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  • 3 weeks later...
Kimi Räikkönen gonna take his another championship with Ferrari. But the question is who`s gonna take 2. place this year ?

Lewis Hamilton ,Heikki Kovalainen or team mate Felipe Massa. Perhaps it is a "black horse" Nick Heidfeld ?

What you thinking about ?

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NO TRACTION CONTROL? NO PROBLEM FOR LEWIS!

Traction control and many of the electronic "driver aids" are now out-lawed ( Moto GP PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!! ), but it didn't affect Lewis Hamilton at all. In a dramatic and incident packed race ( 3 safety car periods ) Lewis, as in Canada last year, just kept clear off all the trouble and drove superbly and smoothly to a great victory.

Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg completed the podium, with Ferrari having a race to forget, a solitary point for Kimi Raikonen their scant return from down-under.

AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - Albert Park, Melbourne, 16th March 2008

1 Lewis HAMILTON ENG - McLAREN

2 Nick HEIDFELD GER - B.M.W.

3 Nico ROSBERG GER - WILLIAMS

4 Fernando ALONSO SPA - RENAULT

5 Heikki KOVALAINEN FIN - McLAREN

6 Kazuki NAKAJUMI JAP - WILLIAMS

7 Sebastian BOURDAIS FRA - TORO ROSSO

8 Kimi RAIKONEN FIN - FERRARI

f1australiali0.jpg

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Lewis: More speed to come in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton is confident he can extract even more speed from his McLaren MP4-23 as he targets a “dream double” victory in Malaysia this weekend.

The British star got his title challenge off to the perfect start in Melbourne last Sunday, winning comfortably from pole position as his two main Ferrari rivals faltered.

He says he could have gone quicker if there had been more pressure on him at the front, but was perhaps slightly more cautious as it was the first race of the season.

"I had a great weekend in Australia but it wasn't a perfect weekend. I didn't get fastest lap,” he was quoted as saying in the British press on Wednesday.

“I could have produced it [more performance], there is more to come.

“I think, being the opening race, there were a few areas where I took my time.”

Hamilton is now hoping that McLaren can repeat the form it showed at Sepang last year, where he finished second in a surprise 1-2 for the team following Ferrari’s runaway victory in the Melbourne season-opener.

He believes that Sepang performance should translate into strong pace again this year and is therefore aiming to seal the ideal start to the first two weeks of the new season.

“Winning in Malaysia would be a dream double,” he said.

“If not at least score as many points as we can.

“We have to push hard.

“Last year, we went to Melbourne and we didn’t have the pace but we then went to Malaysia where we were quick so that should mean we will be quick again this weekend.”

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Raikkonen anxious about reliability

Kimi Raikkonen says he is more concerned about Ferrari's poor reliability than any other aspect of its disastrous Australian Grand Prix weekend.

The world champion had a fuel pump failure in qualifying - leaving him 15th on the grid - then an engine failure near the end of the race.

By that time he had already fallen down the order twice after flying off the road trying to pass Heikki Kovalainen and then spinning while pursuing Timo Glock.

Meanwhile his team-mate Felipe Massa struggled to get the car up to speed in qualifying and only started fourth, then made several errors of his own before he too was struck down by an engine problem.

It is the Ferrari's fragility that Raikkonen is most anxious about heading to Malaysia this weekend - although he remains confident that the team can solve the issue.

"The lack of reliability is a real problem for me now," Raikkonen admitted.

"But I know that back in Maranello the team is working hard to solve our problems.

"I'm not worried at all about the performance and the competitiveness of the car.

"The first race was like it was, but we know that we have a really good car.

"We can do very well in Sepang, as long as we have the necessary reliability."

Raikkonen believes the reliability troubles that put him down the order on Saturday ultimately led to his Sunday errors.

"We have to be constantly competitive during the weekend, because when you have to start from far behind, you get stuck in the traffic, just the way it happened at Melbourne," he said.

"It is difficult to overtake; you need to take some risks, especially when you have slower cars in front of you."

Despite his Melbourne tribulations, Raikkonen was still credited with a point because only six drivers were running at the end of the race.

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Red Bull plans to sell Toro Rosso

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has confirmed that the company plans to sell its junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso before 2010.

There has long been speculation over the future of Toro Rosso - which is co-owned by Mateschitz and Gerhard Berger - and in an interview with Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell the energy drink company founder revealed that STR was now on the market.

Toro Rosso controversially uses chassis based on parent team Red Bull's designs, but with the 2010 rules set to prohibit any arrangement that could be classed as a 'customer car' operation, STR will need to design and construct its own unique chassis within the next two years.

Mateschitz does not think it would be viable to effectively run two independent teams, so has decided to off-load Toro Rosso.

"It is no big secret that we are putting the Toro Rosso team on the market," he told Motorsport Aktuell.

"By 2010 the rules will have changed - then there can no longer be a relationship between Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, in terms of design and construction.

"Consequently I feel it is important to focus on one team.

"We are not going to sell Toro Rosso during the 2008 season, but we will sell before 2010."

Red Bull created Toro Rosso when it purchased the tiny Minardi team at the end of the 2005 season.

The intention was to give its burgeoning stable of young drivers a junior squad where they could learn the ropes before being promoted to the senior Red Bull Racing operation.

Toro Rosso's chassis have all been based on Red Bull cars, albeit modified to accept different engines.

Because the cars were officially designed by a separate company - Red Bull Technologies rather than Red Bull Racing - Toro Rosso argued that this was within the regulations.

Ironically Toro Rosso's form improved last year when it began to follow its own development path rather than waiting for parts from the senior team's design office.

After a controversy that has rumbled on for several seasons, the teams recently agreed that the squads currently on the borderline of the 'customer car' regulations must establish themselves as truly independent constructors by 2010.

The need to comply with this also played a major part in Super Aguri's uncertain winter, as the team has relied heavily on technical support and chassis designs from the factory Honda squad and will need much greater resources to create its own cars.

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Alonso: Renault comeback is underway

Fernando Alonso says his charging fourth place in Australia proves that Renault's recovery is already underway and that the team is absolutely capable of getting back to the front.

The former champion squad suffered a major slump in 2007 and is not expecting to challenge for this year's title either.

But while Alonso acknowledges that Renault still has plenty of ground to make up, he reckons the Melbourne result was an important step in its comeback.

"It gives us confidence and extra motivation to continue working hard," he said.

"We know that we made the most of unusual circumstances, but we still had to be in a position to do that.

"However, this is only the first race and we must still make progress to get on terms with the pace of the other teams.

"There is work to do, but the result in Melbourne gives us all the belief that we can get there."

He is particularly fired up for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix having often excelled at the Sepang circuit.

"Sepang really is my favourite track," Alonso said.

"I took my first pole position there in 2003 with Renault, and I have won this race twice.

"It's a circuit that I enjoy and I always tend to attack a little bit more.

"I hope that this year I will be able to do well and I'm really looking forward to the race."

However he remains concerned about Renault's qualifying pace, having failed to reach Q3 in Australia.

"I think that we must certainly improve our performance level on a single lap in qualifying so that we can be in a better position on the grid to make things easier in the race," Alonso said.

"Then it is important to have good consistency so that we don't lose ground and can start to move forward."

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