Formula 1 2023: Bahrain

Round One: Bahrain

There were many surprises in the first race of the season. Both Ferrari and Mclaren did very well last season, placing second and fifth in the drivers’ championship. They were expected to also perform well this season. 

While both teams performed well early on, they struggled at the end of the weekend with mechanical issues. Aston Martin was an unexpected top team as they struggled last year but seem to have a good team this year. Fernando Alonso, one of their drivers, shot to the top of the standings. Alonso, a veteran driver, returned last year from retirement to drive for the Alpine team, but moved to Aston Martin this year. 

There were also many expected outcomes. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the two drivers for the Red Bull team, were in the top three in every session of the weekend, with the drivers finishing both 1st and 2nd in the race on Sunday. Red Bull performed very well for the whole of last year, so it was no surprise that they are doing well this year. Last year’s dominating presence, the now two-time world champion Max Verstappen, seemed to be performing very well. However, in some practices, he was not able to outperform his teammate, Sergio Perez, who placed third in last year’s championship.


Qualifying is an important part of Formula One, as it sets the grid order for a race. Qualifying generally happens after FP3 on Saturday, and it consists of three separate sessions.

This was a surprising qualifying in some ways but was expected in others. The McLarens seemed to struggle, along with the Alpha Tauris. Both of these teams were successful last season. The Alfa Romeo and Williams cars also stayed at the bottom, with the surprise of Pierre Gasly in last. His team, Alpine, had performed well in the practice sessions, but had a disapp. The top 10 was mostly expected, except for Nico Hulkenburg’s Haas starting in tenth. In previous years, Haas has struggled a lot, but they seem to be improving gradually. The full results are available here

Red Bull’s Drivers Take the Race

Both of the Red Bull drivers, Verstappen and Perez, stayed in 1st and 2nd for almost the entire race. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc dropped out of the race on lap 41 with engine problems, putting his teammate, Carlos Sainz, initially in third. 

However, Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin overtook Sainz 11 laps later and charged to the finish to place 3rd. There were many successes in the race, with Mercedes and Aston Martin performing well. However, there were also many disappointments, such as the technical problems of McLaren that affected both of their drivers. Full results here.

As this is only the first race of the season, the outcome of this season cannot be fully predicted from these results. Last year, many new regulations were introduced, with heavier cars and bigger tires, creating challenges for the teams. However, they seem to have adapted. Red Bull seems to be dominating the season so far, with Ferrari falling behind from last year. The main competition seems to be between Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari for second place behind the Red Bulls. 

However, we never know what might happen. At this point last year, Ferrari was said to be the favorite- their two drivers got first and second in Bahrain 2022, and both Red Bulls did not finish the race. However, Red Bull ended up winning both championships by a lot. As the season progresses, we will be able to further gauge the performance of these new cars. Bahrain was an exciting season opener, but it’s not over yet!

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