The 2023 Formula 1 World Championship got underway on Sunday with the Bahrain Grand Prix, held at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Red Bull Racing was the dominant team, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen leading a one-two finish ahead of Sergio Perez, who came in 12 seconds behind.
Rounding out the top three was Fernando Alonso, racing for the first time at Aston Martin. The double world champion finished approximately 38 seconds behind the winner.
Red Bull locked out the front row of the starting grid, with Verstappen on pole and quicker than his teammate off the line when the lights turned green. Perez got bogged down and lost a place to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and was left trying to defend third place from Ferrari’s other man, Carlos Sainz.
Behind them, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll came into contact with Alonso while entering Turn 4, which allowed Mercedes-Benz AMG’s Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to get ahead. Alonso then put on a great battle to first pass Russell and then Hamilton.
In front it was a lonely race for both Verstappen and Perez. There was trouble for Leclerc, though. After putting some pressure on Perez, the Ferrari driver was forced to retire on lap 41 after his car came to a stop. This freed up third place for Sainz but he didn’t hold it for long as Alonso manged to pass him and secure the final podium spot just four laps later.
Other impressive runs came from Williams’ Alexander Albon, who finished 10th, and U.S. driver Logan Sargeant, who in his F1 debut finished 12th for Williams. Fellow rookies Nyck de Vries and Oscar Piastri had opposing results. While Piastri had to retire on lap 14 after his McLaren failed to start following a steering wheel change, de Vries drove a solid race to finish 14th in his AlphaTauri.
Following the past weekend’s action, Verstappen leads the 2023 Drivers’ Championship with 25 points. Perez is second with 18 points and Alonso third with 15 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 43 points, versus the 23 of Aston Martin and 16 of Mercedes. The next race on the calendar is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Below are the full results from the 2023 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +11.987 seconds
3) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin +38.637 seconds
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +48.052 seconds
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +50.977 seconds
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +54.502 seconds
7) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +55.873 seconds
8) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo +72.647 seconds
9) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +73.753 seconds
10) Alexander Albon, Williams +89.77 seconds
11) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +90.870 seconds
12) Logan Sargeant, Williams +1 lap
13) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1 lap
14) Nyck De Vries, AlphaTauri +1 lap
15) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas +1 lap
16) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
17) Lando Norris, McLaren +1 lap
NC) Esteban Ocon, Alpine – DNF
NC) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – DNF
NC) Oscar Piastri, McLaren – DNF
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