Bahrain GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2

Verstappen won, 22.457 secs ahead of Perez.

The 2024 F1 season opener in Bahrain proved one thing – that reigning world champion Max Verstappen still remains the driver to beat. The Red Bull driver cruised to victory, 22 seconds clear of teammate Sergio Perez. Carlos Sainz defeated his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc to secure the final spot on the podium.

  1. Verstappen wins, 22.457 secs ahead of Perez
  2. Sainz P3, Leclerc P4 for Ferrari

Verstappen takes dominant Bahrain GP

Starting from pole position, Verstappen held the lead into Turn 1 and there was no looking back throughout the 57-lap race. It was complete domination out at front – he pitted both times with sufficient gaps, crossed the chequered flag over 22 seconds clear of Perez and even secured a bonus point for setting the fastest lap.

“I think today went even better than expected. I think the car was really nice to drive, on every [tyre] compound I think we had a lot of pace. It was just super enjoyable to drive today, we really stayed out of trouble and it’s a great start to the year – it couldn’t have been better,” said Verstappen.

Sainz beats Leclerc to P3

Sainz may be out of a drive for next year, with Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari in 2025. The news may just a fueled a fire, with the Spaniard pulling off feisty overtakes on teammate Leclerc to grab third place.

Leclerc struggled with tyre degradation and locked up on several occasions, complaining about a brake issue. However, he did pick off George Russell in the closing stages to finish fourth.

Over at Mercedes, both Russell and Hamilton encountered battery issues. Hamilton at one point even reported a broken seat.  As a result, Russell had to settle for fifth place, while Hamilton finished seventh.

Both McLaren drivers finished in the points, with Lando Norris separating the two Mercedes drivers in P6 and Oscar Piastri in P8. The last two points-scoring spots were taken by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll. The latter had to climb his way up the field after being spun around by Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap.

F1 now heads to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian GP on March 7-9. Just like Bahrain, the Saudi Arabia race will also be held on a Saturday.

2024 Bahrain GP results

2024 Bahrain GP results
Pos Driver Team
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
5 George Russell Mercedes
6 Lando Norris McLaren
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren
9 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
11 Zhou Guanyu Stake Sauber
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas
13 Daniel Ricciardo RB
14 Yuki Tsunoda RB
15 Alex Albon Williams
16 Nico Hulkenberg Haas
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine
18 Pierre Gasly Alpine
19 Valtteri Bottas Stake Sauber
20 Logan Sargeant Williams

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