The 2017 Malaysian GP marks the 18th and final year that the country will host an Formula One race. Today, we’ll take a look back through the years and relive some of the classic Malaysian GPs.
Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher returned having recovered from his broken leg to take pole position ahead of teammate Eddie Irvine, and the McLaren’s of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen.
Schumacher led from pole ahead of Irvine, Coulthard, Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello. Lap 4, Schumacher slowed and allowed Irvine past to take the lead. Schumacher tried to hold up the chasing pack but Coulthard got past. Coulthard chased down Irvine until his car broke down. Schumacher slowed to allow Irvine to build a lead. Schumacher built up a gap to keep ahead of Hakkinen when it came to the pit-stops. McLaren gave Hakkinen half a tank of fuel in hoping to jump Schumacher.
The gamble failed and Schumacher was still ahead of Hakkinen. Irvine’s gap reached 20 seconds. Irvine pitted and rejoined in 4th with Ferrari knowing that Hakkinen had to stop again. Schumacher slowed again and allowed Irvine to win with Hakkinen overtaking Johnny Herbert for 3rd.
Renault’s Fernando Alonso claimed his first ever pole position ahead of Renault teammate Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher while the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen qualified in 7th.
Alonso led from the start while Schumacher tangled with Trulli. Trulli spun and Schumacher pitted at the end of the lap for a new nose. He was also given a drive through penalty for the crash. McLaren’s David Coulthard was 2nd until an electronics failure forced him to retire. Alonso then led ahead of Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello. Alonso pitted first, signalling he had a lighter fuel load. Raikkonen stayed out for a few more laps and when he pitted, he had jumped Alonso.
Barrichello also made up time with Alonso pitting on lap 35 for his 2nd stop. Barrichello jumped Alonso for 2nd after his stop and Raikkonen resumed the lead after his final stop. Raikkonen won to take his first GP win ahead of Barrichello and Alonso, who took his first podium. Trulli and Schumacher managed to overtake Jenson Button on the final corner to take 5th and 6th.
Lewis Hamilton headed a McLaren 1-2 ahead of Jenson Button. Michael Schumacher took 3rd for Mercedes with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in 5th and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in 8th.
Hamilton led from the damp circuit ahead of Button. After a superb start, Romain Grosjean tangles with Schumacher. Grosjean falls to the back as Alonso has made his was up to 5th. Lap 4, Grosjean is in the gravel trap, ending his race. Button and Alonso pit for the wet tyre. Lap 6, Hamilton and Mark Webber exit the pits with Hamilton retaking the lead ahead of Button and the early stopping Sauber’s Sergio Perez while the Safety car is out.
The Stewards have brought out the red flag. Lap 14, racing again as Button dives into the pits. Hamilton has a terrible pit-stop and has lost the lead to Alonso. Button’s pits again after contact with HRT’s Karthikeyan. Lap 22, Perez is the fastest driver on track and is catching Alonso. Lap 36, Perez is still catching Alonso with Hamilton still 3rd. Lap 41, Alonso pits for the dry tyre with Perez pitting the next lap. Lap 47, Vettel has got a puncture. The German drops from 4th to 11th after his pit-stop. Lap 51, Perez goes off track and loses five seconds to Alonso. Alonso comes home to win his and Ferrari’s first race of 2012 ahead of Perez with pole-sitter Hamilton 3rd.