F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2023 LIVE! Race result, updates and latest news as Max Verstappen wins

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix LIVE!

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday in a dominant one-two with Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez as Ferrari suffered agony under the floodlights.

Verstappen’s cruise from pole position, with Perez taking the chequered flag 11.9 seconds behind, was his first win in Bahrain and also the first time the double champion had triumphed in the opening race of a campaign.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was running in third place when he slowed and pulled over 17 laps from the end, shouting “No, no, no! No power” over the team radio.

Veteran double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso then passed Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari with a thrilling wheel-to-wheel move 12 laps from the end to secure the final place on the podium for Aston Martin.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix highlights

  • LIGHTS OUT! Verstappen leads Leclerc

  • DNF! Leclerc retires

  • OVERTAKE! Alonso goes third

  • CHEQUERED FLAG! Verstappen wins

Thanks for joining us!

17:25 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen leads a Red Bull 1-2 in fine style and Fernando Alonso takes third as the Bahrain Grand Prix opens the 2023 F1 season.

Recap the action with our race report!

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc reveals big gap to Red Bull

17:20 , Marc Mayo

“I was as confident as I could be, being one second off of the pace, which is not really confident, to be honest.

“Red Bull seem to have found something really big in their race pace.

“In terms of qualifying pace, they are actually pretty similar to us, at least we managed to extract the lap time yesterday, but then we come to the race and we are one second a lap off the pace which was huge.

“So we need to look into that plus the reliability.”

Alex Albon talks to Sky F1 after his 10th-place finish

17:14 , Marc Mayo

“I believe we’re second best in terms of improvement from last year [behind Aston Martin].

“We had pace, weren’t too far away from the Astons and Mercedes.”

Ferrari off to lick their wounds

17:10 , Marc Mayo

The team have confirmed it was an engine issue that ended Leclerc’s race before Sainz’s tyres gave way in his fight for a podium finish.

At the very least, the Spaniard held off Hamilton in the final laps.

Aston Martin enjoyed that one

17:07 , Marc Mayo

Not since their Racing Point days has the Silverstone team had a podium to celebrate!

Next time…

17:02 , Marc Mayo

F1 will pack up and head home for a weekend back in the factory before a return to the Middle East.

It’s the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix next up, on Sunday March 19 with a 5pm GMT start.

How the points were handed out

16:59 , Marc Mayo

The champagne!

16:56 , Marc Mayo

A very nice podium in Bahrain greets the three drivers for the Dutch and Austrian national anthems. We might be hearing those a few more times in 2023…

Then it’s down to the fun stuff with Alonso getting stuck in as the champagne flows!

The people’s champion

16:52 , Marc Mayo

The fans vote Fernando Alonso for the Driver of the Day.

Max Verstappen discusses his win

16:49 , Marc Mayo

“I think we have a good race package. It will depend a bit race to race but we can race with this. A big thank you to the team for their work over the winter, they’ve given us a great race car again.”

Sergio Perez up next

16:48 , Marc Mayo

“A great start, looking back at how we did here last year [with a double DNF]. We have a strong package so it was important to get both cars here to the end.

“The start put me out of contention for the race but finishing second was the maximum I could do. I think I’m getting closer [to Verstappen] every session.”

Fernando Alonso gives his reaction

16:47 , Marc Mayo

“First of all, congrats to Lance after surgery 12 days ago and fighting with everybody. Amazing for the team, a great weekend, a podium in the first race is amazing.

“To have the second best car is unreal. We had not the best start and had to pass on track – more exciting, more adrenaline for sure.”

The start of something big for Aston Martin?

16:45 , Marc Mayo

16:42 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton tells team radio: “Great work, I know we’re not where we wanna be but let’s keep pushing. Serious work to do to close the gap but I believe in you all.”

Superb result for Alonso

16:41 , Marc Mayo

The Aston Martin takes third place ahead of Sainz and Hamilton.

Stroll, Russell, Bottas, Gasly and Albon complete the top ten. Zhou even nicked the fastest lap late on to deny Alpine an added point!


16:38 , Marc Mayo

Never. In. Doubt.

Final lap!

16:38 , Marc Mayo

Lap 57/57: Norris has another run through the pits – that makes it six for the McLaren car that has needed constant air top ups due to an engine issue.

