Verstappen Wins Bahrain GP in Uncontested F1 Victory

Verstappen Wins Bahrain GP in Uncontested F1 Victory


Following a relatively brief off-season and inconclusive winter testing, the Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 F1 qualifying session yesterday provided an initial glimpse into this season’s pecking order. However, as is known with modern Formula 1, it is the race that truly offers a preview of what the coming season holds.

Naturally, the hierarchy and gaps will evolve over the year, but the first answers are finally arriving. Max Verstappen clinched a pole position that seemed less assured than last year, edging out Charles Leclerc. George Russell and Carlos Sainz took the second row, ahead of Sergio Pérez and Fernando Alonso.

The McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are up next, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hülkenberg, one of the great surprises of the qualifying. Yuki Tsunoda is 11th, ahead of Lance Stroll, Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, and then the Stake cars of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, Logan Sargeant, and the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

15:45: Night has fallen over Bahrain, and the season’s opening race is just minutes from starting. Ferrari hopes to challenge Verstappen in race pace, and the fight for the podium promises to be intense among Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren.

15:57: All drivers have opted for soft tires! The competitors are all on worn rubber, and Red Bull has an additional set of new softs compared to its rivals. However, the Milton Keynes team has one less set of hard tires.

Start: Verstappen and Leclerc get off to an excellent start, while Pérez moves up on the outside, and Stroll is spun into a tailspin.

Lap 1: Russell overtakes Pérez, and Tsunoda passes Hülkenberg, who evidently clipped Stroll and is tumbling down the rankings.

Lap 2: Verstappen has pushed to be clear of DRS from the first lap, as the overtaking aid is now activated from the second lap. Albon has moved up to 11th, ahead of Magnussen and Zhou, with Sargeant leading Ricciardo, Ocon, and Gasly, who are 16th and 17th. Bottas is 18th, ahead of Stroll and Hülkenberg, who has pitted to change his front wing and rejoined on hard tires.

Lap 3: Verstappen records the fastest race lap at 1’36″296, and Russell moves past Leclerc for second place! Norris passes Alonso for sixth place.

Lap 4: Pérez is now pressuring Leclerc, who remains within a second of Russell to benefit from DRS. Verstappen extends his lead to 2.4 seconds. The battle rages between Leclerc, Pérez, and Sainz, but the trio remains in that order.

Lap 5: Verstappen extends his lead by a second over his rivals, now 3.2 seconds ahead of Russell, closely followed by Leclerc, Pérez, and Sainz, then Norris and Piastri, who overtakes Alonso.

Lap 6: Verstappen continues to pull away, now 4.1 seconds ahead of the four-driver group. Norris is 3.3 seconds behind Sainz, and Piastri is 1.9 seconds behind his teammate. Alonso, Hamilton, Tsunoda, Magnussen, Zhou, and Sargeant form a tight group behind, while Ricciardo, Ocon, and Gasly closely follow. Stroll has moved past Bottas, and Hülkenberg remains in last place.

Lap 7: As Verstappen continues to extend his lead, McLaren informs Norris that they are now switching to strategic Plan B. Pérez overtakes Leclerc.

Lap 9: The gap between Verstappen and Russell is 6.5 seconds, with Pérez just 1.1 seconds behind the Briton. Leclerc is one second off, with Sainz close behind in the other Ferrari’s slipstream. The McLarens are isolated, though Norris is catching up to Sainz, and Alonso is fending off Hamilton. Tsunoda currently holds the final points position. Ferrari is sticking with Plan A strategically for Leclerc.

Lap 10: Hamilton overtakes Alonso as Zhou and Stroll pit. The yellow flag is out because Sargeant has stopped with an apparent issue. The race is not neutralized, and he restarts.

Lap 11: Sainz overtakes Leclerc while Ocon pits. Verstappen now has an 8.8-second lead over Russell, with Pérez closing in.

Lap 12: Russell, Leclerc, and Magnussen pit. Russell comes out ahead of Bottas, and Leclerc just behind.

Lap 13: Pérez, Piastri, Hamilton, Gasly, and Bottas make their pit stops. Verstappen is 11.9 seconds ahead of Sainz, who is 4.6 seconds ahead of Norris. Alonso leads ahead of Tsunoda, Albon, and Ricciardo, who have yet to stop.

Lap 14: Norris and Ricciardo also pit, while Pérez speeds up and passes Russell.

Lap 15: Pérez sets the fastest lap of the race at 1’25″606, already 1.6 seconds ahead of Russell. Sainz pits and comes out behind Leclerc, while Tsunoda restarts in 12th.

Lap 16: Alonso and Albon pit, leaving Verstappen as the only one yet to stop. Pérez and Russell are running a tenth faster than the leader on fresh hard tires, compared to the Dutchman’s worn softs.

Lap 17: Sainz passes Leclerc, who complains over the radio about being unable to avoid front wheel lock-ups. His Ferrari pulls to the right when braking: “I can’t fight, damn it’s dangerous!”

Lap 18: Sainz sets the fastest lap of the race at 1’35″507. Verstappen pits and comes out 5.3 seconds ahead of Pérez. Sainz overtakes Russell for third place!

Lap 19: Russell passes Leclerc.

