Alonso on the podium as Verstappen wins Bahrain F1 Grand Prix
Max Verstappen began his campaign for a third consecutive Formula 1 world title with a comfortable victory in Bahrain this afternoon.
The Dutchman, who began on pole, only conceded the lead when he entered the pits to change his tyres.
Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez came home in second place with 41-year-old Fernando Alonso completing the podium in his first for Aston Martin.
Alonso on point
Spaniard Alonso completed a fine race having impressed earlier on in the race weekend in practice and earned his first podium since the Qatar Grand Prix in 2021.
“To finish on the podium in the first race of the year is just amazing,” Alonso said. “What Aston Martin did over the winter to have the second best car on race one is just unreal.
“Obviously I would love to start in front of them [the Red Bulls and Ferraris] and use our pace, but we had not the best start and had to pass on track.
“It felt a little bit more exciting and more adrenaline for sure, so hopefully people enjoyed it. We did enjoy it as well, so let’s enjoy it together. “
Verstappen looked to be uncatchable from an early point in the race as the Dutchman aims to move alongside the likes of Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart and girlfriend’s father Nelson Piquet on three championship wins.
Verstappen on his win
“It was a very very good first stint where I made my gap,” said race winner Verstappen. “From there, it was all about looking after tyres.
“You never know what’s going to happen later on the race. We just wanted to make sure we have the right tyres and in good condition as well. I’m very happy to finally win a race here in Bahrain.”
Teammate Perez added: “When we look back at last year and how we started here, it’s really nice. It’s a nice comeback as a team. We worked really hard over the winter so it’s great to see all the boys enjoying the first race.
“We have a strong package so it was important today to get both cars to the end.”
The season continues in two weeks in Saudi Arabia.