Australian GP: Lewis Hamilton wins, Ferrari fails 

Written by David on March 16th, 2008 at 9:50 amLast Update: March 16th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Lewis Hamilton wins 2008 Australian Grand PrixIn a race where only 7 drivers of 22 took the checkered flag, 23-year-old Lewis Hamilton won easily the 2008 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park’s circuit, in Melbourne. The Briton was followed by BMW’s Nick Heidfeld on 2nd place and Williams’ Nico Rosberg on 3rd. Double World Champion Fernando Alonso finished 4th, Heikki Kovalainen 5th, Rubens Barrichello 6th and Kazuki Nakajima 7th. Bad day for Ferrari who lost both of its cars with clear engine issues.

2008 Australian Grand Prix, highlights:

  • Melbourne’s weather conditions: 31°C air temp, 51°C track.

Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica have decided to start the race with harder tyres, Massa and Raikkonen instead the softer ones. Kimi Raikkonen, following the fuel pressure issue that ruined his Q1 yesterday, is starting from the 8th row. Force India’s Adrian Sutil will start from the pitlane.

The race starts and Hamilton keeps the lead while defending his position from an aggressive Robert Kubica on 2nd. Heikki Kovalainen is on 3rd while Felipe Massa spins in the first turn, hits the protection wall and breaks his front wing. The Brazilian gets back on the track but has lost several positions; he’s now 17th. Good start for Kimi Raikkonen who gains immediately the 8th position. The Safety Car gets on the track; Mark Webber and Jenson Button have damaged their cars and are proceeding slowly while Fisichella and Vettel have stopped after a collision.

Nakajima and Massa enter the pits. The Brazilian changes his front wing. Pit stop for Mark Webber and Anthony Davidson too while Massa re-enters the pits for a refuel.

Standings after 3 laps: Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Nico Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, David Coulthard, Fernando Alonso, Takuma Sato, Nelson Piquet, Timo Glock.

Jenson Button is forced to abandon the race.

On lap 5, Hamilton has a gap of 2.6 seconds on Kubica, who is ahead of Kovalainen by 2.5 secs. Kimi Raikkonen currently 8th, approaches Rubens Barrichello.

On lap 10, Hamilton leads the race by 7.6 secs on Kubica while Kovalainen is reducing the gap from the Polish driver. On lap 11, Felipe Massa overtakes Nelson Piquet and gains the 15th position.

Robert Kubica enters the pits on lap 16 for a refuel and tyre change. In the meantime, Kimi Raikkonen is struggling behind Rubens Barrichello who defends his position.

On lap 18, Hamilton enters the pits and gets back on track behind Nick Heidfeld, currently fourth. During the same lap, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Barrichello and gains the 5th position. Jarno Trulli enters the pits but is forced to quickly get out of his TF108; the battery under his seat has exploded!

On lap 21, Rosberg and Heidfeld enter the pits, followed by Kovalainen on lap 22. Hamilton takes again the lead with his teammate on 2nd, Raikkonen on 3rd, Kubica on 4th, Heidfeld on 5th and Alonso on 6th.

On lap 26, Felipe Massa while overtaking David Coulthard on turn 1, hits heavily the RB4. Coulthard abandons the race and the Safety Car re-enters the track.

On lap 29 pit stop for: Glock, Nakajima, Alonso and Kubica.

On lap 30 Kimi Raikkonen attacks Kovalainen but he brakes too late and ends on the gravel. Raikkonen has lost several positions. On the same lap, Felipe Massa ends his race; his engine stalls.

On lap 31, after a pit stop, Raikkonen is back on track but in 12th position. Meanwhile, Takuma Sato and Nelson Piquet abandon the GP.

Toro Rosso’s rookie Sebastien Bourdais keeps the 6th position while behind him Kubica and Alonso are fighting for the 7th.

Standings after 42 laps: Hamilton, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Barrichello, Bourdais, Kubica, Alonso, Nakajima, Glock, Raikkonen. Only half of the 22 cars are still on the track. In the same lap, Raikkonen tries to overtake Glock but touches the grass and spins once again.

On lap 43, turn 12, big collision for Timo Glock who forces the Safety Car to come out. The German, seems a bit shocked but exits unharmed his car.

On lap 44, Rubens Barrichello while refueling in the pits, the lollipop man signs him early the end and the Brazilian drags the fuel hose along with two (unharmed) mechanics. Barrichello however, a couple of laps later, gets a 10 secs stop&go penalty for having refueled under Safety Car. Robert Kubica abandons the race after a collision with Nakajima.

On lap 52, Kimi Raikkonen has some difficulties as he’s loosing about 3 seconds per lap. 4 laps before the end of the race, the Finn is forced to stop for an engine problem. At the same time, Bourdais’ Toro Rosso engine, supplied by Ferrari, fails.

On lap 57, Kovalainen overtakes Alonso and gains the 2nd position. But the Spaniard, almost immediately, regains his lost position by overtaking the Finn.

After 58 laps, Lewis Hamilton wins the 24th edition of the Australian Grand Prix. Nick Heidfled is 2nd and Nico Rosberg 3rd (first F1 career podium for Nico). Fernando Alonso finishes 4th, Heikki Kovalainen 5th, Rubens Barrichello 6th and Kazuki Nakajima 7th.


Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 1:34:50.616 1 10
2 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW 58 +5.4 secs 5 8
3 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 58 +8.1 secs 7 6
4 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 58 +17.1 secs 11 5
5 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 58 +18.0 secs 3 4
6 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 57 +1 Lap 13 3
7 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 55 +3 Laps 17 2
8 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 53 +5 Laps 15 1
Ret 4 Robert Kubica BMW 47 +11 Laps 2
Ret 12 Timo Glock Toyota 43 Accident 18
Ret 18 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 32 Transmission 19
Ret 6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 30 +28 Laps 20
Ret 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 29 +29 Laps 4
Ret 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 25 Accident 8
Ret 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 19 Electrical 6
Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 8 Hydraulics 22
Ret 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 0 Accident 14
Ret 16 Jenson Button Honda 0 Accident 12
Ret 19 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 0 Accident 21
Ret 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 0 Accident 9
Ret 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 0 Accident 16
DSQ 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 58 +52.4 secs 10

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