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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Sunday, 6 April 2008 11:48 UK
Bahrain Grand Prix
Sakhir, 4-6 April 2008
The Chequered Flag podcast



Final positions after 57 laps:

1. Massa (Ferrari)

2. Raikkonen (Ferrari)

3. Kubica (BMW Sauber)

4. Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)

5. Kovalainen (McLaren)

6. Trulli (Toyota)

7. Webber (Red Bull)


LATEST NEWS (all times BST)

To get involved in all the pre-race chat, text us on 81111 (UK users only) or contribute to 606

By Sarah Holt

1408: Massa is out of his Ferrari and pumping his first in delight as he answers his critics in the best way possible.

1407: "A very timely win for Massa but the lesson from this race is Ferrari are back big time - and McLaren have a lot to do."
BBC 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 57: Massa weaves through the final twists and turns at the Sakhir circuit and powers down the home straight to win the Bahrain Grand Prix for the second straight season. Raikkonen seals the one-two and earns his 50th podium place in the process. Kubica claims the third podium spot. Rounding out the points are Heidfeld in fourth, McLaren's Kovalainen in fifth from Trulli and Webber.

A disastrous day for Hamilton who relinquishes the drivers' championship with a 13th place finish.

Lap 56: Kubica might not have been able to make his pole count in Bahrain but he is showing that BMW Sauber can be real contenders this season. He is just 2.5secs behind Raikkonen.

Lap 55: Massa looks set to earn his first points of 2008 then after a couple of mistakes scuppered him in Australian and Malaysia.

Lap 54: As things stand Raikkonen will have done enough to lead the drivers' championships on 19 points ahead of Heidfeld and the two McLarens of Hamilton and Kovalainen.

Lap 53: Hamilton gets cleanly past Nakajima to take 13th, not quite the sort of battle he'd been envisaging.

Lap 52: Massa now has a seven second lead over Raikkonen at the front of the field.

Lap 51: Down the field Barrichello is closing down Alonso for 10th place. His Honda is 0.5secs behind the Renault but looks like the Spaniard is hanging on.

Lap 49: Kubica looks like he is trying to hustle Raikkonen in second. He's 3.1secs behind now. And Kovalainen is running a reliable race for McLaren as he takes his turn to set the fastest lap of the day of 1:33.193.

Lap 48: Massa is all set to cruise to a second successive victory in Bahrain as he leads Raikkonen by 7.6secs. Heidfeld sets a new fastest lap of 1:33.565.

Lap 47: Kovalainen wends his way back into the McLaren pits right down at the end of the pit lane and he is all done in seven seconds flat, taking on some hard tyres.

Lap 46: Heidfeld rejoins the race in fifth.

Lap 45: Heidfeld comes into the pits and that means Massa retains his lead. When Heidfeld comes out he finds himself behind his team-mate Kubica.

Lap 43: Trulli comes back to the Toyota pits from fifth, leaving Heidfeld and Kovalainen as the only frontrunners not to come in.

Lap 42: Hard luck for Piquet, who has to retire with gearbox failure. That also means he will face a gearbox penalty in Spain as he's not managed to make it last for the first four races.

Lap 41: And just as I finish typing that, in comes Kubica to pick up some fuel and hard tyres. He returns to the track amongst quite a bit of traffic but should be odds-on for third place.

Lap 40: Kubica is working hard as he leads the race - but he still has to make his final stop.

Lap 39: Massa pits and he comes down the pit lane and he comes out in good time.

Lap 38: Raikkonen comes into the Ferrari pits and he gets in and out in 8.1secs. Meanwhile, Massa sets a new fastest lap of 1:33.600.

Lap 37: Massa sets a personal best lap but it's not enough to eclipse Raikkonen. Will the final round of stops determine the race winner?

Lap 36: Second round of stops are coming and the first man in is Piquet. Alonso takes a look at Glock for ninth place but he cannot get past the Toyota man yet.

Lap 35: Ha ha - a brilliant battle of one-up-manship between the two Ferraris. Raikkonen now sets a new fastest lap of 1:33.709.