Lap 20: Verstappen improves the fastest lap of the race to 1’35″283. He’s driving eight tenths faster than Pérez and already has a 7.2-second gap over his teammate. Sainz is 2.4 seconds behind the Mexican, and 2.3 ahead of Russell. Leclerc is 1.4 seconds from Leclerc, and Norris is 3.3 seconds behind the Monegasque. Piastri and Hamilton are next, ahead of Alonso and Zhou, who is now in the points.

Lap 21: Verstappen sets another race fastest lap at 1’35″1 and extends his lead over Pérez by more than a second on this lap. Ricciardo overtakes Ocon for 15th place.

Lap 24: Verstappen’s lead grows to over 10 seconds on Pérez, and 13 seconds on Sainz. Russell’s pace drops, with Leclerc remaining close.

Lap 25: Hamilton’s seat is broken, causing comfort and safety concerns. Albon’s car is reported to be running too hot.

Lap 26: Pérez is now 12 seconds behind, with Verstappen still a second faster per lap. Sainz slightly closes in on Pérez, to less than 2 seconds.

Lap 27: Albon struggles to adjust settings on his steering wheel due to an apparent screen issue. Stroll pits.

Lap 28: Verstappen continues to pull away from Pérez by nearly a second per lap, extending his lead to 14.4 seconds.

Lap 30: The gap stabilizes, with Verstappen easing off slightly. Sainz keeps Perez at a 2.7-second distance. Russell is 9 seconds behind the Spaniard, with Leclerc still a second away. Norris and Piastri maintain a good distance, as does Hamilton, while Alonso is completely isolated, 11 seconds behind the Brit and 10 seconds ahead of Tsunoda.

Lap 32: Russell pits and rejoins in ninth. Bottas is stationary in the pits due to an issue with the left front wheel. Gasly pits and rejoins in 18th, just behind Ocon.

Lap 34: Norris and Hamilton pit, while Stroll overtakes Zhou.

Lap 35: Verstappen extends his lead to 17.7 seconds over Pérez, with Sainz 3.2 seconds behind. Leclerc pits, leaving Piastri in fourth. He rejoins behind Russell and also behind Alonso, who has yet to pit.

Lap 36: Piastri and Tsunoda make their stops. Sainz pits and retains third as Norris sets the fastest lap of the race at 1’34″476.

Lap 37: Leclerc sets a new fastest lap of the race at 1’34″090, and Pérez pits to switch to soft tires. He rejoins 1.8 seconds ahead of Sainz.

Lap 38: Verstappen also pits and rejoins with a 16-second lead over Pérez.

Lap 40: Verstappen sets a blistering new fastest lap at 1’32″608, outpacing Pérez and Sainz by 2 seconds…

Lap 41: Sainz holds third place ahead of Russell and Leclerc, then Norris, Hamilton, Piastri, Alonso, and Stroll, who has fought back into the points.

Lap 42: Alonso, yet to pit, finally comes in for hard tires. He rejoins 11th behind Zhou.

Lap 43: Leclerc overtakes Russell.

Lap 44: Sainz hopes to catch Pérez if the hard tires prove more effective than Pérez’s softs, but the pace of the Red Bull remains unyielding.

Lap 46: Alonso overtakes Zhou to move back into the points.

Lap 48: The gaps stabilize, but Pérez has slightly closed in on Sainz. Leclerc remains ahead but is detached from Russell. Alonso overtakes Stroll.

Lap 51: Tsunoda is instructed to let Ricciardo pass, to which he responds incredulously: “Is this a joke?” Nevertheless, the Japanese driver complies and relinquishes 13th place.

Lap 53: Verstappen’s lead extends to 20 seconds. Sainz is 3.5 seconds behind Pérez and has a 12-second gap over Leclerc. Russell is 5 seconds back, with Norris closing to within 1.5 seconds. Hamilton is sandwiched between the McLarens, with Piastri leading the Aston Martins. As expected, the top five teams lock out the top 10.

Lap 55: Tsunoda is frustrated as Ricciardo fails to pull away.

Final Lap: Positions have stabilized within the field, though Ricciardo and Tsunoda, as well as Albon, remain close to Magnussen.

Finish: Verstappen starts the season as he ended the last, with a dominant victory over a field that couldn’t challenge, along with securing the fastest lap point. Pérez completes a Red Bull one-two, ahead of Sainz who manages to keep close to the Mexican. It’s somewhat reassuring that the gaps are much smaller than at last year’s Bahrain GP.

Leclerc finishes fourth ahead of Russell and Norris, then Hamilton and Piastri. Alonso and Stroll round out the top 10, with Zhou as the best of the rest just outside the points. Magnussen follows, then Ricciardo, Tsunoda, Albon, Hülkenberg, Ocon, Gasly, Bottas, and Sargeant.

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Results from Round 1

01Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB2057 tours – 1h31m44.742s2
02Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB20+22.4572
03Carlos SainzFerrari SF-24+25.1102
04Charles LeclercFerrari SF-24+39.6692
05George RussellMercedes W15+46.7882
06Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL38+48.4582
07Lewis HamiltonMercedes W15+50.3242
08Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL38+56.0822
09Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR24+74.98872
10Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR24+93.2162
11Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C44+1 lap2
12Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-24+1 lap2
13Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 01+1 lap2
14Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 01+1 lap2
15Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW46+1 lap2
16Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-24+1 lap3
17Esteban OconAlpine Renault A524+1 lap2
18Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A524+1 lap3
19Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C44+1 lap2
20Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW46+2 laps3

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Results from Round 1. 2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Results from Round 1. f1 2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Results from Round 1. formula 1 2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Results from Round 1


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