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F1 Australia 2008 Massa and Coulthard Crash

 Ferrari’s Massa told a news conference at the Malaysian Grand Prix that he had not apologised to the Scot for the overtaking incident that pitched the Red Bull driver off the track at Melbourne with his car badly damaged.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. When I do something wrong, I will apologise but this time I don’t need to,” said the Brazilian.

Coulthard, who had blasted Massa in Melbourne, suggested the Ferrari driver would have to change his approach if he wanted to fight for the championship.

“Quite clearly my eyes point forward, they don’t point rearward,” said the Scot of the coming together that occurred when Massa tried to go past on the inside at the end of the main straight.

“He’s got a much clearer view as to how much space there is and I didn’t take a different line than I took on any other lap.

“I was fully prepared for him to pass me into corner three because a Ferrari has a much better top speed, it’s a much quicker car. He made his choice. If he makes the same choice (again), he’ll get the same result,” added Coulthard.

“I can’t make my car invisible but, as I say, I’m not fighting for the world championship, he is. So next time he should wait until corner three.”

F1 2008 Australia – The Start Onboard with Kimi Raikkonen

World champion Kimi Raikkonen made a faltering start to the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend on Friday when his Ferrari ran out of fuel in free practice.

The Finn, who failed to finish the Formula One season-opener in Australia last week due to engine problems, was left stranded in the morning session as his Ferrari spluttered on vapours and then stopped out on the track.

He had no option but to abandon the car and watch as it was unceremoniously hoisted off by a crane.

Ferrari blamed confusion in the pit lane.

“This morning we got our lines of communication mixed up between the garage and the pit wall, which left Kimi stuck on the track without any fuel,” said Ferrari’s head of track activities Luca Baldisserri.

“But in the afternoon we were able to get more done, without any technical problems whatsoever.”

Raikkonen overcame the early setback to record the second fastest time in the morning behind team mate Felipe Massa and was then third quickest in the afternoon practice.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time of the day late in the second session.

“This morning I lost time because of a communication problem within the team but we made up for it in the second session,” said the 28-year-old.

“The car seems to be going well and I am pleased with the work we have done. It’s always difficult to say where we are compared to our rivals, but I think we can face the rest of the weekend with confidence.”

Ferrari are hoping for a positive performance in Malaysia after a nightmare start to the season in Australia. Neither Raikkonen nor Massa reached the finish line as the Italian team suffered their worst start to a season since 1992.

F1 2008 Toyota Formula One Australian Grand Prix Preview

TOYOTA’s Jarno Trulli held off a charging Lewis Hamilton of McLaren to clinch a deserving fourth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday.

Despite failing to get anywhere near the top three finishers, the Italian had good reasons to be pleased with the outcome.

Trulli not just put Toyota on the point standings for the first time this season but the five points gained is already more than half his total last year. Trulli finished 13th overall last season on eight points.

Trulli, who is one of four drivers to have competed in all the races at Sepang since the inaugural Malaysian GP in 1999, was delighted with his efforts despite sliding off a little bit at the start of the race yesterday.

“It’s nice to be among the points in such a strong race. I’m especially happy for the team both here and in Cologne (the team’s base),” said Trulli, who has one GP win under his belt.

“This result is mainly down to their work over the winter and I dedicate it to them. I had a difficult first corner when I lost grip, ran wide and touched Nick Heidfeld, losing a bit of ground. But after that I was able to keep up with the McLarens.”

He felt the team did good jobs at the pit-stops and they contributed to the end result.

“At the end, it was a great fight with Hamilton. We were pushing each other hard. He was obviously slightly quicker than me but I gave 100% and thanks to the team’s good job, we took fourth.

“I just hope we can carry on improving the performance of the car because as I mentioned at the end of winter testing, we are looking strong,” said Trulli.

It was, however, an unfortunate outcome for team-mate and F1 rookie Timo Glock. The German’s debut outing in the Malaysian GP ended early after he was hit from behind by William’s Nico Rosberg on the first lap.

F1 2008 Australian Grand Prix Highlights 1996 – 2007

2007 – Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
Raikkonen won on his Ferrari debut after starting on pole. Alonso was second for McLaren with debutant Hamilton, who overtook his Spanish team mate at the start, third after leading for four laps. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa started at the back of the grid due to an engine change and finished sixth.
2006 – Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault
Alonso took his second win of the season in an incident-packed race. Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and team mate Felipe Massa both crashed. Jenson Button started on pole and failed to finish after his engine caught fire.
2005 – Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault
Fisichella’s second career win came from pole after a rain-hit qualifying. Schumacher started on the back row and retired after a collision with German compatriot Nick Heidfeld. Alonso roared from 13th to third. Raikkonen started from the pitlane after stalling on the grid.
2004 – Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari
Ferrari ran away with the season-opener after blitzing their rivals in practice. Schumacher started on pole and set the fastest lap. He went on to equal Nigel Mansell’s 1992 feat of winning the first five races of the season.
2003 – David Coulthard (Britain) McLaren
Coulthard’s 13th win ended Ferrari and Schumacher’s record run of success. Schumacher finished outside the top three for the first time since 2001. Ferrari had enjoyed 53 successive podiums up to then.
Interesting Facts
The Australian Grand Prix was first held in 1985 on a street circuit in Adelaide and was the last race of each season. In 1996, it switched to Melbourne’s Albert Park and the start of the season.
The circuit can be dusty and is tough on brakes. Drivers approach the first corner at more than 300 kph.
Australian Grands Prix have been dramatic and 1991 was the shortest race in Formula One history, stopped after 14 laps because of heavy rain.