2023 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix winners and losers

The primary Grand Prix of the 2023 Method 1 season is within the books.

Earlier than the racers head to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it is time to take one final look again on the first weekend of F1 motion. There have been some surprising tales – such because the power of the Aston Martin – and a few elements of the story that unfold as anticipated, specifically an incredible weekend for the defending Champion Constructors.

Let’s check out the winners and losers of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Winners: Crimson Bull

Picture by Clive Mason/Getty Pictures

The race began with Crimson Bull locked out on the high of the sphere, with Sergio Perez qualifying second behind teammate – and two-time drivers’ champion – Max Verstappen on pole place.

The race led to the identical 1-2 lockout as Verstappen drove off the sphere and Perez adopted, giving Crimson Bull a double podium end to begin the season.

It was a far cry from final yr’s Bahrain Grand Prix the place each Crimson Bull drivers failed to complete. Nonetheless, it was solely a continuation of two sturdy weekends in Sachira. Verstappen and Crimson Bull appeared good in pre-season testing, leaving the remainder of the sphere questioning if anybody may shut the hole early within the yr, which lasted till the primary race of the season.

Whereas crew boss Christian Horner has warned that the season could be very early and that there’s nonetheless a protracted strategy to go, it is exhausting to name it something aside from an enormous win for Crimson Bull to begin the season.

Loser: Esteban Ocon, Alpine

For Esteban Ocon, it was a day you wish to overlook.

“It is spectacular how a lot right this moment wasn’t our day,” mentioned the Alpine driver after the race, and actually it was spectacular how a lot issues did not go his means. Ocon certified ninth however misplaced two positions within the first few corners of the race, dropping again to eleventh on the grid. He was then hit from behind by Haas Nico Hülkenberg, which was solely difficult by a poor begin.

However his traps have been simply starting.

Ocon was then notified by the race stewards that he had been penalized with a five-second penalty for incorrect beginning place. He pitted to serve his penalty, however shortly after returning to the observe he was knowledgeable that his crew had begun work on his automotive too early, and would due to this fact face a 10-second penalty for failing to serve the primary penalty.

Added 5 further seconds for acceleration within the pit lane.

To make issues worse, Ocon’s day ended early when he retired on lap 43.

Winner: Pierre Gasly, Alpine

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

Picture: Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Pictures

Whereas Ocon struggled, Alpine managed to regain factors because of the heroic efforts of his new teammate Pierre Gasly.

Gasly began the day final, struggling within the first qualifying session on Saturday and beginning twentieth. “In qualifying you go for it. And all of the testimonials or expectations I had constructed up over the weekend simply vanished, and by way of automotive stability, it was utterly totally different. I simply did not put in a lap and that is a disgrace,” Gasly mentioned after Saturday’s qualifying.

Nonetheless, his destiny modified on Sunday. Gasly was the primary driver to field on the Grand Prix and finally moved as much as ninth place. He could not overtake Valtteri Bottas on the final lap, settling for 2 factors. However given the place he began – and what was happening along with his teammate – these have been two factors Alpine most likely did not count on at the beginning of the race.

“I knew we had rather more tempo than we confirmed yesterday,” Gasly mentioned after the grand prix. “It was necessary to make up for it right this moment. I loved myself. It was an amazing begin and offers us hope for the upcoming races. “

Losers: McLaren

Pre-season testing ended with crew principal Andrea Stella in search of solutions and opining that the crew would possibly wrestle to see Q3 within the upcoming qualifying classes.

The Bahrain Grand Prix ended with Oscar Piastri’s early retirement as a result of electrical issues, and Lando Norris needed to pit each ten laps to cope with a strain leak, ending his day early as properly.

Stella said after the race that he believed within the improvement crew and the enhancements coming to the MCL60. However he additionally admitted that might occur in a couple of weeks, which means we may see McLaren within the class a couple of extra occasions earlier than they will actually repair the ship.

Winners: Aston Martins

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

Picture by Clive Mason/Getty Pictures

After a couple of minutes of pre-season testing, it appeared like Aston Martin was in hassle. Lance Stroll was dominated out of testing as a result of an harm sustained in observe and his alternative, reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, arrange an early purple flag when the AMR23 had {an electrical} drawback.

Since that point? Oh how Aston Martin’s fortunes have turned.

This early purple flag was the one, properly, “purple flag” all week of testing. Aston Martin was the crew everybody was pointing to after these three days as potential darkish horses for the 2023 season. On Sunday, they lived as much as expectations as Stroll returned to the cockpit to complete sixth and Fernando Alonso climbed onto the rostrum in third.

Aston Martin leaves Bahrain second within the Constructors’ Championship, behind solely Crimson Bull.

Positive, there is a lengthy strategy to go, however what a dream begin for Aston Martin.

Losers: Ferrari

“No no no! No energy!”

These have been the determined phrases of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc as his podium goals have been lower brief late within the race when his SF-23 crashed, ending the race early. Leclerc had a robust begin, transferring up from third to second early within the race, and Ferrari have been on the verge of what might need been a really sturdy day.

Group mate Carlos Sainz completed fourth after being unable to cease Alonso charging exhausting, however what may have been for Ferrari was not.

To make issues worse, Leclerc’s pre-race tackling new Vitality Retailer and Management Electronics energy unit elements means questions on Ferrari’s reliability will linger lengthy past Bahrain.

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