Bahrain GP Highlight: We Hate You Massa…We Love You Massa
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| In a race filled with highlights, Massa's drive of dominance is the most impressive and poignant story to have surfaced from the Bahrain grand prix. It is uncertain whether he was motivated out of a desire to kiss and make up or to snub his detractors. But one thing is certain, Massa's drive at the Bahrain GP has made all things right again with the Ferrari fans and Italian press…for now. Will the love continue? Did Massa potentially set himself up for a fall-out?
Pick your analogy: 'Being roasted over a roaring fire', or, 'Standing before a firing squad'. Whichever one chosen would have adequately described the position Felipe Massa found himself coming into the Bahrain grand prix. 'Throwing away' victory in the Malaysian grand prix made him enemy number one amongst Ferrari faithful. Massa had to do something to change that relationship. Massa had to do something that eased the call for his head. Bahrain was the opportunity presented and Felipe took advantage.
Felipe's best practice times were rather unassuming. While he was near the top he never was the 'one' to beat out or apparently worry about. In fact, it is doubtless that some thought Massa would play it safe and look for a good result. Sure he would go for a win, but a high finish in the points would have seemed of more importance. Any such thoughts changed in qualifying. In the first round of knock-out qualifying Massa topped the charts. He topped the charts again in the second round and would go on to take pole in the third round with a time some .300+seconds faster than Hamilton in second.
Massa's get away from the grid at the start was very good. This allowed the Brazilian to be first into the all-important turn one. That meant Felipe had clear track in front of him and he took advantage of it. Felipe pulled away with Hamilton in tow. All throughout the first stint Massa brought the lap times down while being smooth behind the wheel, not at all looking like a man under pressure.