Max Verstappen began the 2023 season of the Formula One World Championship by winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
The reigning champion, who finished with a time of 1:33:56.736, was followed by his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, respectively.
The two-time champion Verstappen never looked threatened for the lead, and now has 25 points to his tally as he seeks a third title.
“This is exactly what we were dreaming of and what we wanted to achieve, so yeah, great day for the whole team,” said Verstappen.
“It has been a great start for us, for the whole team, so this is not something we are used to. We are very happy at the moment, but we always keep working.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished the race 5th behind Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.
Verstappen had more reasons to smile given Red Bull suffered a double-DNF in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix as Ferrari took a one-two to begin the season with a perfect start – and this year it was Charles Leclerc who dropped out of the running from P3 as Red Bull claimed maximum points.
Red Bull Racing is at the top of the constructors’ standings with 43 points, while Aston Martin is second with 23 points and Mercedes is in 3rd spot with 16 points.
Saudi Arabia hosts the second round of the season on March 17-19 – and Verstappen said he expected the other teams to be closer to Red Bull at Jeddah.
“Well, Saudi is a different track to this one. You have a lot more straights, fast corners, and a lot less deg. So I think here we were particularly good on deg – so I do expect on race pace that everyone is closer in Jeddah,” he commented.
Sources: AA, F1