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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2006, 11:04 GMT
Bahrain Grand Prix as it happened
Final positions:

1 F Alonso (Renault)

2 M Schumacher (Ferrari)

3 K Raikkonen (McLaren)

4 J Button (Honda)

5 JP Montoya (McLaren)

6 M Webber (Williams)

7 N Rosberg (Williams)

Lap 57: On to the last lap and Alonso looks to have it in the bag. Alonso takes the chequered flag and wins the Bahrain Grand Prix. Schumacher is second and Raikkonen third after starting from the back of the grid. Button grabs fourth, Montoya fifth, Webber sixth, Rosberg seventh and Klien eighth.

Lap 56: Schumacher has dropped back slightly and is 1.8 seconds behind. Rosberg takes Klien for seventh.

Lap 54: Debutant Rosberg is pushing Klien for seventh.

Lap 53: Alonso has clear track ahead for the final four laps, which is good news for him and bad news for Schumacher. Raikkonen is now 18 seconds behind the race leaders after starting at the back of the grid.

Lap 52: Alonso appears to have trouble with his braking and Schumacher is climbing all over the back of the Spaniard. Alonso leads by 1.064 seconds.

Lap 51: Button is 1.13 seconds behind third-placed Raikkonen. Rosberg is taking a second a lap out of seventh-placed Klien. Alonso and Schumacher pass back-marker Heidfeld without no fuss. Schumacher is right on Alonso's rear.

Lap 50: Alonso seems to have the measure of Schumacher, although the German is beginning to push himself to the limit.

Lap 49: Button is unable to make any advance on Raikkonen in third. Alonso leads Schumacher by 1.127 seconds.

Lap 48: Rosberg is lapping a second a lap quicker than Coulthard and passes after an extended battle. Rosberg could score on his F1 debut.

Lap 47: Massa moves into 10th, ahead of Liuzzi.

Lap 46: Super Aguri's Ide is out. Alonso still leads, still more than one second ahead of Schumacher.

Lap 44: Montoya pits and comes out in fifth. Button looks to be fighting a losing battle for a podium place with Raikkonen.

Lap 43: Rosberg, on debut, is in the points before pitting, after which he drops to ninth.

Lap 42: The gap between Alonso and Schumacher is 1.6 seconds. Raikkonen

Lap 40: Button is in and has to contend with Trulli's Toyota exiting the pits. Alonso resumes the lead and Button is back in fifth.

Lap 39: Alonso is having to contend with back-markers and gets ready to pit. In goes Alonso and it takes 7.7 seconds. Alonso just squeaks ahead of Schumacher exiting the pits. It could be the race-winning move.

Lap 37: Alonso is more than 21 seconds ahead of Button in second, and more than 24 seconds ahead of Schumacher in third. However, Alonso is held up by back-marker Villeneuve.

Lap 36: Schumacher goes into the pits and Button moves into second.

Lap 35: Button is 21 seconds behind Alonso in second, but seven seconds ahead of Montoya in fourth.

Lap 34: Coulthard goes past Heidfeld to take ninth place.

Lap 32: Schumacher gets stuck behind a back-marker and Alonso is again right behind him.

Lap 31: Raikkonen is down to sixth after pitting. After pressuring for so long, Alonso is falling off again and the lead is again more than one second.

Lap 29: Schumacher and Alonso pass back-marker Sato. Alonso remains 0.8 seconds behind Schumacher. Raikkonen pits. Villeneuve's BMW Sauber engine is on fire and he is out.

Lap 28: Button passes Montoya on turn one to move up to fourth.

Lap 27: It is turning into a fine race between Schumacher and Alonso, while Montoya v Button is also a decent tussle behind them.

Lap 26: Button is getting close to Montoya, while Alonso is right on Schumacher's tail.

Lap 25: The gap between Schumacher and Alonso is down to 0.7 seconds at the end of lap 25. Raikkonen is up to third, while Coulthard, who has yet to pit, is up to sixth. Rosberg sets the fastest lap so far.

Lap 23: Alonso has cut the gap to 1.1 second.

Lap 22: Montoya comes in to the pits and Alonso has now closed the gap to Scumacher to 1.3 seconds. Montoya drops to fourth and Schumacher leads again.

Lap 21: Alonso puts in the fastest lap and is closing on Schumacher in second. The gap is now down to 2.5 seconds.

Lap 20: Fisichella seems to be in some trouble and is limping towards turn 12. Fisichella has lost hydraulics and is out.

Lap 19: Alonso pits and comes out behind Schumacher in third.

Lap 18: Button pits. It takes 9.1 seconds and he comes out in eighth.

Lap 16: Raikkonen passes Villeneuve and move into ninth place. Barrichello pits - as does Fisichella. Fisichella is, apparently, not happy with his car. Raikkonen is now up to seventh.

Lap 15: Scumacher's lead over Alonso is now more than six seconds - but he comes into the pits at the end of the lap. He sneaks out just ahead of old team-mate Barrichello in fourth.

Lap 14: Another fastest lap for Schumacher. Heidfeld moves ahead of Coulthard into 12th.

Lap 13: Raikkonen, who started at the back of the grid, is up to 10th and challenging Villeneuve for ninth. Ralf Schumacher pulls into the pits.

Lap 12: Button is 8.5 seconds behind Alonso. Schumacher posts a new fastest lap.

Lap 11: Button passes Montoya at turn one and holds off a counter by Montoya on turn two. Webber moves ahead of Fisichella into seventh.

Lap 10: Alonso puts in the fastest lap of the race.

Lap 9: Schumacher leads Alonso by 4.7 seconds at the end of lap nine. Klien is up to sixth.

Lap 8: Massa spins on turn one and almost takes out Alonso ahead of him. Alonso shows all his skills to miss him and Massa remains in third despite losing a second. Button is pressuring Montoya quite heavily. Massa changes his tyres at the end of lap eight - and it takes 47 seconds. Lap 6: Button is closing on fourth-placed Montoya.

Lap 5: Schumacher is still leading but he is not pulling away from Alonso in second. Button is, however, pulling away from Barrichello in sixth. Schumacher's lead over Barrichello is 2.6 seconds.

Lap 4: Button passes Barrichello at turn one - they are having a real ding-dong.

Lap 2: Button runs wide at turn four to let Barrichello past. They are battling hard against one another.

Lap 1: It's M Schumacher, Massa, Alonso into the first bend. Alonso takes Massa on bend four. Roisberg spins and goes into the pits.

1130: The mechanics clear the grid and the warm-up lap gets under way.

1125: It is a beautiful day in the Gulf for the first raceof the 2006 Formula One season, the third Bahrain Grand Prix.

1100: The cars leave the pits to form up on the dummy grid, with half an hour to go before the start of the race. The weather is warm and sunny at the Sakhir circuit.

The first race of the new Formula One season begins at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit at 1130 GMT.

Michael Schumacher starts from pole position in his Ferrari, an apparent return to form after a disappointing 2005.

Schumacher heads an all-Ferrari front row following an impressive debut by his new Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa.

But with the last session of qualifying run with race levels of fuel, it remains to be seen whether the Ferraris will be as competitive in the race.

Right behind them on the grid are the two drivers who looked strongest in pre-season testing - Honda's Jenson Button and world champion Fernando Alonso of Renault.

Alonso said he had made a mistake on his best qualifying lap, forcing him to qualify with a second lap after his tyres were past their best.

And Schumacher said earlier in the weekend that he expected the Renaults to be difficult to beat in the race.

Schumacher leads Ferrari one-two
11 Mar 06 |  Formula One


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