Apr 15, 2007

Bahrain G.P review

Courtesy: ESPNStar

London (espnstar.com) - Felipe Massa finally makes amends for Malaysia and the disappointment in Australia by clinching his first grand prix win of the season on Sunday.
However, once again it was Lewis Hamilton, who grabbed the headlines after he secured another second place finish and in so doing becomes the first driver in the history of the sport to finish on the podium in his first three races as well as jointly leading the Drivers’ Championship.
Kimi Räikkönen had to settle for third place and joins Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in a three-way leadership battle.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis had nothing but praise for his rookie driver saying: “Lewis has already surpassed all expectations. He has a confidence devoid of all arrogance.”
However, this weekend the pressure was on Massa to deliver what he has been threatening to do in the first two races, only to have been thwarted by a gearbox failure in Melbourne and then threw away his lead at the start of the race in Sepang last weekend.
A delighted Massa was clearly relieved if nothing else to have finally got his own back on the rookie driver screeching over the car radio after crossing the line: “I needed this result. I did it. I did it. Thank you.”
The Brazilian admitted afterwards that everything had fallen into place. “The results in the first two races were not like I expected. I think something was missing, especially in the first race when we had a problem and then what happened in the second race, with mistakes and also something missing,” he told reporters in the post race press conference.
“This time we put everything together and I’m really pleased for the whole team. The job they made here, the strategy, the set-up, everything, I’m really pleased. But now we need to push even harder because McLaren is quite close.”
The anticipation for another blistering getaway at the lights from Hamilton was reaching fever pitch in the sweltering desert heat but the Brazilian held his nerve and ensured he kept his lead going into the first corner.
A rueful Hamilton was not too disappointed however, especially after resoundingly beating his team-mate by over 12 seconds.
“I didn’t get as good a start as Felipe, he did very well down to the first corner. He managed to keep his place and I had to make sure I stayed as close behind as possible to maybe have a chance on the first lap, but I think we were fairly well matched,” he insisted.
“I think this weekend we have definitely closed the gap to Ferrari and to have another second in only my third race, I couldn’t ask for more. There’s only one more step for me and we’ll be pushing and making sure that in Barcelona we’ll be just as quick.”
Räikkönen was unable to challenge Hamilton for second place, insisting he now knows why he is not as quick as his team-mate.
“We got third place and we know where we are losing time, so hopefully in the next test we can find something which is a bit better for me.”
For once, the double world champion Alonso looked all out of sorts struggling to keep pace with the front-runners and eventually succumbing to the vastly improved Nick Heidfeld, who grabbed fourth place with 24 laps remaining.
His team-mate Robert Kubica finally got on to the scoreboard with three valuable points in sixth whilst Toyota’s Jarno Trulli managed to keep Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella at bay to grab seventh despite boss Flavio Briatore imploring Fisi to pass his former driver.
Once again the Italian was given the ‘get a move on’ call over the car radio: “pass Trulli - come on” alas to no avail.
Further down the grid order it was disappointment for both Red Bull cars as David Coulthard retired with a broken driveshaft after an impressive drive which saw the Scotsman carve his way from 21st to 12th place, whilst Mark Webber, who had been in the points in seventh, retired with their Achilles heel: a broken gearbox.
The Australian was none too pleased afterwards saying: “Bloody frustrating and that’s not good enough. I’ve been here too often.”
Both Super Aguri’s fail to finish with Anthony Davidson, who at one point had been running in sixth place, had an engine failure just four laps from the line, whilst Sato’s Honda engine blew on lap 35.
It was another miserable weekend for Honda’s Jenson Button, who failed to make it past turn four on the very first lap after he spun trying to avoid Takuma Sato, which in turn caused a chain reaction behind resulting in Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed to crash out and deploying the safety car.
As the sand settled once again for another year on the Sakhir circuit, the Formula One championship has never been so wide open with three drivers all level on the same points.
Spain cannot come soon enough in four week’s time when battle resumes in May and Lewis Hamilton will try to go one better and secure his maiden Formula One victory.

Move of the day: Heidfeld taking Alonso on turn four with 24 laps to the flag
Driver of the Day: Felipe Massa