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After Bahrain
Championship Standings:
Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 68
2 Lewis Hamilton 61
3 Valtteri Bottas 38
4 Kimi Raikkonen 34
5 Max Verstappen 25
6 Daniel Ricciardo 22
7 Felipe Massa 16
8 Sergio Perez 14
9 Carlos Sainz 10
10 Romain Grosjean 4
11 Kevin Magnussen 4
12 Esteban Ocon 3
13 Nico Hulkenberg 2
14 Daniil Kvyat 2
15 Pascal Wehrlein 0
16 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
17 Jolyon Palmer 0
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
19 Fernando Alonso 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0

Pos Team Points
1 Ferrari 102
2 Mercedes 99
3 Red Bull 47
4 Force India 17
5 Williams  16
6 Toro Rosso 12
7 Haas Ferrari 8
8 Renault 2
9 Sauber0
10 McLaren 0

Massa leads Ferrari 1-2 in Bahrain

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Sunday, April 6, 2008


Redemption for a happy Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa responded to Italian media pressure calling for his replacement in the best way by winning the Grand Prix of Bahrain in commanding style by over 3 seconds ahead of his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. 

Massa got the jump on polesitter Robert Kubica going into turn 1 at the start and was never headed. 

Kubica finished 3rd with his BMW teammate Nick Heidfeld 4th and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen rounded out the top-5.

Felipe Massa had a near-perfect weekend
It was a near-perfect weekend for Massa who was fastest in every practice session, lost the pole to Kubica by the slimmest of margins but then led the race from start to finish.

Meanwhile McLaren's Lewis Hamilton again appears to be wilting under pressure from his fast teammate Heikki Kovalainen by getting off to a poor start, and dropped back to 10th.  On the 2nd lap Hamilton attempted to pass Alonso, but he choked, rode up the back of the Renault, lost his front wing, and had to pit to have it replaced.  He rejoined in 18th position, his chances for victory blown.

By finishing 3-4 the BMW Sauber team now takes the lead in the constructors championship from McLaren.  Meanwhile by virtue of his horrid 13th place finish and no points, Lewis Hamilton lost the drivers point lead to Kimi Raikkonen.

Race recap

The second win of the season from three starts for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, with victory in Bahrain, for a second year in succession going to Felipe Massa.

After the grid was cleared of personnel and VIPs, which included Ferrari enthusiast and legendary guitarist, Eric Clapton, Felipe was the author of his own destiny as, once the lights went out, he immediately shot off the front row to dive into the lead ahead of the pole man, Robert Kubica in the Sauber-BMW. On lap 3, Kimi also got past the Polish driver and from then on, the two F2008 cars were able to exploit their full potential and control the situation all the way through the fifty seven laps to the checkered flag.

The first lap saw one threat to the Scuderia relegated to the bottom of the pack as Lewis Hamilton had to pit his McLaren-Mercedes for a new nose, after colliding with the Renault of Piquet. Sebastian Vettel was already out for Toro Rosso after two collisions on the opening lap, Jenson Button pitted his Honda for a new nose also and on lap 3, David Coulthard's afternoon in the Red Bull got complicated as he made a stop because of a puncture.

On lap 4, the best battle was the one for sixth place between the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Toyota-powered Williams of Nico Rosberg. Next time round, out in front, Massa led his team-mate by 3.7s but Kubica was still hanging onto the Finn's tail.

The pit stops - everyone was on a two stop strategy - were initiated by third placed Kubica on lap 17. On lap 18, Button tangled with Coulthard forcing the Honda driver to come in for an unscheduled stop and he later retired. On lap 20, Raikkonen was the first Ferrari to stop, remaining stationery for 9.6 seconds. Massa was in next time round for a slightly shorter 8.5 seconds. This left the yet to pit Heidfeld and Kovalainen out in front, but only temporarily. On lap 23, the gap between the two red cars was 5.4s and Timo Glock was third in the Toyota, but only because he was about the only driver not to have refueled yet.

On lap 33, the Ferrari duo led Kubica, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Trulli, Webber and Rosberg. Then on lap 38, Kimi stopped in the pits for 8.1 seconds, taking on enough fuel to get to the flag. He was slightly delayed as he came out behind the Super Aguris, but it was not enough to threaten his second place and next time round, the race leader came in.

From then, the two Ferrari men concentrated on bringing their cars home, allowing Kubica to close to 1.6s by the end of the race. With Kubica and Heidfeld taking the next two places ahead of Kovalainen, it seems that the theory that BMW-Sauber could play a significant role in the outcome of the championship might prove to be true.

Sauber-BMW now heads the Constructors' table on 30 points, one ahead of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro with McLaren-Mercedes trailing by a further point. In the Drivers' Championship, Raikkonen leads on 19, followed by Heidfeld on 16, with Kubica, Kovalainen and Hamilton all on 14. Massa has finally got his name on the points table, next on 10.



1. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 57 1h31m06.970
2. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 57 3.3
3. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 57 4.9
4. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 57 8.4
5. Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 57 26.7
6. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota 57 41.3
7. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 57 45.4
8. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 57 55.8
9. Timo Glock Germany Toyota 57 1m09.5
10. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault 57 1m17.1
11. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda 57 1m17.8
12. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Force India-Ferrari 56 1 Lap
13. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 56 1 Lap
14. Kazuki Nakajima Japan Williams-Toyota 56 1 Lap
15. Sebastien Bourdais France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 1 Lap
16. Anthony Davidson Britain Super Aguri-Honda 56 1 Lap
17. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 56 1 Lap
18. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault 56 1 Lap
19. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Ferrari 55 2 Laps
R Nelson Piquet Brazil Renault 40
R Jenson Button Britain Honda 19 Damage
R Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 0
Fast Lap Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 49 1:33.193

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