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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Bahrain - 15 April, 2007
The Chequered Flag podcast

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton sprays the champagne after taking second place in Bahrain
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is confident he can win his first race soon after finishing second behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"To have another second place in only my third race, I couldn't ask for more. There's only one more step from here," said the 22-year-old Englishman.

"It's a fantastic achievement, another to add to my career. I'm very proud."

"We have definitely closed the gap on Ferrari and at (the next race in) Barcelona we will push again."

Hamilton's performance made him the first driver to finish on the podium in his first three Grands Prix.

I know the next race is going to be really, really good

Lewis Hamilton
And it leaves him tied on points with team-mate Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen at the top of the world championship, although he is officially in third place on countback.

"It is fantastic to be joint points with Fernando and Kimi," Hamilton said. "I think the team have done a fantastic job.

"We had very good pace this weekend, possibly the pace to be able to be on pole but Felipe did a fantastic job in qualifying.

"In the race, usually the Ferraris pull away but we generally had similar pace if not quicker.

"We have made fantastic steps forward and I am really happy for the team and I know this next race coming up is going to be really, really good.

Fernando Alonso walks away from his car at the end of an unhappy Bahrain Grand Prix
I'm left with a bit of a bitter taste for not having been able to climb onto the podium

Fernando Alonso
"We are going to be working extremely hard to make sure we make some more steps forward so we can go to Barcelona even quicker."

Hamilton overshadowed double world champion Alonso throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. The Spaniard struggled throughout the race and could manage only fifth place.

Alonso said he had "no confidence in the car - overall grip was quite poor".

Talking to Spanish television, he added: "After this race I'm left with a bit of a bitter taste for not having been able to climb onto the podium, which was the main target.

"I couldn't do more than what I did, and in the end it's four points and we finished the race. I wasn't very comfortable with the car, and in the end I did the best I could.

"After these first three races I didn't think I would be sharing the lead in the championship with the Ferraris when we thought they were on another planet.

"So we'll arrive in Barcelona (for the next race on 13 May) in good condition and leading the championship."

Massa said he was relieved to win after starting the season with two poor races.

"It was a great result and it is nice that we now have a long break during which I can enjoy thinking about it," he said.

"We still need to work hard to maintain the momentum and the slight advantage we have."


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