Connect with us

Formula 1

Verstappen cruises to season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix win

Max Verstappen won Saturday’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to give Red Bull a timely boost after a trying week for the world champions and team principal Christian Horner.

Verstappen shut out all the off-track speculation surrounding the Horner inquiry to lead home Sergio Perez for a crushing Red Bull 1-2.

Pole sitter Verstappen held off the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to lead into the first corner, and it was business as usual for the Dutchman from there to the flag as he enjoyed the perfect start to his quest for a fourth consecutive world title.

In a statement of emphatic superiority, the 26-year-old Dutchman came home 22.5 seconds clear of Perez, who started from fifth, to ease some of the pressure on Horner and repeat his statement triumph last year. 

By claiming the 33rd pole of his career, fastest lap and race win, Verstappen delivered the 12th ‘hat-trick’ of his career leaving only the seven-time champions Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton ahead on 22 and 19 trebles respectively. 

It was Verstappen’s 55th race victory and 99th podium finish as Red Bull dominated an uneventful race on a cold evening at Sakhir’s Bahrain International Circuit.

It also extended his run as championship leader to 40 races since the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix. 

Carlos Sainz, whose seat at Ferrari is to be taken by Hamilton next year, finished a pugnacious third ahead of team-mate Leclerc, who profited from a rare error by Mercedes’ George Russell in the closing laps.

Russell finished fifth ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, Hamilton in the second Mercedes, Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren and the Aston Martin duo two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll. 

After days of speculation, Red Bull boss Horner arrived hand in hand with his wife, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell – a show of unity following the release on Thursday of a cache of alleged messages from him to a female member of staff.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Formula 1