16:36 , Marc Mayo

Lap 56/67: Verstappen has a 12-second lead on Perez, who is 24 seconds clear of Alonso. Has there ever been such a gap between the top three?

Five-second penalty for Hulkenberg

16:34 , Marc Mayo

Lap 55/57: Multiple track-limit breaches for the returning Haas driver will knock some time off his finish, down in 16th.

A couple of fights in the points left to be settled with Hamilton now 2.5 seconds off Sainz.

Gasly is catching Bottas for eighth but may run out of time, even on quicker tyres. And Tsunoda is under a second behind Albon, in 10th.

16:31 , Marc Mayo

Lap 54/57: “This is a lovely car to drive,” Alonso tells Aston Martin team radio. The biggest ringing endorsement you can get in F1!

Five laps to go!

16:30 , Marc Mayo

Lap 53/57: Verstappen, in legitimately one of the easiest races any race winner has ever enjoyed (presuming he does win), cruises through the start-finish straight again.

Behind him, Magnussen gets debutant De Vries for 14th.

It will be interesting to see if anyone goes for the fastest lap – it’s currently beind held by Gasly. He stopped for Softs on the VSC.

16:27 , Marc Mayo

Lap 50/57: Alonso, some 25 seconds behind Perez, tells team radio he’s avoiding kerbs and will happily cruise home – asking for updates on anything big happening down the pack.



16:25 , Marc Mayo

Lap 49/57: Sainz complains of bouncing as Hamilton, who really does have Norris on his back who pits again.

Further down, Stroll is sixth ahead of Russell, Bottas, Gasly and Albon. Tsunoda pushing the Williams for the final points place with Sargeant 12ths but some way back.

16:23 , Marc Mayo

Lap 48/57: On team radio, Alonso gave that pass on Sainz a lovely: “Yes! Bye bye.”

Ten laps to go!

16:22 , Marc Mayo

Lap 47/57: Hamilton is now hot on Sainz’s heels in a bid for fourth. That would be a huge morale boost for Mercedes.

Alonso goes third

16:19 , Marc Mayo

Lap 45/57: Alonso nearly collects Sainz from behind out of Turn 4 as he fights the Ferrari…

Then he gets him into Turn 11 as Sainz locks up! Brilliant from the Aston!

16:18 , Marc Mayo

Lap 45/57: “If I push to defend, I might not make it to the end,” Sainz tells team radio.

Weirdly, throughout this fight for third there has been an ever-present behind Hamilton… Norris has been lapped with four pit stops due to an issue yet he’s easily had the pace to keep up.

16:17 , Marc Mayo

Lap 44/57: Sainz now only has 0.8 seconds on Alonso in the battle for the final podium place!

Hamilton is interested too, two seconds behind the Aston Martin.

Ocon retires

16:16 , Marc Mayo

Lap 43/57: A shake of the head from the Frenchman after a miserable afternoon.

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

16:14 , Marc Mayo

A year ago, there was a sense of euphoria in the Bahrain paddock as Charles Leclerc was celebrating the win and the apparent resurgence of Ferrari. In the end, it proved a false dawn.

There was hope Ferrari could build on what was a quick car last year but undone by strategy calamities, driver mistakes and race retirements.

The season begins with one of those retirements for Leclerc and there’s just a collective shaking of heads on the Prancing Horse’s pitwall.

16:13 , Marc Mayo

Lap 42/57: A handful of drivers pull into the pits for a cheaper pit stop with the race neutralised under the VSC.

None of the front runners though.

GREEN FLAG! Racing again.

Virtual safety car

16:12 , Marc Mayo

The Ferrari has pulled over just after Turn 13, the stewards may be able to drag him down the escape road without a full safety car.

Replays show he simply lost power.


16:11 , Marc Mayo

Lap 41:57: “NO! NO! NO! No power!”

16:10 , Marc Mayo

Lap 40/57: Sainz is struggling to clear Alonso, who still has Hamilton clawing onto his rear wing. If he can shake DRS off the Mercedes, he should drop the Brit.

Alonso overtakes Hamilton!

16:08 , Marc Mayo

Lap 39/57: A great move into Turn 10 gets the job done for Alonso! A fine move in a rare part of the track.

Will he now look towards Sainz, 2.7 seconds ahead, or can Hamilton fight back?

“Yes! Let’s go!” he shouts over team radio.

