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Ferrari praise Massa's attitude in Bahrain 17 Apr 2007

(L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari; Jean Todt (FRA) Ferrari Sporting Director and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari celebrate.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Sunday, 15 April 2007

Ferrari have paid tribute to Felipe Massa, after the Brazilian driver bounced back from his Malaysian disappointments to take a triumphant victory in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Massa, who had been heavily criticised following his fifth-place finish in Sepang a week earlier, kept a cool head in Sakhir to win comfortably from pole.

“Felipe's weekend was fantastic and this was due to his capability - and to the car of course,” explained Ferrari's technical director Mario Almondo. “The success of today is linked to Felipe's mental attitude which I have to say was fantastic. The concentration is evident to everybody.”

Massa’s success in Sakhir after the trials and tribulations he experienced in Malaysia, saw the Brazilian strenthen his fourth place in the drivers' standings with a haul of 10 points. His quick start from pole no doubt laid the ghosts of his slow getaway in Sepang to rest, while his mature drive to the end of the race has, for the moment at least, silenced his critics.

“Felipe's strength was to react straightaway from one week ago in Malaysia,” explained sporting director Stefano Domenicali. “Everyone said that Felipe was no longer a driver. I think that he's grown a lot, because he wanted to show first to himself and also to all of us who he is. For sure, his strength is that he had a great reaction in terms of behaviour and approach to this race."

There was also praise from the Ferrari camp for Raikkonen, who came home third in Sakhir behind McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. The Finn is currently joint leader in the drivers’ championship, with 22 points, alongside Hamilton and Alonso.

“Kimi's best characteristic is that he's always cool, he's always looking behind the fence,” added Domenicali. “He's not emotionally involved - at least, apparently not - because he's a thinker and you can see that. If you look at the numbers, Kimi's leading the championship with the others of course, but he's there, so that's his strength.”

Ferrari currently sit second in the constructors’ championship standings, just five points adrift of McLaren. The Italian team now plans to test at Vairano and Barcelona, ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place from May 11-13.