Lap 34: Massa sets a new fastest lap of 1:33.709 to stretch his lead still further.

"This is a fascinating struggle between the two Ferraris. Massa is responding to everything Raikkonen does but these two guys are out on their own now.They have got this race stitched up between them."
BBC 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 33: Raikkonen is eating into Massa's lead, with the gap down to 3.8secs now.

Lap 32: Defending champion Raikkonen sets a new fastest lap of 1:34.068. And finally Nakajima brings his Williams into the pits for his very first stop, long effort there.

Lap 31: Jenson Button explains his little bump with DC was just him taking avoiding action because he didn't have time to brake properly. And Hamilton manages to get past Fisichella into Turn One, with a "friendly" hand gesture too by all accounts. Hamilton quickly dives into the pits.

Lap 28: Hamilton has Fisichella's Force India in his sights as he tries to move up to 13th. The gap between them is 0.6secs. And at the front, Massa is running 4.9 seconds ahead of Raikkonen.

Lap 27: Button throws in the towel after an incident packed outing in Bahrain and retires.

Lap 25: "There is no shadow of doubt that Alonso brake tested Hamilton."
Noshinpads on 606

Lap 24: Hamilton overtakes Takuma Sato to move up to 15th and at the front Massa holds a 4.9-second lead over Raikkonen.

Lap 23: Webber comes into the pits and that means the two Ferraris settle into a one-two at the front. Hamilton manages to get past Davidson in his Super Aguri but otherwise it's just not his day in Bahrain.

Lap 22: So the first round of fuel and tyre stops haven't really changed things at the top. Massa retains the race lead from Mark Webber.

Lap 21: Race leader Massa comes into the pits. Heidfeld and Kovalainen also come in.

Lap 20: Raikkonen comes in to the Ferrari pits first and he spends 9.6secs in the pits, taking on enough fuel for 25 more laps. Trulli and Alonso are back in the pits too.

Lap 18: Button and Coulthard tangle at the back of the field and the Honda driver ends up losing his front wing. Button tried to dive down the inside but Coulthard shut him out; so looks like it was a mistake by Button and back to the pits he goes.

Lap 17: Kubica comes into the pits and he gets in and out in 8.9 seconds. Nico Rosberg follows suits and comes in to receive more fuel from Williams; and Piquet is being refueled at Renault. So the first stops are made.

Lap 16: The BMW pits are getting ready to welcome in one of their drivers.

Lap 15: It looks like Hamilton is running with a bit of damage to his car.

"The accident might have damaged the defuser at the back. It was an odd accident and I wonder if there might be a bit of discussion about whether Alonso slowed a bit there. We need to have another look at that."
BBC 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 14: Raikkonen sets a new fastest lap of 1:34.322.

"Kubica is really on a charge now but Raikkonen must have been listening as he sets a new fastest lap."
BBC 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 13: Hamilton is having to grit his teeth at the back of the field. He is 10 seconds behind 17th-placed Anthony Davidson and now more than a minute behind race leader Massa. What will he be thinking after the race?

Lap 11: Is Massa doing enough to keep team-mate Raikkonen at bay? He is 4.5 seconds ahead of the Finn at the moment but we know Raikkonen is super fast in the pits. Nelson Piquet overtakes Sebastian Bourdais's Toro Rosso to move up to 13th.

Lap 10: Alonso is running his Renault with a damaged rear wing. That is slowing him down a bit in ninth place, though he has just set his fastest lap of the race. There could be questions asked after the race how Hamilton came to run into his former McLaren team-mate.

Lap eight: A bit of a frantic start in Bahrain so a chance to update you on a few other incidents. On lap three, David Coulthard went back to the pits to sort out a puncture while fellow Brit Jenson Button also had to go back the Honda pits with the same problem.

Lap seven: The track is cleaning up now and that means we are seeing faster times being set. In fact, Massa lays down a hot one with a new fastest lap of 1:34.643. And the news on Hamilton down in 18th is that he is 50 seconds adrift of Massa down in 18th.

