Pattaya Daily News

15 March 2010 :: 10:03:28 am 15703

Prancing Horse Dominates As Schumacher Returns

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso got his career with Ferrari off to a perfect start, winning the opening race of the 2010 season in Bahrain on Sunday.
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Bahrain, the 14th of March 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Adding to Ferrari’s delight with Alonso’s performance was the second placing of Felipe Massa, who was making his return to competitive racing following last years horrendous accident in Hungary last year. Another two-time world champion, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, rounded off the podium finishing in third ahead of Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel who started the race in pole position.

Alonso’s win, although deserved, largely came about through the mechanical failure of Vettel’s Red Bull car, which lost power due to an exhaust issue at a time when he was over 3 seconds in front of the Spaniard on lap 34 of 49. Vettel despite his car troubles finished forth ahead of Mercedes pairing Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher as well as last years champion Jenson Button.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is highly sort after, not just because it is the opening race to the F1 season, but because in the previous six years since the races introduction, the winner has gone on to claim the driver’s championship on 4 occasions. Felipe Massa won the other two times finishing the season in second.

Schumacher, who was set to replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari last season before suffering a problematic neck injury, had all eyes on him prior to the start of the race. Qualifying in seventh he managed to finish one place higher in sixth, 4 seconds behind teammate Nico Rosberg.

Schumacher stated of his performance; “After three years away, I’m happy to say that I had fun out there today, especially at the beginning with the good start that I had,” he said. “I can live very well with sixth position, and it gives both me and the team a good base to make progress. I have every confidence that we will improve the car. We all know that we have some way to go, but we will get there. The season is long.”

Last years champion Jenson Button, who left the Brawn outfit (now Mercedes) to race with McLaren, finished in seventh behind the legendary German whilst Australian Mark Webber was in eight place in his Red Bull car.

Vitantonio Liuzzi earned two points for the Mercedes-powered Force India team with ninth and former Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello took the final point with 10th on debut for Williams.

The Ferrari one-two in Bahrain has already gone some way to eradicating the legendary manufacturer’s horrendous performances from last season. Under the new points system Alonso earned 25 points, seven ahead of teammate Massa who finished second. The Italian marquee already holds a 22 point lead over fierce rivals McLaren in second with new entrant Mercedes in third.

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Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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