Alonso passed Sainz on Lap 45 to secure his first podium finish since Qatar 2021 following a thrilling race.
Max Verstappen finished ahead of teammate Sergio Perez to win the Bahrain Grand Prix for Red Bull in 2023. After Charles Leclerc withdrew from the race, Fernando Alonso came in third. Verstappen got off to a fast start, but teammate Perez slowed down and gave second place to Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz came close to knocking the Red Bull out of third place. Kevin Magnussen (P15) was the only driver to start the race on hard rubber. The reigning champion widened his advantage and won by a margin of more than ten seconds. Perez completed the one-two by driving in a similar soft-soft-hard manner to the other Red Bull drivers.
Aston Martin’s hopes of upsetting the podium battle on Lap 1 appeared to have been dashed when Lance Stroll lunged at teammate Alonso into Turn 4 and struck the rear-right of his car, allowing both Mercedes ahead. Leclerc’s engine issue, however, forced him to retire on lap 41, ruining Ferrari’s chances of a podium finish. With an absolutely brilliant manoeuvre, Alonso had just passed Lewis Hamilton for fifth place on the inside of Turn 10. Alonso passed Sainz on Lap 45 to secure his first podium finish since Qatar 2021 following a thrilling race.
Hamilton, who came in fifth overall, launched a brief attack on Sainz, who successfully repelled him and settled for fourth. Even though Stroll did not receive a penalty for running into his teammate on lap one, he was probably more relieved to see Alonso finish on the podium. George Russell made an admirable recovery from his wrist injury to finish sixth between the Mercedes, despite being passed by the Aston Martin in the second pit stop and finishing seventh overall.
By capitalising on the shaky starts of his rivals, Valtteri Bottas finished a strong eighth for Alfa Romeo, and Pierre Gasly, who started from P20 for Alpine and finished ninth after three pit stops. Alex Albon of Williams finished 10th after a strong start, and Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri narrowly missed the winning point. Logan Sargeant, making his racing debut, engaged Kevin Magnussen in a battle for 12th place while Zhou Guanyu, driving for Alfa Romeo, pitted on the penultimate lap of the race to move Kevin Magnussen, whose hard-hard-soft gambit didn’t yield any points, up to P13.
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Nyck de Vries placed 14th in his first race for AlphaTauri, moving Nico Hulkenberg up to 15th with a five-second time penalty. Lando Norris struggled in the race after making a sluggish pit stop, which caused him to drop down the leaderboard, and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou finished the race in 16th place. After making a pit stop for soft tyres on the final lap, the McLaren driver came in third in the standings. Esteban Ocon had a terrible opening race for Alpine, earning penalties of five seconds for incorrect grid positioning, ten seconds for serving that penalty incorrectly, and five seconds for speeding in the pit lane. Alpine decided to retire him at the last minute.
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