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Bahrain Race notes - Sauber

NEWS STORY
03/04/2005

Sauber driver Felipe Massa finished seventh to score two points in today's Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, the team's 200th Formula One race. Unfortunately, just as he was poised to score the final point Jacques Villeneuve was the innocent victim of a collision and was forced to retire three laps from home.

Jacques Villeneuve: "It's a real shame. The start went well, Turn One went well, and the car went well. I got pushed wide and had to give back a place on the first lap, but after that it was a matter of keeping the pace and being consistent. I could certainly have got a point today. It was only another lap and I would have passed Rubens, but then I got hit by David. I don't know why and I'll have to ask him...

"After that incident I could feel something wrong at the back of the car so I came into the pits so the team could check it out. They subsequently discovered that there was damage to the rear suspension where David had hit
me. It's disappointing to get so close to a point and then lose it, but I'm feeling a lot more confident in the car after this race."

Felipe Massa: "That was exactly what I hoped for in my heart before the start of the race! The C24 was strong and consistent all the way through and I am sure that my hard tyre choice was the right one. I think it was a good move I did on Rubens, but he was in trouble with his tyres so to be fair it was not real overtaking. I am proud to have scored our first points of the season in our 200th race, and now I'm looking forward to continuing our intensive preparations next week before the championship moves to Europe for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola."

Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "This was a very tough race, and both drivers did a very good job. Jacques was unlucky to lose the final point when Coulthard ran into him in the closing stages, but Felipe's two points for seventh place were a great present, a thank you to the team as everyone here in Bahrain and back home in Hinwil celebrates our 200th race. It is a satisfying way to finish the opening stint of the season, and sets us up for our forthcoming test session in Barcelona later this week which will help us to prepare for the European races."

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