Max Verstappen wins 2023 Bahrain GP, ​​Alonso stars

Max Verstappen won the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2023 Formula 1 world championship, with a 1-2 lead over a sensational Fernando Alonso for Red Bull.

Verstappen controlled the race from the start as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took second at the start by starting on the new soft tyres.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez overtook Leclerc for second on lap 26, securing the podium before half-distance. But Leclerc’s Ferrari stopped with engine trouble on lap 41, elevating Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz to third.

But Aston Martin’s Alonso was not to be denied a podium finish after a brilliant drive and took third from Sainz with 11 laps to go.

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Results

How the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix unfolded

Verstappen easily held onto his pole advantage heading into Turn 1 over Leclerc, who brushed wheels with the slower-starting Perez and Sainz, who all headed for the inside line.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was a big winner at the start and in the opening corners, smartly gaining two places to finish fifth. Contact occurred at Turn 4 as Lance Stroll clumsily split the rear of Aston team-mate Alonso and sent him sideways, sending both George Russell’s Mercedes past sixth.

By lap 10, Verstappen led Leclerc by 6.5 seconds, Perez a further 1.5 seconds behind and Sainz already fourth, but ahead of the Mercedes and Aston pair.

Hamilton crashed out on lap 13 after hitting Alonso Russell, finishing fifth in turns 4 through 6. Leclerc and Sainz stopped a lap later, Russell, who suffered a slow left-rear shift.

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Verstappen took more softs on lap 15, allowing Perez to take the lead for a couple of laps. Valtteri Bottas stopped his Alfa Romeo early on and briefly held sixth place, while Alonso, Russell and Stroll battled it out on lap 20. Perez then took the softs like Verstappen and joined third, 3 seconds behind Leclerc.

Perez chased down Leclerc and took second at Turn 1 on lap 26, but was already nearly 14 seconds down on Verstappen.

In the second round of pitstops, Aston attempted an undercut for Stroll, which worked perfectly as he passed Russell for seventh on his out-lap at Turn 4. Alonso went the other way, running long on his harder tires, which allowed Hamilton to take his fifth place.

At the front, Verstappen managed to run his soft tires longer than anyone, switching to the hards on lap 36.Th F1 success. Perez was a distant second, but clear of Leclerc and Sainz.

There was a fierce battle for fifth between Hamilton and Alonso, with the Spaniard pitted at Turn 4 on lap 37 after suffering a major crash. Two laps later, Alonso unexpectedly shocked Hamilton at Turn 10, leaving him fifth.

It was fourth when Leclerc’s Ferrari crashed on lap 41, giving him third place and causing a brief virtual safety car. Alonso now set his sights on the podium, quickly carving into Sainz’s 3-point advantage and zooming past him at Turn 11 after an entertaining wheel-to-wheel battle.

Sainz held off Hamilton for fourth in the closing stages ahead of Stroll, Russell, Bottas, Pierre Gasly (from the back of the grid in his Alpine) and Yuki Tsutoda (Alfatori) ahead of the Williams of Alex Alban. to finish.

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Elsewhere, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had a race from hell, receiving a 5s penalty for not lining up correctly in his grid slot and needing a new front wing after damaging an end plate. The FIA ​​ruled that he had not served that penalty properly and gave him another 10s for his next pitstop and then another 5s for speeding in the pitlane, after which he retired.

McLaren suffered a disastrous race, Oscar Piastre’s F1 debut ended with an electronic gearbox failure and Lando Norris suffered a pneumatic problem with his Mercedes engine, requiring repeated pitstops to recharge the system, and he finished last.

2023 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Fastest Laps

2023 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix pit stops

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