Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen picked up in Bahrain where he left off in Abu Dhabi last season as the Dutch driver kicked off his title defence in dominant fashion taking a lights to flag victory in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Speaking following the action, Verstappen said:
This is exactly the start we wanted, a one-two finish. I’m incredibly proud that we have achieved this as a Team. I could see early on that we had the pace in the car, I was able to build a gap from the start and then just managed it for the rest of the race, it was a straightforward day for us. It also feels good to finally win in Bahrain, I haven’t had the best history here. Looking ahead to Jeddah, it’s a completely different track with different conditions, there’s a lot of long straights and fast corners, so it will give us a completely different picture of where everyone is on the grid but at least this was a very good start for us.”
Sergio Perez made it a clean sweep for the Milton Keynes based outfit as he came home in second behind Verstappen to give Red Bull maximum points to start the season.
Speaking following the race, Perez said:
“My start wasn’t ideal, Charles was a little too aggressive, pushed me to the right and I did my best to avoid him. That meant my first stint wasn’t ideal, Charles was very strong on that new tyre and it was difficult to get through him quickly enough. I think that’s where I lost out to Max, I was behind him by about 10 or 12 seconds and after that it was game over on catching Max, it was all about getting Charles. It was important to get by him, minimise the damage and get that P2 for the Team. There are a lot of improvements we can still make to try and make our car better, there is still plenty of work going on behind the scenes. On this tarmac we have been very strong but Bahrain is a very unique circuit and things will be closer at other circuits.”
Fernando Alonso capped off a great weekend for the Aston Martin Aramaco Cognizant Formula One Team as the Spaniard came home in third place and speaking following the action he said:
“This is an incredible result from the entire team and we must enjoy this moment. I am very proud of the job everybody has done. We did not have the best start, but the race pace was strong. The car has been very predictable from day one [of testing] and I have felt very comfortable throughout the whole weekend. I really enjoyed the race and, even after the chequered flag, I felt like I could have driven for another hour! We had some great fights out there today, especially with [Carlos] Sainz and [Lewis] Hamilton. Lewis is a legend of the sport and it was great to have so much respect between us out there. It was also an incredible effort from Lance, who was a hero today for driving so well so soon after his injury to pick up some great points. You can feel the energy in the team: everybody is working flat out at the moment and we are all very motivated. This weekend feels like a dream, but we must stay realistic because this is just one track and the first race. Jeddah is a very different kind of circuit; a very different challenge. I cannot wait to get back in the car.”
Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari just ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll. George Russell in the second Mercedes came home in seventh just ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly who scored points on his Alpine debut.
It was a great race for Williams Racing as Alex Albon rounded out the top ten for the Grove based outfit while Yuki Tsunoda was 11th for Alpha Tauri.
Logan Sargeant was 12th on his Formula One debut following a promising race for the American.
Kevin Magnussen was 13th for Haas just ahead of Nyck De Vries and the returning Nico Hulkenberg.
Zhou Guanyu was 16th just ahead of Lando Norris who was last of the runners. Estefan Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri retired from the race.
This season, Paddock Eye are doing a Driver of The Day and for Bahrain Fernando Alonso was our Driver Of The Day.