Formula One: Massa Brilliant in Bahrain

Martin MaleAnalyst IApril 6, 2008

Felipe Massa blew past Robert Kubica at the start of Sunday's 2008 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX. The Brazilian took off in his scarlet Ferrari before the first corner and never looked back. The race was his to win and he did just that with a brilliant drive. Unlike the first two races of the season, he made no mistakes as he pulled away from the field.

After being caught by Kubica on the last lap of qualifying on Saturday, Massa was all business Sunday. Even team mate and defending World Driving champion, Kimi Raikkonen couldn't muster a challenge. Raikkonen also had a good start as he passed Lewis Hamilton before the first corner and passed the BMW Sauber of Kubica on lap two.  That was it for the rest of the field as the 20 other drivers fought for position behind the Ferraris and they the Italian team finished one-two for the first time this season.

Points leader coming into the race, Lewis Hamilton, had a day he would like to forget. Without the launch control that the cars have used in past seasons in order to get off the line cleanly, the McLaren Mercedes driver dropped the ball today. Starting third, he was down to 10th by the time they reached the first corner. To make matters worse for himself, Hamilton drove into the back of ex-team mate Fernando Alonso's Renault forcing him to pit to replace his nose cone. He rejoined the race in 21st place and 13th was the best he could do the rest of the way. 

With BMW Sauber grabbing the pole on Saturday, hopes were high for a good finish. Kubica and team mate Nick Heidfeld didn't disappoint as they brought their cars home third and fourth. That great finish along with the poor performance by McLaren allowed the German team to take over first place in the Constructor's Championship.

The disappointment of the day was the Renault team. Fernando Alonso could only muster a tenth and  drove most of the race with a bite out of his rear wing courtesy of the smack from Hamilton. Team mate Nelsinho Piquet only managed 40 laps before he parked his car in the garage. Toyota's Jarno Trulli and William's Nico Rosberg both finished in the points pretty much in the same position that they started.

Race Points:Massa - 10, Raikkonen - 8, Kubica - 6, Heidfeld - 5, Kovalainen - 4, Trulli - 3, Webber - 2, Rosberg - 1

Drivers Championship Points:Raikkonen - 19; Heidfeld - 16, Hamilton - 14, Kubica - 14, Kovalainen - 14, Massa - 10, Trulli - 8, Rosberg - 7, Alonso - 6, Webber - 4, Nakajima - 3, Bourdais - 2 

Constructor Championship Points:BMW Sauber - 30, Ferrari - 29, McLaren Mercedes - 28, Williams Toyota - 10, Toyota - 8, Renault - 6, Red Bull Renault - 4, Toro Rosso - 2

The next race takes place in three weeks at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Now the teams are back in Europe, the real season begins.