Lap six: Raikkonen sets a new fastest lap at the Sakhir circuit as he flies round in 1:35.393.

Lap four: Massa holds a 3.6-second lead at the front.

Lap three: Raikkonen nibbles at Kubica and overtakes him to take second to give Ferrari a blistering start to the race. Meanwhile, Hamilton has gone back into the pits to repair damage to his car.

Lap two: Hamilton runs into the back of Fernando Alonso as he tries to overtake him. The McLaren driver has knocked his front wing off but Alonso looks undamaged.

Lap one: A great start for Felipe Massa as he jumps Robert Kubica to take the lead and build up a big lead. Kimi Raikkonen moves up to third while Lewis Hamilton finds himlself falling back to 10th. With half a lap gone Sebastian Vettel is out.

1233: And the Bahrain race is under way.

1229: Tyres covers are coming off now and drivers are off to warm up their tyres.

1227: The team umbrellas are still shading the drivers as they get set for the parade lap, and it's not long now.

1224: "If that's the dummy grid where's the real one?!"
Birdliposprey on 606 (Um, that's just what it's called, I can offer no further explanation)

1221: The drivers are sliding into their cars now and it is going to be another hot race for them with temperatures set to climb to 60C inside the cockpit.

1218: And the Ferrari team have an explanation on Massa's late arrival, apparently he was having a bit of problem hearing the team radio.

1214: There's a bit of a musical theme down on the grid with r n' b singer Macy Gray hanging around at her first Grand Prix, along with guitarist Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa is a late arrival to the grid, so let's hope there are no problems.

1207: The question is can Robert Kubica take his pole position forward into the race? I have to say that the smart money in Bahrain is on Kimi Raikkonen. He is carrying a lot more fuel and is expected to run a longer first stint."
BBC 5 Live commentator David Croft

1201: The cars are off out of the pits to line up on the dummy grid.

1200: "If Ferrari get ahead, they will win the race and place all the pressure back on McLaren-Merc and Kovy and Lewis."
Thenunnyfox on 606

1155: It is looking like there is a pretty strong breeze at the Sakhir circuit again but otherwise it is bright and sunny with temperatures a rather pleasant 29C.

1150: "Kubica might very well get a podium place but victory might not be possible. I think Massa will win unless he gets chocked once again due to absence of TC."
Ninad13 on 606

1145: Are we ready for a change in Bahrain?

For the first time since October 2006, neither a McLaren nor a Ferrari sits in pole position on the grid.

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica ended McLaren and Ferrari's 22-race streak with his final flying lap of one minute 33.292 seconds at the Sakhir circuit.

Felipe Massa had been lightning quick in Friday's practice sessions but he was delayed behind traffic on his last lap and lines up in second.

Lewis Hamilton shrugged off the effects of his plunge into the tyre wall on Friday to finish third just ahead of defending champion Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn was pretty quiet in qualifying but is likely to be running with more fuel on board than Massa.

Conditions at the desert circuit can be pretty interesting with gusts of winds often blowing sand and grit onto the circuit.

That means the drivers will need to take extra care, especially now they are running without traction control.

Here's how the drivers line up on the grid in Bahrain:

1. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1 min 33.096
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:33.123
3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.292
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:33.418
5. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.488
6. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:33.737
7. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1:33.994
8. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams-Toyota 1:34.015
9. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1:35.057
10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1:35.115
11. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1:32.371
12. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:32.508
13. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 1:32.528
14. Nelsinho Piquet (Brazil) Renault 1:32.790
15. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:32.915
16. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams-Toyota 1:32.943
17. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull-Renault 1:33.433
18. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India-Ferrari 1:33.501
19. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.562
20. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Ferrari 1:33.845
21. Anthony Davidson (Britain) Super Aguri-Honda 1:34.140
22. Takuma Sato (Japan) Super Aguri-Honda 1:35.725



see also
Hamilton third as Kubica shines
05 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton unhurt in Bahrain crash
04 Apr 08 |  Formula One


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