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Massa Takes Third Grand Prix of the Season

Apr 12, 2008
The third Grand Prix of the season took place in Bahrain on Sunday 6 April, and Brazilian Ferrari driver Felipe Massa took the chequered flag, making him the third winner this season. The Brazilian also won last year's race in Bahrain.

'I love this circuit. It is my second victory in a row. Always I have gone very strong here', said Massa at the completion of the race.

Massa said the victory was a relief after his spin-out in Malaysia. He endured much criticism after spinning out of the race and was determined not to make the same mistake twice.

In a post-race interview, Massa said, 'The race was difficult because I didn't want to make mistakes. I was just controlling the pace and wanted to bring the car home. What was in my mind was the last race.'

Malaysian Grand Prix winner, Kimi Raikkonen, attempted to take first place during the second lap. He managed to bring Massa's lead over him down to three seconds.

During the battle for first position, the two led a succession of the fastest laps of the race. In Bahrain, however, Massa did not back down and maintained his lead.

Raikkonen still holds the championship lead with five points. A win at Bahrain would have better secured his lead.

'All weekend has been really difficult. It has been just one of those things and I couldn't get the car where I wanted.' Raikkonen said after the race. In response to his second place finish, he stated: 'It was a bad weekend, but I still finished second and I am leading the championship.'

Finishing the race in third position was Robert Kubica. Nick Heidfeld came in fourth with Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber, Nico Roseberg, Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso rounding up the top 10.

Lewis Hamilton entered the season with a bang, but was greatly disappointed by his 13th place finish in Bahrain. 'I am really disappointed and feel like I let the team down', he said. His 13th place finish knocked him out of the championship lead by five points. He went on to say, 'You need to pick up the pieces and deliver points. I didn't do that. The collision with Alonso cost the race.'

Very early in the race, Hamilton and former teammate Alonso were involved in a minor collision that sent both cars to the pits. The incident between the two caused both to require extensive work on their cars before returning to the race. Hamilton's McLaren lost its front wing and required a new nose cone.

Alonso finished the race in 10th position after his altercation with Hamilton early in the race. Alonso's rear wing was damaged during the incident. The relationship between these two drivers has not been good since last year when the two drove as teammates. This incident is likely to cause more stormy water between them and their respective teams.

Some race fans seem to think Alonso hit his brakes on purpose and Hamilton had no choice but to hit him.

Alonso denies any allegations of foul play, saying: 'It is totally rubbish, but what can I do?'

Pat Symonds, Renault's engineering director, confirmed no evidence of foul play on Alonso's part by printing out data from the car's computer. 'Fernando was coming out of the turn and accelerating down the straight', adding 'on full throttle, no touching of the brakes or anything like that. And you can see on the accelerometer the impact. He got hit from behind.'

Hamilton, when asked about the allegations that Alonso caused the accident on purpose, said: 'I am always the first to blame it on myself. That's the right way to go.'

He had no idea how the collision happened and said, 'It's racing.'

McLaren's Ron Dennis said, 'He tried to second-guess Fernando and vice-versa and damaged the car quite extensively and that was really it.'
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