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Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen devastates the field


Krisztián Márk Tóth |

There was great expectation that Charles Leclerc's lap in Q2 yesterday would be a shame to write the year off as such, but once again it proved that reality unfortunately cannot be overridden. Max Verstappen picked up where he left off in 2023, winning by a huge margin in Bahrain.

Max Verstappen made a flawless start and his teammate gained a position with good positioning. He led the field by 1.5 seconds on the third lap, with the two McLarens chasing Fernando Alonso a little further back, and Norris managed to get ahead of the Spaniard. Meanwhile, George Russell had made a superb overtaking move on Charles Leclerc to take second place. The Ferrari star made a lot of mistakes and made a number of braking errors, so it was not unexpected that Sergio Perez overtook him. By lap 10, the race winner was virtually decided, with battles only taking place further back. Such was the case with Carlos Sainz overtaking Leclerc. Soon we arrived at the first of the pit stops, after which Perez got ahead of Russell. It was in these moments that we saw the best moment of the race, when Sainz braked so hard on Leclerc, who was also trying to corner with DRS open, that everyone jumped to their feet.

These moments were all about the Spaniard, who overtook Russell and was now on the podium behind the two Red Bulls. For the next long, long laps, virtually nothing of substance happened on the track, with only Sainz's dwindling gap to Perez to keep us going. And then there was the Stake's pit lane blunder... Speaking of pit lane, it was then that we came to the second pit stops and then moments of total boredom. By this time, the "front lines" had stiffened, the only exchanges were in the rear regions, and there was no question who would win this race. As an added bonus, Leclerc, who had been suffering throughout the race, overtook Russell, but it made no difference.

Max Verstappen finished with a painfully large lead, with the fastest lap in the bag, ahead of Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, who was the extra. And we can only hope that it will get even more exciting...