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Massa sees off Hamilton in Bahrain

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MANAMA, Bahrain -- Ferrari's Felipe Massa won the Bahrain Grand Prix in Manama on Sunday but McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton drove into the Formula One record books with another stunning second place.

Brazilian Massa's third career victory, from pole position, revived his title challenge after a difficult start to the season.

But it was 22-year-old Briton Hamilton, starting on the front row for the first time, who was again the focus of attention in a race that left him in a three-way tie on points at the top of the standings.

Runner-up for the second race in a row, after a third place in Australia, he became the first driver in F1's 57-year history to finish his first three races on the podium.

"To have another second place in only my third race, I couldn't ask for more," said Hamilton, calm and controlled as ever in a by now familiar post-race news conference for the top three.

"There's only one more step from here. I think it's a fantastic achievement, another to add to my career," he added. "I'm extremely proud."

Kimi Raikkonen, winner of the season-opener in Melbourne last month, completed the top three for Ferrari with Germany's Nick Heidfeld a strong fourth for BMW Sauber -- his third successive fourth place.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, who led Hamilton in a McLaren one-two in Malaysia last weekend, was fifth after a difficult afternoon in the desert heat.

He was leapfrogged by Raikkonen at the pitstops and overtaken by Heidfeld as he suffered a first defeat to his new team mate.

The Spaniard, Finland's Raikkonen and Hamilton now share the overall lead after three races with 22 points apiece, although Hamilton has yet to win. "I was not able to have the right pace. I was unlucky. Ferrari just did a better job," said Alonso.

Massa, who had been made to look like a novice by Hamilton in Malaysia when the Briton passed both Ferraris at the start and then forced the Brazilian to make a crucial error when he tried to regain position, has 17 points.

"The result of the first two races was not as I expected, something was missing," he said. "This time we put everything together. I'm really pleased. Now we need to push even harder to keep up the momentum."

Mercedes-powered McLaren remained top of the constructors' standings with 44 points to Ferrari's 39.

Poland's Robert Kubica scored his first points of the season, in sixth place for BMW Sauber, with Italian Jarno Trulli seventh for Toyota.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella handed champions Renault, winners for the past two years at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit with Alonso but now struggling to keep up with the frontrunners, the final point.

The win revived Massa's title hopes after a difficult start to the season.

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