Max Verstappen claimed an eighth consecutive victory celebrating at the opening race of the new 2024 Formula 1 season in Bahrain after dominating from pole position ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez while Carlos Sainz completed the podium for Ferrari.

Verstappen had no problems defending the lead at the start of the race and building a convincing advantage, staying on the track longer than all his rivals and finally setting the fastest lap, which in addition to leading all laps of the race brought him a ‘grand slam’, the fifth in his career.

Perez had a slightly more difficult task from the fifth starting position, but he overtook Sainz and later Russell at the start to complete Red Bull’s 1-2 victory, just like last year on this track.

The race did not offer too many strategic variations as all 20 drivers started on soft and avoided medium since it is not much faster than hard, but therefore it was much less durable, just like last year.

The Red Bull drivers were the only ones among the leaders who had a new set of softs at their disposal, but they did not decide to start on them, but saved them for the third, last part of the race.

Sainz had a solid race for Ferrari after telling the team on the radio in the first stint that he was faster than Leclerc, and later overtook him twice on track. Later, he managed to overtake Russell in Mercedes, who lost a duel with Leclerc in the late stages of the race.

Leclerc finished fourth after struggling with front-wheel lock-up in the first third of the race, while Russell dropped to fifth after a promising start in second place to finish less than two seconds ahead of Norris in the McLaren.

Hamilton gained two positions from the start by overtaking Alonso and later Piastri, with Piastri and Alonso finishing eighth and ninth while Stroll took the final point.

With this outcome, the first five teams from last season’s standings occupied all ten positions in the points-winner circle, and the best driver of the other teams was Zhou in Sauber.

All drivers finished the race, with Sargeant finishing last for Williams after losing a lot of time in an early exit.

The next race will be held in Saudi Arabia in a week, and will also be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

BAHRAIN GP RESULTS

11Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda RBPT571:00’44.742
211Sergio PérezRed Bull/Honda RBPT571:32’07.19922.457
355Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari571:32’09.85225.110
416Charles LeclercFerrari571:32’24.41139.669
563George RussellMercedes571:32’31.53046.788
64Lando NorrisMcLaren/Mercedes571:32’33.20048.458
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes571:32’35.06650.324
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren/Mercedes571:32’40.82456.082
914Fernando AlonsoAston Martin/Mercedes571:32’59.6291:14.887
1018Lance StrollAston Martin/Mercedes561 krug
1124Zhou GuanyuSauber/Ferrari561 krug
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari561 krug
133Daniel RicciardoRB/Honda RBPT561 krug
1422Yuki TsunodaRB/Honda RBPT561 krug
1523Alexander AlbonWilliams/Mercedes561 krug
1627Nico HülkenbergHaas/Ferrari561 krug
1731Esteban OconAlpine/Renault561 krug
1810Pierre GaslyAlpine/Renault561 krug
1977Valtteri BottasSauber/Ferrari561 krug
202Logan SargeantWilliams/Mercedes552 krug

Fastest lap: Max Verstappen – 1:32.608 (lap 39)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 1/24 RACES

1Max Verstappen26
2Sergio Pérez18
3Carlos Sainz Jr.15
4Charles Leclerc12
5George Russell10
6Lando Norris8
7Lewis Hamilton6
8Oscar Piastri4
9Fernando Alonso2
10Lance Stroll1
11Zhou Guanyu0
12Kevin Magnussen0
13Daniel Ricciardo0
14Yuki Tsunoda0
15Alexander Albon0
16Nico Hülkenberg0
17Esteban Ocon0
18Pierre Gasly0
19Valtteri Bottas0
20Logan Sargeant0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1Red Bull/Honda RBPT4444
2Ferrari2727
3Mercedes1616
4McLaren/Mercedes1212
5Aston Martin/Mercedes33
6Sauber/Ferrari0
7Haas/Ferrari0
8RB/Honda RBPT0
9Williams/Mercedes0
10Alpine/Renault0
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