Formula 1

Max Verstappen Starts F1 Season With Convincing Win In Bahrain

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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen won the first race of the new Formula One season. The triple world champion drove away at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix and the competition did not see him again until after the finish.

With a win from pole position, the fastest lap of the race as well as the fact that he led every lap of the race, Max Verstappen took a so-called grand slam for the fifth time in his career.

Sergio Pérez made it a 1-2 for Red Bull by a good distance just like last year. Carlos Sainz finished third in his Ferrari.

Good start
From pole, Verstappen had a strong start. He held off Charles Leclerc and retained the lead. Behind him, Lance Stroll spun in the first corner, due to a tap from Nico Hülkenberg. The German had to visit the pit lane for a new front wing.

That the DRS (the system where you are allowed to flip open your rear wing on the straight if you are within a second of your lead car) has been allowed to open after just one lap since this year, didn’t matter to Verstappen. After one lap, he was already more than a second ahead. Behind, George Russell took over second place from Leclerc.

Leclerc kept braking, ruining his tires. Pérez and Leclerc’s teammate Sainz also passed the Monegasque. Verstappen already had an 8-second lead after ten laps.

Yellow flag
The first yellow flag of the season came from Logan Sargeant. He stalled in turn four but was able to continue his way without having to neutralize the race.

After the pit stops, Pérez grabbed the second spot at the expense of Russell. Sainz also overtook Russell and moved up to third.

Halfway through the race, both Mercedes cars ran into overheating problems, but the silver arrows made it to the finish. The rest of the race was not full of spectacle, except that Leclerc forced Russell into another mistake and took over fourth place.

Verstappen led from start to finish, taking the win from pole position and notching the fastest race lap, making his his fifth Formula 1 grand slam.

This post is originally from L’Équipe