By Ross Carney
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen picked up where he left off last season with a dominant win in Formula 1 opening race in Bahrain.
Qualifying in pole position, the Dutchman held on to his lead easily throughout the race and never seemed at risk of being overtaken.
His teammate Sergio Perez capped off a dominant display for Red Bull finishing in second place, 11.9 seconds behind Verstappen.
After stealing all the headlines during pre season testing, Aston Martin proved they are a force worth fearing with Fernando Alonso claiming third place.
His teammate Lance Stroll finished in 6th place, less than a week after missing pre-season testing as a result of a biking accident which left him with injured wrists and a broken toe.
However, a minor collision between the two on the opening lap nearly ruined the race for both Aston Martin’s.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished 4th, with teammate Charles Leclerc retiring in the latter stages of the race due to an engine failure.
The Monégasque driver was racing comfortably towards a place on the podium before having to retire on Lap 41.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton came 5th, with Mercedes teammate George Russell finishing in 7th place.
Speaking after the race, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff described today as “one of the worst days in racing”.
Ex-Mercedes driver, Valterri Bottas, finished in 8th for Alfa Romeo.
Pierre Gasly finished in 9th on his debut for Alpine, having started the race in last place.
Gasly’s teammate Esteban Ocon had a race to forget, having received 3 separate penalty’s before eventually retiring from the race.
Williams’ Alex Albon finished out in 10th, getting a crucial point for last years lowest ranked team.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu got the fastest lap, clocking in a 1:33.996 on the second last lap. Finishing outside the top 10 means he receives no bonus point, however.
The second race of the 2023 Formula 1 season take places in Saudi Arabia on the 19th of March.
|2023 F1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – RACE RESULTS|
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull||57 Laps|
|2||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull||+ 11.987s|
|3||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Aston Martin||+ 38.637|
|4||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Ferrari||+. 48.052|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes||+ 50.977s|
|6||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin||+ 54.502s|
|7||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes||+ 55.873s|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo||+ 72.647s|
|9||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Alpine||+ 73.753s|
|10||Alex Albon||THA||Williams||+ 89.774s|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||AlphaTauri||+ 90.870s|
|12||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams||+ 1 Lap|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas||+ 1 Lap|
|14||Nyck de Vries||NED||AlphaTauri||+ 1 Lap|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Haas||+ 1 Lap|
|16||Zhou Guanyu||CHN||Alfa Romeo||+ 1 Lap|
|17||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren||+ 2 Laps|