The first race of the 2023 season was nothing short of breathtaking. We go through the race in F1 Review: Bahrain 2023 Charles Leclerc had an amazing start and managed to overtake Perez into turn 1. Hamilton had an equally great start and moved from P7 to P5 in front of the Aston Martin.

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Ferrari Engine Troubles

The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc looked incredible during the first stint. While Perez did manage to overtake the Ferrari after the first round of stops, it looked certain for Charles to seal off the podium. Everything changed when the engine cut off on lap 41. This saw Sainz take over as the lead Ferrari. However, the race pace of the Ferrari was not enough to maintain P3 as Alonso managed to snatch the position on lap 45.

Click here to read a more detailed account of the race.

Alonso’s Podium Return

Alonso started in P5 and had a terrible start. He immediately lost the position to Hamilton and had a small touch with his teammate Stroll. Aston Martin attempted the overcut with Hamilton but returned to the track 1 second behind. The tyre advantage was significant as Alonso managed to overtake Hamilton into turn 10.
Once Leclerc retired, it was clear that Alonso had his sights on a podium finish. Alonso gave it everything he had to overtake Sainz, clashing wheels with the Ferrari on the exit of turn 4. Alonso managed to keep up the pressure and overtook Sainz on lap 45 of the race.

Ocon’s Penalties

Alpine and Ocon are going to try their best to forget this race. Ocon overshot his starting position and received a penalty. When serving the penalty, the Alpine team didn’t wait long enough and earned Ocon another 10-second penalty. Ocon was also caught speeding in the pit lane and got another 5-second penalty. Alpine decided to retire the car, with Gasly finishing in P9 to secure a few points for the team.

Red Bull Dominance

Max Verstappen lead almost every lap of the race, only giving up the spot temporarily to Perez after a pit stop. Max ended the race 12 seconds ahead of Perez and 38 seconds ahead of Alonso’s Aston Martin. Even when the Ferrari of Leclerc was on track, Max was over 20 seconds clear.

Mercedes Woes

It’s important to note that Mercedes has made significant improvements since last year. However, it seems like Aston Martin has overtaken them in race pace. This saw Russell struggle behind Stroll and Hamilton struggle behind Alonso for most of the race. While there are updates on the way, it’s going to be a tough few races for Mercedes.