16:06 , Marc Mayo

Lap 38/57: What a battle! Alonso flies past Hamilton into Turn 4 and looks to have won the place before running wide and letting his old teammate back through.

In comes Verstappen

16:04 , Marc Mayo

Lap 37/57: Our race leader drops by the Red Bull pits for a professional 2.3-second stop.

Perez, in second, is 13 seconds back.

Perez pits

16:02 , Marc Mayo

Lap 35/57: In comes the second Red Bull for another set of Hards and he is well clear of Leclerc with that double-Soft strategy paying off for last year’s winning team.

Alonso pits in his bid to catch Hamilton and comes out 1.6 seconds behind. That is now a straight fight for fifth position!

16:00 , Marc Mayo

Lap 34/57: Leclerc cruises in for a second set of Hards. No dramas as he comes our behind Alonso, who is yet to pit again.

Ferrari pit Sainz

15:57 , Marc Mayo

Lap 32/57: That will cover off the Hamilton undercut as Mercedes bring Russell in, both teams pulling off good stops.

Russell holds off Stroll’s undercut by a narrow margin! Into Turn 4, the Aston has the pace and he takes seventh place!

15:55 , Marc Mayo

Lap 31/57: Perez now has six seconds’ lead on Leclerc as the second pit stops get underway.

Hamilton pits for new Hards despite his claims his tyres are all good. Stroll follows him through with the Hard compound getting a but more running than many fancied earlier on.

Mercedes covering the Aston Martin’s undercut, there.

Five-second penalty for Ocon

15:52 , Marc Mayo

Lap 29/57: Blimey.

Now a time penalty for speeding in the pit lane as Ocon gets his THIRD penalty of the day. Don’t let him carry your drinks at the bar later…

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

15:49 , Marc Mayo

Off the track, all is rosy with Formula 1. The latest series of Drive to Survive is flying high with a new Top Gun-style F1 film starring Brad Pitt.

But the sport’s bosses, who worked so hard with the regulation overhaul for 2022, will no doubt be worried by the early-season dominance of Max Verstappen and Red Bull. He’s half a second quicker than teammate Sergio Perez.

Halfway mark of the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix

15:49 , Marc Mayo

Lap 28/57: Perez puts a couple of seconds on Leclerc quickly, he needs to build a gap for the second stints when the Ferrari will be on the quicker tyre.

Hamilton in fifth and three seconds behind Sainz is told he can open the taps a little bit and push.

Perez overtakes Leclerc!

15:47 , Marc Mayo

Lap 26/57: Into Turn 1, the Red Bull darts down the inside with Leclerc leaving plenty of space for Perez to gallop into.

The Ferrari has a go down into Turn 4 but hasn’t got the pace. Job done for Perez.

Ten-second penalty for Ocon

15:46 , Marc Mayo

A bad first weekend for Ocon as he is punished for his pit crew working on his car during the five-second time penalty he served for parking his car too far forward on the starting grid…

15:44 , Marc Mayo

Lap 25/57: Leclerc told degradation of his tyres has been lower than expected, although he won’t keep these Hards on for long enough for them to ‘go off’.

The bigger issue is Perez right on his rear wing and in DRS range!



15:42 , Marc Mayo

Lap 23/57: Verstappen lead watch: 11.2 seconds over Leclerc but Perez is now closing in on the Ferrari. He should be within striking distance in a few laps’ time but is on quicker tyres.

Both Red Bulls will require a stint on the Hard or Medium tyres later on.

15:39 , Marc Mayo

Lap 21/57: Trouble for Ocon as stewards are checking whether he properly served his five-second penalty correctly… the Alpine is down in 18th.

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

15:36 , Marc Mayo

Alex Albon told me in the lead-up to the race than Williams’ only way to pick up points early in the season was to employ a different strategy.

Interestingly, he and rookie Logan Sergeant both put on a second set of Soft tyres on their cars, which currently puts Albon in the points in 10th.

The Red Bull were the only other team whose both drivers went onto the softs after that opening round of pits of what should be a two-stopper race for most.

15:35 , Marc Mayo

Lap 19/57: An awful start for McLaren.

Piastri is out with an electrical issue and Norris has had to pit again for another fix to his issue, dropping him to 19th.

