2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Highlights

 

Introduction

 

Max Verstappen has begun his title defence in style by taking victory in the 2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, while plenty of drama unfolded behind. He led home Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari rival Carlos Sainz to start his latest title defence in perfect fashion.

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Verstappen maintained his advantage as the encounter got underway and never looked back over the 57 laps that followed, ultimately crossing the line 22 seconds clear of Perez, who made up for his low-key qualifying effort to complete a Red Bull one-two.

Carlos Sainz rounded out the podium places for Ferrari after a thrilling exchange with teammate Charles Leclerc, who struggled with tyre degradation and suffered multiple lock-ups en route to fourth, having cleared the lead Mercedes of George Russell late on.

Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton encountered issues with their batteries across the race, with the seven-time world champion – who also reported a broken seat – having to settle for seventh position behind McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Oscar Piastri made it two McLarens in the top 10 with a run to eighth, while Aston Martin also scored a double points finish thanks to Fernando Alonso crossing the line ninth and Lance Stroll taking 10th, despite being punted to the back of the field in a Turn 1 incident.

Zhou Guanyu just missed out on points in 11th with his alternate tyre strategy, which involved a longer final stint, followed by Kevin Magnussen in the first of the Haas cars and the two RB machines of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda.

RB sparked some late drama by asking Tsunoda to move aside for Ricciardo, given his alternate soft-tyre run to the finish, prompting the Japanese racer to shout “are you kidding me over the radio?”, only to eventually adhere to the instruction.

Williams endured a difficult opening race to 2024, with Alex Albon having to cool his car mid-race on his way to a lowly 15th, while teammate Logan Sargeant brought up the rear after running off the track due to a reported steering wheel problem.

Sitting between them was Nico Hulkenberg in the other Haas after he tagged the aforementioned Stroll into a spin at the first corner and had to pit for a new front wing at the end of the first lap, leaving the German down in 16th at the conclusion of the race.

Alpine’s challenging weekend continued as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly experienced anonymous races, the pair collecting 17th and 18th, respectively, with Valtteri Bottas the penultimate finisher – ahead of Sargeant – after a painfully long pit stop down at Kick Sauber due to wheel nut dramas.

Back in Parc Ferme, Verstappen hopped out of the winning RB20 to collect the 55th victory of his F1 career, the driver and his Red Bull team sending a clear message to the rest of the field as he looks to make it four world championships on the bounce.

Those rivals will now have a few days to dig through the data and think about a response as the F1 paddock moves straight from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia for the second round of the campaign at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:

The first Grand Prix of 2024 seemed almost like an extension to the previous season with Verstappen easily leaving the rest of the field in his wake, while it was all very close behind him. It’s no coincidence that there were five teams in the ten points-scoring positions, pretty much in the same order as they finished last season, the only exception being Ferrari ahead of Mercedes. In terms of how the tyres performed, there were no surprises: in fact the tyres are practically the same as those from last year’s race here and the three days of testing prior to this race meant the teams were able to analyse every aspect of their performance. The slightly cooler temperatures meant the Soft was even more competitive because there was less degradation, taking into consideration the nature of the track. However, only Red Bull made a bold choice in terms of strategy, while the others preferred to play it safe, keeping two sets of Hard for the race.

How the race was won from the tyre point of view:

Could there be a better way to start the season than with a Grand Chelem? That’s exactly what Max Verstappen did at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a dominant performance that saw him not only win the race, but also take pole position, as well leading each and every one of the 57 laps. The Dutchman also secured the point that goes with setting the fastest race lap, a stratospheric 1’32”608 on lap 39, a full second and a half quicker than the second-best time of 1’34”090 set by Charles Leclerc. Max was joined on the podium by second placed Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, third.

This was Verstappen’s 55th career win, while today’s Grand Chelem was his fifth, which puts him third for this particular discipline equal with Alberto Ascari and Michael Schumacher: ahead of him are Lewis Hamilton (6) and Jim Clark (8). As for Red Bull, it now joins Williams in fourth place on the list of team race wins on 114.

2024 formula 1 bahrain grand prix

The Day on Track

In terms of tyre use and strategy, the race panned out pretty much as expected from earlier forecasts and simulations carried out after qualifying. All the drivers started on Soft tyres before switching to Hards. Those, such as Red Bull, who only had one available set of C1s, used the new set of C3s saved from qualifying for the final stint, while the vast majority of drivers opted for the second set of Hards for the third and last part. The exceptions can be counted on the finger of one hand: the quartet in question were Nico Hulkenberg, forced to pit on the opening lap following a collision at the start, making three stops, as did Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Logan Sargeant (Williams.) They went for something different, doing two stints on the Hard and two on the Soft, while Daniel Ricciardo (Racing Bulls) made two stops, choosing a new C3 set to end the race.

What’s next?

Formula 1 is back on track almost immediately this coming week for the second round of the season, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, from 7 to 9 March on the Jeddah street circuit. As was the case here in Bahrain, the race takes place on Saturday. Pirelli is bringing the C2, C3 and C4 compounds to Saudi Arabia, with Formula 2 again on the support card, while also racing for the first time this year will be the F1 Academy, the all-women series for which Pirelli is the sole tyre supplier.

2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Race Results

PosNoDriverCountryTeamTimePointsOverall
1.1Max VerstappenNetherlandsRed Bull Racing1:31:44.7422626
2.11Sergio PerezMexicoRed Bull Racing +22.457s1818
3.55Carlos SainzSpainScuderia Ferrari+25.110s1515
4.16Charles LeclercMonacoScuderia Ferrari+39.669s1212
5.63George RussellGreat BritainMercedes-AMG Petronas+46.788s1010
6.4Lando NorrisGreat BritainMclaren Racing+48.458s88
7.44Lewis HamiltonGreat BritainMercedes-AMG Petronas+50.324s66
8.81Oscar PiastriAustraliaMcLaren Racing+56.082s44
9.14Fernando AlonsoSpainAston Martin F1 Team+74.887s22
10.18Lance StrollCanadaAston Martin F1 Team+93.216s11
11.24Zhou GuanyuChinaKick Sauber F1 Team+1 lap00
12.20Kevin MagnussenDenmarkHaas F1 Team+1 lap00
13.3Daniel RicciardoAustraliaVisa Cash App F1 Team+1 lap00
14.22Yuki TsunodaJapanVisa Cash App F1 Team+1 lap00
15.45Alexander AlbonThailandWilliams Racing+1 lap00
16.27Nico HulkenbergGermanyHaas F1 Team+1 lap00
17.31Esteban OconFranceAlpine F1 Team+1 lap00
18.10Pierre GaslyFranceAlpine F1 Team+1 lap00
19.77Valtteri BottasFinlandKick Sauber F1 Team+1 lap00
20.2Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+2 laps00

2024 Constructor Standings

PosTeamPoints
1.Red Bull Racing301
2.Scuderia Ferrari252
3.McLaren Racing212
4.Mercedes-AMG Petronas124
5.Aston Martin F1 Team58
6.Visa Cash App F1 Team28
7.Haas F1 Team7
8.Alpine F1 Team5
9.Williams Racing2
10.Kick Sauber F1 Team0

Here are the team-by-team highlights:




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