Red Bull and Max Verstappen started their 2023 title defences with a commanding and total victory at the opening Bahrain Grand Prix. The statistics will reveal that Red Bull secured the front row of the grid and waltzed to a 1-2 finish. However, the stats will never reveal that the RB19 is alien space technology compared to every other team. Max Verstappen cruised to victory, the only challenge he faced was with his gearbox which suffered from an intermittent downshift throughout the race. Other than that, one has to ask, will Verstappen break his own record for most wins in a season this year?
Sergio Perez played the part of a reliable supporting act with second. As good as the Mexican driver is, Verstappen is on another level and is able to extract more from his RB19 without having to think about it. Ferrari, the second-best team on the grid, could find no answer. Charles Leclerc put up a valiant effort, as he always does, but eventually, his Ferrari succumbed to reliability issues on lap 41.
The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix showed that Mercedes have stagnated and devolved, both Hamilton and Russell lacked single-lap and race duration speed. To rubber stamp Mercedes’s fall to the 4th best team on the grid, Aston Martin powered its way to third as Fernando Alonso ran rings around the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton during a feisty battle for position. Alonso was elevated to 3rd after Leclerc’s retirement.
Indeed Aston Martin may well be the second-best team on the grid because the AM23 has better tyre performance over race conditions than Mercedes and Ferrari. So then, Red Bull begins their 2023 title defense in ominous form, clearly, the RB19 is three steps forward. With Max Verstappen at the helm and in imperious form, the only question is, how soon will he wrap up a third title?
2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Result:
1 Max VERSTAPPEN | Red Bull Racing
2 Sergio PEREZ | Red Bull Racing +11.987
3 Fernando ALONSO | Aston Martin+38.637
4 Carlos SAINZ | Ferrari +48.052
5 Lewis HAMILTON | Mercedes +50.977
6 Lance STROLL | Aston Martin +54.502
7 George RUSSELL | Mercedes +55.873
8 Valtteri BOTTAS | Alfa Romeo +72.647
9 Pierre GASLY | Alpine +73.753
10 Alexander ALBON | Williams +89.774
11 Yuki TSUNODA | AlphaTauri +90.870
12 Logan SARGEANT | Williams +1 lap
13 Kevin MAGNUSSEN | Haas F1 Team +1 lap
14 Nyck DE VRIES | AlphaTauri +1 lap
15 Nico HULKENBERG | Haas F1 Team +1 lap
16 Guanyu ZHOU | Alfa Romeo +1 lap
17 Lando NORRIS | McLaren +2 laps
Did not finish
Esteban Ocon Alpine lap 43 – penalties
Charles Leclerc Ferrari lap 41 – engine
Oscar Piastri McLaren lap 16 – electrical