Verstappen wins 2024 F1 season opener in Bahrain

The 2024 Formula 1 World Championship got underway on Saturday with the Bahrain Grand Prix which was held at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Reigning world championship Max Verstappen converted a pole position into a win, having largely been uncontested for all 57 laps of the race. Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez finished second, some 22 seconds behind his teammate, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claimed third, approximately 25 seconds behind the winner.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc started the race at the front of the grid and finished in fourth, which together with Sainz’s performance perhaps foreshadows that Ferrari will provide the biggest competition for Red Bull this season. Rounding out the top five was Mercedes-Benz AMG’s George Russell.

Russell was a real standout on the day thanks to some impressive passes, including an aggressive move early on to pass Leclerc. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll also recovered from an early spin to finish in the points. Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg ran into the rear of Stroll’s car on the first cover.

2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

There were few other dramas, though Williams’ Logan Sargeant went off the track at the exit of Turn 4 on the 10th lap, which brought out the yellow flags. Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas was also held up in pit lane for almost a minute due to an issue with a wheelnut.

And late in the race, RB, formerly AlphaTauri, initiated some last-minute controversy by giving team orders to Yuki Tsunoda to yield to Daniel Ricciardo, who had a fresh set of soft tires. After expressing some shock over the radio, Tsunoda eventually complied though Ricciardo didn’t manage to pass Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who was ahead at the time.

Following the past weekend’s action, Verstappen leads the 2024 Drivers’ Championship with 26 points. Perez is second with 18 points and Sainz is third with 15 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 44 points, versus the 27 of Ferrari and 16 of Mercedes. The next race on the calendar is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix scheduled for this weekend.

2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

Below are the full results from the 2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix:

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +22.457 seconds
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +25.110 seconds
4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +39.669 seconds
5) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +46.788 seconds
6) Lando Norris, McLaren +48.458 seconds
7) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +50.324 seconds
8) Oscar Piastri, McLaren +56.082 seconds
9) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin +74.887 seconds
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +93.216 seconds
11) Zhou Guanyu, Sauber +1 lap
12) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1 lap
13) Daniel Ricciardo, RB +1 lap
14) Yuki Tsunoda, RB +1 lap
15) Alexander Albon, Williams +1 lap
16) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas +1 lap
17) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1 lap
18) Pierre Gasly, Alpine +1 lap
19) Valtteri Bottas, Sauber +1 lap
20) Logan Sargeant, Williams +2 laps