36th Grand Prix start in today's Malaysian Grand Prix finishing 39.286 seconds ahead of Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari after leading for the majority of the race.
West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen took his maiden Formula One victory in his 36th Grand Prix start in today's Malaysian Grand Prix finishing 39.286 seconds ahead of Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari after leading for the majority of the race. Team mate David Coulthard retired with an electrical problem on lap three. Kimi had his two pit stops on lap 19 (10.8 seconds) and lap 40 (8.4 seconds). The 23-year old Finn currently leads the Formula One World Drivers' Championship with 16 points whilst David is second with 10 points. The West McLaren Mercedes team remains in the lead of the Constructors' World Championship with 26 points.
"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."
Ron Dennis, team principal:
"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."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director:
"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 electrical failure."
David Coulthard: MP4-17D 08
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-17D 09
T-car (David): MP4-17D 06
Spare: MP4-17D 07