Perez pits

15:34 , Marc Mayo

Lap 18/57: Finally, Perez does pit for Softs and comes out 3.2 seconds behind Leclerc, who he will now target for an overtake on quicker tyres.

15:32 , Marc Mayo

Lap 17/57: Perez is, technically speaking, the leader of the race having not yet stopped.

Still on his original Soft tyres, he has about 20 seconds on Leclerc which means he’ll drop behind the Ferrari when he does pit but on fresher tyres and is currently in clean air. Red Bull keeping their strategy options open.

Five-second penalty for Ocon

15:30 , Marc Mayo

Lap 16/57: The Alpine was investigated for being in the wrong position at the start.

Alonso pits and comes out ahead of Russell, who gets the yet-to-stop Magnussen to close to within a second of the Aston Martin.

15:28 , Marc Mayo

Lap 15/57: Piastri comes in and the engine is switched off… it doesn’t look like the rookie will complete his first race in F1!

Meanwhile, Verstappen pits for Softs.

More pit stops

15:27 , Marc Mayo

Lap 14/57: Nice and clean from Ferrari as Leclerc then Sainz come through in a swift double-stacking.

Russell then boxes for Mercedes, a bit slow.

Meanwhile, Piastri is having to pit for a second time due to a gearbox issue. McLaren will swap the steering wheel in a bid to fix that one.

Hamilton pits

15:25 , Marc Mayo

A good stop from fifth place as Russell and Alonso scrap into Turn 4 and Alonso gets the place… then Russell fights back brilliantly and only just fails to hold off the Spaniard!

15:24 , Marc Mayo

Lap 12/57: “Tyres are gone,” Russell tells team radio but no sign of pitting yet with the back markers currently dropping in for Hards.

Alonso is now right on the tail of the Brit yet DRS is not quite enough for him in the battle of the Mercedes power units.

15:22 , Marc Mayo

Lap 11/57: Big issues for Norris as a long pit stop is required to tend to an engine issue in his McLaren! That drops him to the back of the pack.

15:20 , Marc Mayo

Lap 10/57: That lock-up from Russell has brought the Aston Martins into play behind the Mercedes pair, the team stating over team radio that Hamilton is “struggling”.

A bit of a calmer period for Leclerc, now 1.8 second clear of Perez.

Verstappen complains of downshifts causing issues yet he is 6.5 ahead of Leclerc.

Gasly the first to pit.

15:18 , Marc Mayo

Lap 9/57: Russell clocks the fastest lap in his bid to catch Hamilton and take fifth place – but runs wide out of Turn 10.

Alonso, 1.6 seconds back, is not exactly on the Mercedes tail in front despite pre-race premonitions of the Aston Martin’s pace.

Of course, plenty of drivers will be preserving tyres at the moment. Still early days.

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

15:15 , Marc Mayo

Already a slightly processional feel to this race but good start by Lewis Hamilton to jump teammate George Russell to move into fifth.

The mood in the Mercedes hospitality suite before the race was surprisingly chipper, Toto Wolff all smiles and the team genuinely believe they had the ability to end this race with a podium.

Max Verstappen looks somewhat unstoppable at the moment with a nearly five-second advantage after seven laps.

15:14 , Marc Mayo

Lap 7/57: Perez is within DRS range of Leclerc, who is on newer Soft tyres in the battle for second.

The Mexican senses blood after little lock-up from the Ferrari. Sainz, 2.5 seconds back in fourth, is of no concern to Perez.

15:13 , Marc Mayo

Lap 6/57: Stroll gets Bottas to reclaim eighth place, a good start from the Alfa Romeo.

Williams also running well, Albon up to 11th and Sargeant battling Norris right behind him.

15:11 , Marc Mayo

Lap 5/57: Verstappen has a lead of over three seconds on Leclerc already!

Then it’s all pretty tight down to Russell, who has over a second on Alonso with DRS now open.

15:10 , Marc Mayo

Lap 4/57: Stroll simply came in too hot in trying to jump Hamilton and cleaned out his own teammate…

Further back, Hulknberg’s Haas lost some front wing off a touch with Ocon.

15:06 , Marc Mayo

Lap 2/57: Great start from Ferrari then as Leclerc takes Perez with Sainz close by in fourth.

Hamilton and Russell fifth and sixth ahead of Alonso, who is clear of any issues. Bottas has put himself eighth on the opening lap before Stroll and Norris.

