2024 F1 Bahrain GP results: Verstappen wins season opener

Verstappen beat his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the 57-lap race under the floodlights.

Verstappen dominated from the start, while Perez battled his way through to second from fifth on the grid, passing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the Mercedes of George Russell after gaining a spot from Sainz at the start.

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix results

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix report

Polesitter Verstappen led the charge to Turn 1, ahead of Leclerc, Russell and Perez. Sainz ran fifth, ahead of Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and the squabbling McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Lance Stroll’s Aston spun at the first corner, following contact from a slow-starting Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas, who was shoved from behind by the Sauber of Valtteri Bottas. Hulkenberg was forced to pit for a new nose and rejoined last.

Verstappen quickly pulled clear of DRS range of Leclerc, who was passed by Russell for second at Turn 4 on lap 3. Norris overtook Alonso for sixth at Turn 1, and Piastri repeated the move a handful of laps later, to elevate the McLarens to sixth and seventh respectively.

Perez passed Leclerc for third at Turn 11 on lap 7, after the Ferrari driver locked up and ran wide at the corner before.

Verstappen led by over 7s after 10 laps, just as Logan Sargeant went off in his Williams at Turn 4 before rejoining. Williams later changed Sargeant’s steering wheel during his pitstop after identifying a problem.

Sainz got ahead of Leclerc – who lost DRS on Perez when he suffered a big slide at the final corner – to snatch fourth on lap 11, the Ferraris running perilously closely through Turns 1 and 2.

Russell and Leclerc pitted for hard tyres on lap 12, promoting Perez to a Red Bull 1-2 from Sainz and the McLarens. Perez stopped a lap later but failed to overcut Russell.

Perez then attacked Russell on track on lap 14, passing him with a sweet move at the exit of Turn 4.

Sainz pitted from second on lap 15, rejoining behind Leclerc who was complaining of front locking. Sainz passed an unhappy Leclerc for the second time at Turn 1 two laps later.

Verstappen made his first pitstop on lap 18, while Sainz set fastest lap as he caught Russell – swooping past the Mercedes at Turn 4.

At half distance, Verstappen led by almost 15s over Perez, Sainz, Russell and Leclerc. Russell triggered the final round of pitstops on lap 32, during which the Red Bulls were forced to fit softs for the final stint due to a lack of more hards.

Russell suffered from overheating in the second half of the race, and had to drop his pace, which allowed Leclerc to close. Russell outbraked himself at Turn 10 on lap 46 and gifted fourth to Leclerc.

Verstappen won by over 22s from Perez, Sainz, Leclerc and Russell.

Norris finished a lonely sixth, while Lewis Hamilton struggled with his battery and a broken seat on his way to seventh for Mercedes. He managed to undercut ahead of Piastri after the final round of stops and passed Alonso with 18 laps to go.

Alonso, who ran as high as sixth early on, slumped back to 10th after making an oddly-timed late stop for his final set of hards. He passed the recovering Stroll for ninth in the closing stages but could make no further progress up the order.

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2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix fastest laps

Pos  Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap   Kph 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1’32.608   210.383
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’34.090 1.482 207.069
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1’34.199 1.591 206.830
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1’34.364 1.756 206.468
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1’34.476 1.868 206.223
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1’34.507 1.899 206.156
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’34.722 2.114 205.688
2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1’34.735 2.127 205.659
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1’34.805 2.197 205.508
10  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1’34.834 2.226 205.445
11  81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1’34.983 2.375 205.123
12  63 George Russell Mercedes 1’35.065 2.457 204.946
13  3 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1’35.163 2.555 204.735
14  24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 1’35.458 2.850 204.102
15  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1’35.570 2.962 203.863
16  18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1’35.632 3.024 203.730
17  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1’35.723 3.115 203.537
18  22 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1’35.833 3.225 203.303
19  77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1’36.202 3.594 202.523
20  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1’36.226 3.618 202.473

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategy

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix laps led

 Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 57
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First appeared on us.motorsport.com

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