Lewis Hamilton will now start from
ninth position [GALLO/GETTY]
McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have been penalised five grid positions each for impeding other drivers during qualifying for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kovalianen, who originally qualified third, will now start in eighth position and Hamilton in ninth.

The pair were interviewed by race stewards after Saturday's qualifying session.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Renault's Fernando Alonso were judged to have been impeded by the slow-moving McLarens while they were trying to set their fastest time.

"Car number three (Heidfeld) was impeded on his flying lap because car number 22 (Hamilton) was traveling at a very slow speed on the racing line," an FIA statement said.

"Cars number three and five (Alonso) were impeded on their flying lap by car number 23 (Kovalainen) traveling very slowly on the racing line."

Heidfeld claimed the interference cost him third place on the grid, instead qualifying in seventh.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen qualified in first and second places respectively.

The McLaren penalty means Toyota's Jarno Trulli will move up to third place ahead of BMW pair Robert Kubica and Heidfeld.

Red Bull's Mark Webber will be elevated to sixth and Alonso to seventh.

Source: Agencies