Max Verstappen convincingly started the defense of the championship title with a dominant victory in the first race of the season in Bahrain ahead of teammate Sergio Perez while Fernando Alonso impressed with third place for Aston Martin.

Verstappen and Perez had no competition throughout the race although Perez had to pass Leclerc after losing position at the start before Leclerc retired from third due to a breakdown in his Ferrari which gave Alonso a chance for the last podium place.

Verstappen kept the lead at the start, but Leclerc overtook Perez and took second place for Ferrari, while Perez was third at the end of the first lap.

Sainz remained fourth, but Alonso dropped to seventh behind Hamilton and Russell after being hit by team-mate Stroll in the Turn 4 in the first lap and nearly pushing him out of the race.

Gasly opened a series of pit stops on lap 10, Hamilton was the first of the leaders to make his switch from soft to hard on lap 13, and Leclerc and Sainz did so on lap 14.

Vestappen made his tyre change on lap 15 while he was more than 11 seconds ahead of Perez and switched from soft to soft.

On lap 12 Alonso managed to overtake Russell at Turn four before both he and Russell pitted, but on lap 15 Russell set the fastest lap and came very close to Alonso until Alonso got rid of Bottas in the Alfa Romeo.

Perez pits last of the leaders on lap 18 and swaps soft for soft to move back into third place between the Ferrari drivers, four seconds behind Leclerc.

Perez caught Leclerc in the lap 25 and was less than one second behind him, and in the next lap he overtook him for the second place behind Verstappen.

Hamilton pitted on lap 31 from fifth, as did Stroll from eighth, with Russell and Sainz making their second pitstpps a lap later.

Alonso overtook Hamilton after a great battle after surprising him at Turn 10 on lap 38, but Hamilton stayed very close as the duo caught up with Sainz in the Ferrari.

Leclerc dropped out of third place on lap 40 due to a electrical power unit failure which triggered virtual safety car conditions, and when the green flag came out again Alonso caught up and soon overtook Sainz to take third place.

Verstappen convincingly won the season opener, the first time in his career that he celebrated in the first race of the season and the first time in Bahrain, Perez finished second and Alonso third, his first podium after Qatar 2021.

Although Sainz had tyre problems, Hamilton was unable to threaten him so Ferrari at least kept fourth ahead of Hamilton in the Mercedes.

Stroll managed to separate the Mercedes drivers in sixth place for Aston Martin, and Russell was seventh ahead of Bottas in Alfa Romeo who had a calm race and finished second ahead of the Gasly who took two points from 20th place.

Albon had a good race for Williams from 15th on the grid and managed to score the final point of today’s race despite late pressure from Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri.

The next race is in Saudi Arabia in two weeks.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda RBPT571:33’56.736
211Sergio PérezRed Bull/Honda RBPT571:34’08.72311.987
314Fernando AlonsoAston Martin/Mercedes571:34’35.37338.637
455Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari571:34’44.78848.052
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes571:34’47.71350.977
618Lance StrollAston Martin/Mercedes571:34’51.23854.502
763George RussellMercedes571:34’52.60955.873
877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo/Ferrari571:35’09.3831’12.647
910Pierre GaslyAlpine/Renault571:35’10.4891’13.753
1023Alexander AlbonWilliams/Mercedes571:35’26.5101’29.774
1122Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri/Honda RBPT571:35’27.6061’30.870
122Logan SargeantWilliams/Mercedes561 lap
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari561 lap
1421Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri/Honda RBPT561 lap
1527Nico HülkenbergHaas/Ferrari561 lap
1624Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo/Ferrari561 lap
174Lando NorrisMcLaren/Mercedes552 lapa
31Esteban OconAlpine/Renault41Retired
16Charles LeclercFerrari39Electrical
81Oscar PiastriMcLaren/Mercedes13Retired

Fastest lap: Guanyu Zhou – 1:33.996 (lap 56)


1Max Verstappen25
2Sergio Pérez18
3Fernando Alonso15
4Carlos Sainz Jr.12
5Lewis Hamilton10
6Lance Stroll8
7George Russell6
8Valtteri Bottas4
9Pierre Gasly2
10Alexander Albon1
11Yuki Tsunoda0
12Logan Sargeant0
13Kevin Magnussen0
14Nyck de Vries0
15Nico Hülkenberg0
16Zhou Guanyu0
17Lando Norris0
Oscar Piastri0
Charles Leclerc0
Esteban Ocon0


1Red Bull/Honda RBPT43
2Aston Martin/Mercedes23
5Alfa Romeo/Ferrari4
8AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT0
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