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Felipe Massa answers critics in winning style

The brazilian storms to victory for his 2nd successive victory in the Bahrain GP with his Ferrari team celebrating a comfortable one-two with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Manama
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2008 07:19 PM IST

Brazilian Felipe Massa stormed to victory in Manama on Sunday for his second successive victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix and answer his mounting bank of critics as his Ferrari team celebrated a comfortable one-two with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second.

Massa triumphed by more than three seconds to mark his first points of the season as Finland's title holder Raikkonen took the lead in the drivers' championship from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton who finished 13th after a nightmare afternoon.

Massa clearly loves the 5.412 kms desert track in Sakhir as he repeated last year's triumph, dominating the 57-lap race after blasting off the grid to take the lead from BMW's Robert Kubica, the first Polish driver to start a grand prix from pole.

It was Massa's sixth career win.

The South American, whose future at Ferrari is already the subject of speculation, led for all but six laps following his second pit-stop and always kept Raikkonen, winner of the last race in Malaysia, at bay.

Kubica finished third from his team-mate German Nick Heidfeld, confirming BMW's emergence as a championship force. The German car giant leads the Constructors' championship for the first time by one point from Ferrari.

Finland's Heikki Kovalainen was fifth for McLaren with Italian Jarno Trulli sixth in the Toyota.

Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber and Williams racer German Nico Rosberg were the other points scorers in seventh and eighth.

Raikkonen now leads the drivers' standings on 19 points, three ahead of Heidfeld with Hamilton, Kovalainen and Kubica all on 14.

Pre-race championship leader Hamilton was always struggling having dropped from third to 11th at the start after getting stuck on the grid when the red lights went out.

The British driver then lost his front wing after ramming into the back of former team-mate Fernando Alonso's Renault on lap two. He survived a massive trip across the gravel to pit for a new nose but returned back in 18th spot.

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