15:05 , Marc Mayo

The two Aston Martins touch! That leaves Alonso struggling, does he have a puncture?!


15:04 , Marc Mayo

The 2023 Formula One season is underway!

Perez off slowly and is caught by the two Ferraris as Leclerc takes second!

Stroll gets Russell.

Starting tyres revealed

15:01 , Marc Mayo

All Soft as the cars head around the circuit with the Red Bulls both on used tyres, although not exactly used much.

Magnussen in the Haas starts from 17th with Hard tyres.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

15:00 , Marc Mayo

Not long left to wait now as the drivers begin the formation lap around Bahrain International Circuit…

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

14:57 , Marc Mayo

A walk on the grid is an always interesting experience, particularly at race one of the season as team bosses eye their rivals’ cars.

Aston Martin’s Martin Whitmarsh was having a good look at the Mercedes, Toto Wolff running his eye over the Red Bull.

There’s some rather rudimentary last-minute changes to both Mercedes, some tape being applied to the sides of both W14s before reapplying the ‘P’ of Petronas just 15 minutes out from the race start.

Team-by-team guide: Red Bull

14:54 , Marc Mayo

Red Bull look to once again be the team to beat after an impressive winter testing in Bahrain last week in which the RB19 looked both quick and reliable.

The fear from his rivals is that Max Verstappen could march away with a hat-trick of titles in 2023.

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix pit strategy

14:52 , Marc Mayo

It’s looking like a two-stop race with the soft tyres considerably quicker than the medium and hard compounds.

But, remember, at least two sets must be used during the race.

Team-by-team guide: Mercedes

14:49 , Marc Mayo

The team raised a few eyebrows in testing by sticking with their sidepod design, which is not in keeping with any other team on the grid.

Toto Wolff is adamant the W14 has seriously untapped potential, the problem was there were a few gremlins in testing although not to the extent of a year ago.

George Russell gives his pre-race thoughts to Sky F1

14:47 , Marc Mayo

“I think where you saw us yesterday is a ball park for today.

“We have a race on our hands with Ferrari, Fernando’s race pace on Friday was quicker than the Red Bulls – he’ll be in our fight or zoom off into the distance. It’s looking like two Softs, depending on if you want to use the Hard or the Medium.

“Bahrain’s always a good race, a bit crazy, hopefully a good one this afternoon.”



F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

14:45 , Marc Mayo

Time for the national anthem in Bahrain as the race approaches.

Just 15 minutes until lights out!

Team-by-team guide: Ferrari

14:43 , Marc Mayo

There has been a lot of head scratching at Maranello over the winter. Mattia Binotto was axed after more than a quarter of a century at Ferrari and in came former Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur.

Whether he can remedy the myriad issues of last season remains to be seen.



Mercedes pessimistic of chances

14:40 , Marc Mayo

Toto Wolff admitted after qualifying that the fundamental concept behind the Mercedes is wrong – and they won’t climb the grid until it’s fixed.

“I don’t think that this package is going to be competitive eventually,” he told reporters. “We gave it our best go over the winter and now we all just need to regroup, sit down with the engineers, be totally non-dogmatic and ask what is the development direction we want to pursue in order to be able to win races.

“We hit our targets. That’s why I say we gave it our best shot. But the moment comes when the stopwatch comes out and that showed us that we are not good enough.

“At this team we blame the problem not the person. I have responsibilities. I need to fire myself if I want to do something. ar. We thought we could fix it by sticking to the concept of car but it didn’t work out. So we just need to switch our focus on to what we believe is the right direction.”

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

14:37 , Marc Mayo

Speaking of Aston Martin, Lawrence Stroll says he’s “quite excited and quite nervous” on Sky F1 as the mechanics get to work on the grid with the cars in position.

Martin Brundle said earlier: “[Fernando Alonso] might be the oldest driver in F1 by three years but I don’t see any reason why he can’t win races this year if they don’t keep developing this car.

“Remember that the way the regualtions are, because they finished so low down last year, they have loads of wind tunnel time this year – they’re in a really good place.”

Team-by-team guide: Aston Martin

14:33 , Marc Mayo

A few eyebrows were raised when Fernando Alonso dramatically walked away from Alpine for what, on the surface, appeared to be a drop down the grid with Aston Martin.

