Renault’s Fernando Alonso secured pole position after setting the fastest time in qualifying and proceeded to run away with the race at the Sepang track in Kuala Lumpur. Leading from pillar to post, the 23-year-old Spaniard never looked like being caught and was well clear throughout the race to take over at the head of the driver’s championship. Fellow Renault pilot and winner in Australia, Giancarlo Fisichella who was third on the grid, crashed out together with Australia’s Mark Webber with 19 laps remaining allowing Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld to take second and third. Jensen Button crashed out soon after the start, his engine catching fire, but David Coulthard managed another excellent placing for the Red Bull team, finishing in sixth to overtake Nigel Mansell in the all-time British points table.
Ferrari finished out with the washing, qualifying in 12th and 13th before a race in which no progress was made. Michael Schumacher secured a distant seventh place, while Barrichello retired six laps before the end. Their new car will be ready in time for the Bahrain stage.