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Paddock Postcard from Malaysia 23 Mar 2008

(L to R): Jean Alesi (FRA) with Ivan Capelli (ITA).
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 20 March 2008 (L to R): Ian Phillips (GBR) Force India F1 Commercial Director with Johnny Herbert (GBR).
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 22 March 2008 The car of Romain Grosjean (FRA) ART Grand Prix.
GP2 Asia Series Rd 3, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 20 March 2008

There have been several familiar faces from Formula One racing’s past in the paddock this weekend. Jean Alesi and Johnny Herbert, longtime rivals and team mates in their Sauber days in 1998, battled for Speedcar honours on Saturday morning.

The Frenchman led initially, was overtaken by Herbert, and then re-passed the Briton to win by a hair’s length in the closing stages. Mathias Lauda was third, watched by his father, Niki. Stefan Johansson, JJ Lehto, Ukyo Katayama and Gianni Morbidelli were also in the field.

Former Lotus and Tyrrell racer Satoru Nakajima was on hand to watch his son, Kazuki, compete in Formula One for the first time.

A dramatic wet GP2 Asia series encounter on Saturday saw Vitali Petrov win for the Barwa International Campos team after a whole catalogue of incidents, which began when front-row man Karun Chandok stalled before the parade lap and polesitter Roman Grosjean stalled at the start. In Sunday morning's second race, Toyota's Formula One reserve driver, Kamui Kobayashi, took his first win, leading from start to finish.

Also seen in the paddock was superstar actress Michelle Yeoh, with partner Jean Todt, the former Ferrari team principal, while former Team Lotus racer Reine Wisell paid a visit to McLaren.