Scuderia Ferrari got its game on this past weekend, taking a step closer to defending its world titles at the Malaysian Grand Prix in claiming both pole position in Saturday qualifying and the checkered flag in the race on Sunday. Raikkonen and Massa nearly completed a one-two finish for Ferrari until Felipe's car spun out in the closing laps, taking the #2 car out of the race. Instead Robert Kubica took a career-best second place for BMW Sauber (while his team-mate Nick Heidfeld took 6th), prompting team principal Mario Theissen to declare that BMW could claim its first victory this season.
Things did not go so well for McLaren, however. Both Kovalainen and Hamilton were penalized by five places on the starting grid, having been ruled to have impeded Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Nick Heidfeld (BMW) during qualifying. Starting 8th and 9th respectively - behind Alonso, Mark Webber (Red Bull), Heidfeld, Kubica, Jarno Trulli (Toyota), Raikkonen and Massa - the McLaren duo took third and fifth after Hamilton suffered a botched pitstop that took ten seconds longer than it should have due to a jammed wheel nut. Trulli sandwiched respectably between the McLarens over the finish line, with Heidfeld, Webber and Alonso following them in.
The result still leaves Hamilton in the lead for the championship at 14 points, but commanding a narrower lead over Raikkonen and Heidfeld, tied with 11, two rounds into the 2008 Formula One World Championship. Follow the link for more info on how your favorite driver and team fared in Malaysia, check out pictures from the race in the gallery below, and tune in on April 6 for the next round in Bahrain.