Max Verstappen was dominant in F1 Bahrain GP win to open 2023 season with Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso rounding the podium.

Pole-sitter Max Verstappen made a solid start to F1 Bahrain GP in his Red Bull car to lead comfortably as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had a better getaway to move to second after a near push moment from a slow starter Sergio Perez in the Red Bull.

Leclerc kept second from Perez with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz fourth from Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso dropped to seventh after he was hit by teammate Lance Stroll at Turn 4 in almost a ‘civil war’ situation.

Stroll retained eighth from Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who jumped three place to ninth with McLaren’s Lando Norris also gaining to 10th after Alpine’s Esteban Ocon dropped to 11th and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg to 15th from the Top 10.

The German lost a bit of front wing endplate after getting close to Ocon. While the positions were maintained up front, Norris lost to Ocon and Williams’ Alexander Albon to drop to 12th. The Brit even lost to Williams’ Logan Sargeant at one stage but retook it.

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly was the first to pit from the back on Lap 10 as others started to do so too. Russell, meanwhile, had Alonso on his tail after a wide moment at Turn 10 with the Brit complaining of no tyre left and requiring a pit stop soon.

But the team called Hamilton in before which eventually allowed Alonso to pass Russell at Turn 4. The Brit tried to stay on with him but in vain as Stroll got at the back of him soon. Ocon, meanwhile, was being investigated for being out of place on the grid.

He was handed a 5s time penalty for being too far on the right side as he also had a front wing endplate flapping on the left side. McLaren’s Oscar Piastri’s first F1 race ended early due to a suspected steering wheel issue which they tried to change in the pits.

Red Bull left Perez out for long as Ferrari double-stacked their cars with Verstappen ahead of Leclerc and Sainz in the order. Hamilton retained track position but Alonso and Russell both lost out to Bottas. The Finn’s early stop allowed him to get ahead but not for long.

After few laps of waiting, both Alonso and Russell got through Bottas to regain track position. After a retirement for Piastri, teammate Norris had an early second stop where the McLaren mechanics were seen working on the car for a longer time.

At the same time, there were trouble for Alpine after they didn’t serve the 5s penalty with Ocon correctly. At the front, Verstappen eased off into the distance on the soft tyre as teammate Perez on the same compound was given the chance to chase Leclerc.

The Mexican eventually made his move stick to take second after a while of waiting. Ocon, meanwhile, was given a 10s time penalty for not serving his penalty correctly. The Frenchman got another 5s time penalty for speeding in pitlane.

Norris made a third stop with the mechanics pressuring the car like they did the second time. While Red Bull and Ferrari held still, Hamilton pitted to cover off Alonso which allowed Stroll to pit before Russell. It worked for Aston Martin as Stroll got the track position.

Russell just managed to get ahead out of the pits but with better tyre temperature, Stroll got through him quickly. After few laps of this, Alonso got to the back of Hamilton after the Spaniard’s pit stop. And he got through the Brit as well to start with.

But a moment at Turn 4 allowed Hamilton to get back at him. Alonso waited a lap and made a masterful move at Turn 10 without the DRS to clear the Brit. He played the dummy and got fifth but the Mercedes stayed with him all-through the run.

As Alonso and Hamilton started to catch Sainz for fourth, it soon became the fight for third after Leclerc’s race ended due to no power in a big moment. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed where multiple outside the Top 10 pitted for soft tyres.

The re-start saw Gasly passing Albon for ninth as Leclerc’s retirement made it a fight for ninth. At the front, Sainz started to struggle which allowed Alonso to get onto him. In fact, the Aston Martin car even touched the Ferrari at Turn 4 in a wild moment.

But Alonso eventually got to him in the lead-up to Turn 11 to get to third, with Sainz then having to fend off Hamilton in the fight for fourth. At the front, Verstappen was dominant to open the 2023 season with a F1 Bahrain GP in a Red Bull 1-2 finish.

He was 11.987s s ahead of Perez as Alonso rounded the podium, where Sainz kept fourth from Hamilton. Even a moment for Stroll didn’t affect his position in sixth from Russell, with Bottas keeping eighth despite a late charge from Gasly by 1.1s.

The Frenchman went from 20th to ninth as Albon rounded off the Top 10, fending off Tsunoda by 1s with Sargeant having a fine debut in 12th. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was 13th from de Vries, Hulkenberg, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Norris.

Everyone from Sargeant until Guanyu finished one lap behind the winner Verstappen, while Norris ended up two laps behind after completing six pit stops in what became a test session for the Woking-based F1 team in Bahrain GP.

DNF: Ocon, Leclerc, Piastri