Red Bull wins Big at Bahrain GP as Verstappen and Perez claim 1st, 2nd with 12s apart

On Sunday, March 5, Max Verstappen recorded his first win in Bahrain with an incredible 12 seconds lead ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez who came in second on SuperSport MotorSport (DStv ch. 215).

The Formula 1 2023 season’s first race saw incredible performances from the Red Bull duo and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. Alonso started the race in fifth position on the grid but dropped to seventh behind the two Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, on the opening lap. However, he made an incredible comeback before the end of the race, going from 7th position to 3rd and clinching the bronze medal.

The 41-year-old driver, also the oldest driver on the circuit, was easily one of the biggest highlights of the race. However, Max Verstappen held an incredible record for all 57 laps of the race. He led the race for the first 14 laps, only dropping to 2nd during his first pit stop for a tyre change. He was back to the first position by the tail end of the 18th lap and held the place till the race end, not even dropping in ranking after his second tyre change.

His Red Bull partner, Perez, also had a good evening, maintaining the top 3 positions throughout the match and taking on the first position between laps 14 and 18 till a pit stop caused him to drop to 3rd, falling behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. He was quickly back up to number 2 by lap 26 and maintained that position till the race ended.

Leclerc would sadly not finish the race as his car developed a crushing power failure at the 41st lap, causing him to drop out of the game. His partner, Carlos Sainz, who struggled against Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, came in fourth. Alonso overtook him on the 45th lap and held steady to the end, while Hamilton failed to overtake and finished the race fifth.

Another Driver that made a splash but didn’t win was Alpine’s Pierre Gasly. He went from 18th position in the second lap, finishing in the 9th position after overtaking nine other drivers. His new teammate Esteban Ocon did not have a good race. He received three separate penalties in Bahrain – one for an incorrect grid position, one for not serving his first penalty correctly and another for speeding in the pit lane – before, well out of contention, retiring from the race.

McLaren debutant Oscar Piastri also didn’t finish the opener, and it was a generally bad race for the automobile team. His teammate, Lando Norris, finished last on the racetrack, coming in 17th, so they have their work cut out for them in the next race.

Here’s the ranking from the race:

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 25

2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull – 18

3) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin – 15

4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 12

5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 10

6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin – 8

7) George Russell, Mercedes – 6

8) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo – 4

9) Pierre Gasly, Alpine – 2

10) Alex Albon, Williams – 1

The remaining ten racers on the track didn’t get any points for the race and will have to bring the heat when the Formula 1 2023 season returns with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the sport’s fastest street track in Jeddah from March 17-19.

The Saudi Arabian GP race is available on the Compact Plus package, but viewers must upgrade to Premium afterwards to continue enjoying the season. MotorSport fans can keep up with all the action from the high-speed racing sport by staying connected to DStv premium to take in all the thrilling Formula 1 action.

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