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2023 Formula One – Bahrain GP Results


The 2023 Formula One season is finally underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit. It marks the first race of the season and we’ll be covering all of the action from the race live on MARCA in English.

Red Bull dominated in Bahrain, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez taking a 1-2 finish for the Milton Keynes-based team. It’s the first time in 49 races that both Red Bull cars have seen the chequered flag together.

Max Verstappen

Defending world champion Max Verstappen dominated the season-opening Bahrain GP to win his first race in the 2023 Formula One season. The Red Bull driver, aiming for a third straight world title this year, held pole position from the start before powering away to win by 11 seconds ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso in third.

In qualifying, the Dutchman easily locked out the front row of the grid and dominated most of the session, claiming a career-best 21st pole with a sensational pair of laps. He said: “A pleasant surprise to be on pole after struggling with balance and form in practice.”

Leclerc started second on fresh soft tyres but quickly lost out to Verstappen and he began to struggle as Perez passed him for third on lap 26. However, Leclerc’s Ferrari ground to a halt on lap 41 with an engine issue, promoting Carlos Sainz and Alonso to third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso took a brilliant start to his new career at Aston Martin by beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to fifth in the opening laps of the race. Contact between Alonso and Lance Stroll in turn four clumsily sent him sideways, which allowed George Russell to overtake the two-time world champion to take sixth.

Verstappen then took full advantage of the situation by passing both Alonso and Stroll, which gave him the lead from lap eight onwards. By the end of the first stint, he had stretched out a lead of 6.5s over Leclerc and Perez was a further 1.5s behind him.

It was a dream one-two for the Red Bull pairing. They were followed by Aston Martin’s Carlos Sainz, who was running a career-best race after a disastrous debut for the Italian team at last year’s Australian Grand Prix.

The victory was a great start to the 2023 season for the Red Bulls, with Verstappen leading the way by 10 seconds as Aston Martin’s Carlos Sainz finished second and Fernando Alonso took a magnificent third place. They were both aided by the retirement of Charles Leclerc, who had an engine failure on the final lap after a strong drive to secure second place.

Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen got off to a perfect start in the 2023 season opener at Bahrain as he dominated the race and took his first win of the year ahead of teammate Sergio Perez. Fernando Alonso finished a fine third to make it two podiums from three races for the Spaniard in his debut with Aston Martin, after Charles Leclerc was forced out of the race after an engine failure.

The Monegasque driver started the race on fresh soft tyres and led for the opening laps of the race. He was unable to keep pace with the Red Bulls though, and was passed by Sergio Perez on lap 26 before Leclerc’s Ferrari tyres began to wear out.

After taking the lead from Perez on the next lap, Verstappen set about regaining control of the race and pulling away to open a significant gap. He then made a smart move to pass Leclerc and put himself in the driving seat, with the Belgian struggling to get past his rival on the next lap.

With just over 20 laps to go, Verstappen’s lead was slashed to around 10 seconds as Leclerc’s Ferrari gave up on the track with a faulty power unit. This left the gap open for Alonso to take advantage, and he launched one round the outside of Hamilton at the bumpy Turn 10, before catching him napping on the inside.

Alonso’s brilliant move was just the start of a very good battle for P3. He caught Hamilton in the next lap and pushed him to the limit, bluffing his way into second place before making his move on the last lap, bringing out the checkered flag.

It was a great result for Alonso, and it capped off a brilliant week of testing for him. He’ll now have a shot at his 99th F1 podium, something that would be very special to him.

It was a mixed start to the season for Leclerc, but the Monegasque wheelman is determined to fight on and will do whatever it takes to win a championship in his final season at Ferrari. However, he’s currently in a bit of a slump and may need to seek reassurances from Scuderia president John Elkann that the team is on the right path to success.

Carlos Sainz

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both scored huge wins on Sunday as the 2023 Formula 1 season began in Bahrain. Ferrari was also able to take a strong result with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing in the top two positions of the race.

After a tough start to his F1 career, Carlos Sainz is finally starting to turn things around. He is now in his second season with Scuderia Ferrari, partnering Charles Leclerc and replacing Sebastian Vettel.

He has scored points in all but one of his first eight races and has qualified in the top ten at all of them. He started his F1 career in 2015 for Toro Rosso where he competed with teammate Max Verstappen, before transferring to Renault in 2016.

Carlos Sainz made his debut in the GP3 series for Arden in 2013. His first race weekend went well with him qualifying inside the top five and gaining a place on the grid by passing Alex Fontana off the start line.

In his second race, Sainz finished a respectable sixth. In his third, he retired from the first lap after contact with a car and finished 22nd. In his fourth, he started from fifth and finished in seventh position.

For the rest of his GP3 career, he competed with ART for another three seasons before moving to Formula Renault 3.5 for 2013 where he qualified inside the top ten in all but three of his races and achieved a best finish of P2 in Hungary. However, he suffered multiple crashes throughout his GP3 season, most notably in Australia and Imola and a double retirement in Monaco.

Eventually, Sainz secured a place with Scuderia Ferrari for the 2021 season where he partnered Charles Leclerc. He has been a strong performer for the Italian team so far with a best finish of eighth in his debut race, at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The opening round of the 2023 season sees Max Verstappen start on pole ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and title hopeful Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari duo start on the second row with Sainz and Alonso in the final spots of the grid.

Fernando Alonso

Born in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain to a working class family, Fernando Alonso started karting at the age of three and soon found himself racing for local, national, and world championships. He progressed to car racing at the age of seventeen, winning the Euro Open by Nissan series in 1999 and becoming a regular on the Minardi F1 team’s test and reserve driver lists.

He debuted in Formula One with Renault for 2003 and became the youngest ever pole-sitter, race winner, and double world champion at the age of 22 years, 26 days. He was also a two-time Formula 1 Monaco GP winner, the first Spanish driver to do so.

In his illustrious career, Alonso has won 32 races and been a dominant force in the sport. His career has also been punctuated with two drivers’ titles and a further two constructors’ crowns.

Alonso started the 2023 season in fine form with a maiden F1 pole at Malaysia and a runner-up result in Interlagos. However, he struggled to find consistency in a difficult campaign.

Despite his struggles, Alonso remained committed to his goal of winning the ‘Triple Crown’ – victories in the Indy 500, F1 Monaco GP and Le Mans 24 Hours – and he aimed for glory at the Indianapolis 500 during 2020. He made his third appearance at the iconic track with Arrow McLaren SP, qualifying fifth and finishing 21st on the grid.

His next opportunity came at Alpine in 2021 where he qualified fourth and finished eighth. He also made his debut in the FIA WEC.

But his drive wasn’t enough to convince Alonso that Alpine was on the right track to take him back to race-winning success, and he signed to join Aston Martin in 2023. Aston Martin was unable to do enough to bring him back to the level he once reached, and underperformance plagued his time with the brand.

He fought hard to get his career back on track, contesting the Indy 500 in 2019 and taking part in the Dakar Rally in 2020. His determination to win was never in doubt, and he proved that he could do it on any given day.