F1 flashback: Ferrari’s pair’s initial breakouts, Malaysia 2003

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Before they were Ferrari teammates and now part of Formula One’s “old guard” in 2014, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were 21 and 23-year-old “new kids on the block” in the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Alonso was in only his second Grand Prix for Renault, after his rookie season at Minardi in 2001 and then sitting out a season to work as Renault’s test driver. But he put together a blinding lap to score his first career pole on Saturday.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, was in his second season at McLaren-Mercedes, and though he’d shown flashes of brilliance he’d not yet been able to secure a victory.

Raikkonen emerged ahead of Alonso after the first pit stop sequence and Rubens Barrichello, then-Ferrari number two, got ahead at the second sequence.

When all was said and done Raikkonen had captured his first career victory, with Alonso also standing on the podium for the first time.

These two and Jenson Button are the only three drivers from that Grand Prix still on the grid in 2014.

The race also marked a first for NBC Sports Group’s F1 lead announcer Leigh Diffey, as it was his first Grand Prix he commentated on in the U.S., substituting for Rick DeBruhl on the old SPEED Channel.

Diffey, who missed calling the 2013 Malaysian GP as it conflicted with the IndyCar season opener in St. Petersburg, will be back on the mic for this year’s race. Coverage times on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will be confirmed later this week.

Lewis Hamilton reflects on journey to top of F1 (VIDEO)

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In “The Value of Difference,” a video piece produced by Mercedes AMG Petronas partner UBS, Lewis Hamilton’s journey to the top of the Formula 1 world is chronicled.

Hamilton’s rise came through his youthful years and took a lot of people to believe in him. But even as he’s made it to become a four-time World Champion, he still has more to learn and further to grow.

“I’m at the pinnacle of motorsport right now, but naturally everyday I feel like I’m growing, I’m always learning something new,” Hamilton said in the video.

“I’m not perfect by any means. I’ve got so much to learn. Of course I’ve gone through ups and downs, I’ve definitely gone through fears and worries and where I’ve come from, I’ve come from the ground up.”

You can watch the video above.