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Australian Grand Prix - Race 
16th-Mar-2008 12:26 am
Provisional grid: LH, RK, HK,FM, NH, JT, NR,DC, TG*, SV, RB,FA, JB, KN, MW,KR, GF, SB, AS, TS, NP, AD
Glock penalised for blocking + gearbox change,pushing him down 10 grid spots [official note]
Sutil starting from the pits

Formation lap: LH leads them away

01/58: LH stays ahead of RK into Turn 1
FM has dropped a long way back
Safety Car deployed
SV & GF are out
Damaged cars heading to the pits: MW, JB, AS, FM, KN
New nose for FM - he's released into the side of KN
Replay shows FM spun himself into the inside wall of T1
MW pushed into the garage of his home Grand Prix

02: Retirements: GF, SV, JB, MW, AD

03: Safety Car into the pits
FM in the pits again, this time for fuel

04: Order is LH, RK, HK, NR, NH, JT, RB, KR
LH fastest lap 1:28.614

05/58: KR struggling to stay close to RB
LH f/lap 1:28:556

07: LH f/lap 1:28.442

08: NH makes a mistake and falls back from NR

10/58: LH f/lap 1:28.111 - leads RK by 6.7secs

11: AS pushed into the garage - that's both Force India cars out
KR can't take P7 from RB
FM passes NP - he's no longer last

14: LH f/lap 1:28.007

15/58: LH f/lap 1:27.785 - his lead over RK 10.6s

16: LH f/lap 1:27.750
TG passes TS for P11

17: LH f/lap 1:27.484
RK pits - 8.5s - rejoins behind KR
KR makes a move on RB but RB slams the door

18: LH pits - 9.2s - no rush from the McLaren team - rejoins behind NH

19: KR has taken P6 from RB - KR looked a little desperate

20/58: KR is flying now
FM tries to pass TS - not an easy task

21: JT pits - he's out of the car

22: NR & NH pit together - NH emerges ahead

23: HK pits from P1 - 9.0s stop - rejoins just ahead of KR - that could be handy for LH

25/58: Order=LH, HK, KR, RK, NH, FA,NR, RB;retirements: GF, SV, AD, JB, MW, AS, JT

26: ITV interview JT - battery problem? It was very hot under his knee
FM tries to dive up the inside of DC - major contact and DC's wrecked Red Bull slides off the track!
Safety Car deployed
KR thinks about pitting but they're closed as the SC has just been deployed

27(SC): this is going to destroy LH's lead

29(SC): ITV interview DC - adamant it was FM's fault
Pit lane opened and RK, FA, TG, KN all pit - not KR
ITV say FA was dropping back (under the SC) to conserve fuel as he was almost dry

30/58: SC in at the end of this lap

31: HK holds KR up as LH bolts at the restart
KR dives past HK but out-brakes himself - off through the gravel but keeps it going and rejoins
FM is coasting and pulls off

32: KR pits - fueled to the end?
NP's Renault parked just after a pit stop

33: TS pulls off the track - that's just 11 cars still running

35/58: LH, HK, NH, NR, RB, SB, RK, FA;retirements: GF, SV, AD, JB, MW, AS, JT, DC, FM, NP, TS

36 ITV: "Last time we had a Grand Prix without a Schumacher in it, Lewis Hamilton was 6 years old!" :)

38: RK & FA closing in on SB

40/58: LH, HK, NH, NR, RB, SB, RK, FA

42: NH closing on HK
KR out a tyre on the grass as he looks around TG; KR spins but rejoins

43: LH pits

44: HK f/lap 1:27.418
NH pits from P3

45/58: Big spin for TG - he ran wide in T12, across the grass, launched a few inches into the air, but he didn't hit the wall
SC deployed again
TG taking a minute before exiting the car - he was probably winded

46(SC): RB released from his pit box while the fuel hose was still attached! Hopefully no injuries, but what's he doing in the pits? The SC has only just been deployed, so the pit lane's closed!

47(SC): Pit lane now open
"Incident involving car 17 (RB) under investigation by the stewards"

48(SC): HK & FA pit - HK rejoins in P9
SC in end of this lap
RB given a stop/go penalty for refuelling when pit lane closed

49: RK & KN pit - KN needs a new nose cone
RK gets a new nose too ... he's stalled it ... and he's out of the car
KN runs over something as he exits his box

50/58: LH, NH, NR, SB, FA, HK, KR, RB; KN=P9/last

52: KR's Ferrari sounds sick - debate is whether to take 2 points and have a sick engine in the next race, or ditch this race and get a free engine change?

54: New-boy SB still holding off world champion FA

55/58: ITV report 3 minor injuries in the Honda pit crew but nothing serious
KR's Ferrari coasting to a stop straddling the pit lane entrance line, so a free engine change awaits

56: HK pushing FA for P5
The Ferrari customer engine in SB's Toro Rosso has let go, robbing him of 5 points

57/58: Just 7 cars still running!
HK passes FA for P4

58/58: FA re-takes P4 as HK's McLaren seems to have problems crossing the start/finish line

LH takes the chequered flag
P2=NH, 3=NR, 4=FA, 5=HK, 6=RB, 7=KN, 8=SB

Replay shows RB left the pit lane while the lights were red (presumably when he refuelled while the pit lane was closed) so he could lose those points

LH looks pretty happy as he runs up the stairs to the podium ceremony, and joking with Ron Dennis
No-one reminded NR to take his cap off when they play the national anthem

Interviews: LH sounds more of a Stevenage boy than usual :(

Next race = Malaysia next weekend (May 23)
16th-Mar-2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Not a bad race. But Webber... AUGH! AGAIN!

Funny comment from ITV when Alonso took 4th off Kovilinen. "These cars have a box that can change gears 50 times faster than you can blink. And it looked like he has a gearbox full of neutrals."
16th-Mar-2008 06:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, poor Webber. At least he won't have to worry about a home GP next year :(
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