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Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 13:58 UK

Hamilton unhurt in Bahrain crash

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
Saturday practice: 0900 BST Saturday qualifying: 1200 BST
Sunday Grand Prix: 1230 BST
Coverage: Practice & qualifying LIVE on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Race LIVE on BBC Sport website & Radio 5 Live


Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton suffered a major crash to compound a miserable day in Bahrain as Ferrari pair Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen dominated Friday practice.

The Briton ran off the track and into a barrier during the second session but was unharmed ahead of Sunday's race.

The 23-year-old finished both sessions as fourth fastest, over a second and a half down on his rivals' lap times.

Massa was quickest, posting a lap of one minute, 31.420 seconds, with team-mate Raikkonen a close second.

Hamilton's crash into a tyre wall occurred with just over nine minutes of the second practice session at the Sakhir circuit remaining.

606: DEBATE

The current world championship leader appeared to lose traction coming out of a series of swift turns, which led to him locking up and sliding across a run-off area and into the barrier with considerable force.

After a few moments to compose himself, Hamilton emerged from his badly damaged car apparently unharmed.

He was then taken back to the McLaren garage on the back of a motorbike, while his car was craned onto the back of a truck and returned to the pits for repairs.

"I made a mistake. I got caught out by the kerb and it spun me around - that kerb it is quite spiteful," said the Briton, who suffered severely bruised ribs after ploughing nose first into a tyre wall at the Nurburgring in qualifying for last year's European Grand Prix.

Ferrari are very quick again as always, but we are close

Lewis Hamilton

"If you hit the wrong part of it is spits you off because the barrier is quite close to the side of the track. That's racing. It won't happen again.

"There is no impact on the weekend. There are no bruises to report from me and we completed most of the session, making some good steps forward.

"Ferrari look very quick, but you don't know what fuel loads they are on. I'm hoping that fuel corrected it is a lot closer than things seem.

"Ferrari did a good job in the last race but we just have to focus on our own work. Pace-wise I feel quite comfortable and we saw from Malaysia that we have the pace to run with them in the race."

Brazilian Massa will hope to continue his fine form over the weekend after failing to score any points in the first two races.

"I like the track, I always go very well here," Massa, who won from pole to flag here last year, said.

"Hopefully I can say the same thing on Sunday. I think, considering that I still have zero points, a podium will definitely be a good result.

Massa has yet to score a point in this season's championship
Massa has yet to score a point in this season's championship

"But sure if we can fight for a win and bring 10 points home it will be better. Let's just get the best weekend we can.

"For sure it will be quite competitive, me and Kimi like always, and we need to look forward that we started in the right direction and the base looks good for the weekend."

Reigning champion Raikkonen is likely to push his team-mate all weekend after an impressive practice, apart from one brief excursion off the track when he drifted wide at the final corner.

And it would all appear to indicate a tough weekend for the McLarens of Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen - who ended second practice third in 1:32.752 - especially with the likes of Williams, BMW Sauber and Red Bull also looking in good pace.

Elsewhere, Williams's Nico Rosberg posted the third fastest time in first practice, although he slipped to sixth in the second, while his Japanese team-mate Kazuki Nakajima finished sixth then eighth.

Robert Kubica looked competitive in his BMW with a fastest time of 1:32.915, while Red Bull's Scot David Coulthard also showed cause for optimism with a quickest lap of 1:33.048.

The day was less productive for the likes of Briton Jenson Button and former world champion Fernando Alonso, who ended second practice 11th and 12th respectively, although the latter would have been higher had he not been impeded by Adrian Sutil on his final lap.

"Obviously we are not very competitive and we need to work overnight to change everything, because we are not very happy," said the Spaniard.

"We are obviously too slow so it is not easy to know where we are losing all the time. I am afraid it is just the car not suiting this track."


Times from first practice at Bahrain International Circuit for Bahrain Grand Prix:

1. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari one minute, 32.233 seconds
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:32.350
3. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:32.415
4. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:32.705
5. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:32.868
6. Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams 1:33.121
7. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:33.333
8. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:33.539
9. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull 1:33.788
10. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:33.815
11. Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:33.929
12. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:33.950
13. Nelson Piquet Jr (Bra) Renault 1:33.981
14. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:34.106
15. Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Toro Rosso 1:34.235
16. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso 1:34.321
17. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India 1:34.862
18. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:34.915
19. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda 1:35.174
20. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:35.429
21. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri 1:36.145
22. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri 1:36.536

Second practice times:

1. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:31.420
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:32.327
3. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:32.752
4. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:32.847
5. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:32.915
6. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:33.022
7. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull 1:33.048
8. Kazuki Nakajima (Jap) Williams 1:33.098
9. Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Toro Rosso 1:33.197
10. Nelson Piquet Jr (Bra) Renault 1:33.247
11. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:33.710
12. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:33.755
13. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:33.782
14. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:33.822
15. Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:33.856
16. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda 1:33.966
17. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:34.023
18. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India 1:34.388
19. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:34.405
20. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso 1:34.787
21. Takuma Sato (Jap) Super Aguri 1:35.288
22. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri 1:35.712


see also
Pressure mounts on Mosley to quit
04 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Schumacher backs struggling Massa
02 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen eases to Malaysia win
23 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Massa on pole as Ferrari dominate
22 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton wins dramatic F1 opener
16 Mar 08 |  Formula One


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