But Alonso and Aston have been the surprise package of winter testing ahead of what looks like their break-out season.



F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

14:30 , Marc Mayo

A big old lock-up from Alex Albon as he arrives hot into Turn 10, a persistent problem for the Williams yesterday.

He keeps it out the barrier and, at least, those tyres are not the set he’ll start the race on…

Max Verstappen exclusive

14:27 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen spoke to Matt during the week and insisted that Mercedes cannot be counted out of the championship despite another shaky start to the season.

“I don’t count out Lewis and Mercedes,” Verstappen told Standard Sport.

“They have a different philosophy and maybe it takes a little bit more time to nail it.

“With these new cars, we don’t know what direction it is going to give the biggest margin in terms of where you improve. Maybe at one point, we stall, I don’t know. Maybe they still have a lot of untapped potential.”

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

14:24 , Marc Mayo

The pit lane is open!

Drivers hop in their cars for the first time at a race this season and tour the circuit before forming up on the grid.

Team-by-team guide: McLaren

14:21 , Marc Mayo

Norris warned his team there were issues it needed to address after the three full days of testing. Despite that, pre-season looks to have gone better than 12 months previously.

The team are targeting fourth in the championship and have high hopes for Norris’ new driving partner in Oscar Piastri.

Lewis Hamilton gives his take on the race

14:19 , Marc Mayo

“Just really excited, happy to be here, grateful for another year and another opportunity to work for the team. I do love racing at this track, we have a bigger crowd than normal and I’m hoping we can stay in some sort of fight today.

“The Red Bulls will be long gone, it might not be the most exciting but hopefully the three times behind can have a good battle.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

14:15 , Marc Mayo

Formula 1’s former puppet master, Bernie Ecclestone, has made a return to the Formula 1 paddock.

The 92-year-old has caused anxiousness in the past among F1’s newer hierarchy with what he might say or do when back in the midst of F1.

But he appears to be on his best behaviour, having a lengthy chat with Red Bull principal and close friend, Christian Horner, who Ecclestone has earmarked as the only man capable of running the sport in the future.

Team-by-team guide: Haas

14:10 , Marc Mayo

Team principal Guenther Steiner can currently be seen swearing his way through another season of Netflix series Drive to Survive.

Much of his frustration was at the crashes of Mick Schumacher, who has been replaced by his fellow German Nico Hulkenberg in one of the most experienced driver lineups on the grid.

Lance Stroll lucky to be here

14:05 , Marc Mayo

A bike crash two weeks ago left the Aston Martin driver with two broken wrists, which required surgery, and a broken big toe.

“If someone had offered me a one per cent chance to be here, I’d have taken it,” Stroll said yesterday.

“It’s exactly two weeks today since my accident. I couldn’t move both hands, couldn’t walk. I had a broken big toe on the right foot as well. The light was very far at the end of the tunnel.

“I came out of surgery 12 days ago, got out of the hospital 10 days ago kind of thing. Pretty grateful and just happy to be here.”

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

13:59 , Marc Mayo

Just an hour to go until lights out!

The class of 2023

13:55 , Marc Mayo

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Team-by-team guide: Williams

13:50 , Marc Mayo

One of the most successful teams in F1 history have finished rock bottom in the constructors’ championship in four of the past five seasons.

Jost Capito has been replaced as team principal by former chief Mercedes strategist James Vowles and the team have a new driver rookie in American Logan Sargeant.

Charles Leclerc previews the race on Sky F1

13:46 , Marc Mayo

“Our objective is to fight for the world championship and to win it.

“Having said that, before the first race I see it a bit more difficult. We are a little bit more on the back foot. This is why we kept a new Soft [tyre set] back [in qualifying] which we hope will give us the best chance.

“Whether it will be enough to fight the Red Bull, we don’t know.”

Mick Schumacher begins life at Mercedes

13:40 , Marc Mayo

The reserve driver may not be in an F1 car this year but he’s sure to learn a lot with the front-row seat to Toto Wolff’s mid-race reactions.

Team-by-team guide: Alpine

13:35 , Marc Mayo

It is a driver partnership that is potentially mouthwatering. The two French drivers used to be close friends, fell out badly and their relationship has been frosty ever since.

Both insist they are professional enough to put that behind them but expect sparks to fly when vying for race position during the season.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

13:31 , Marc Mayo

The drivers’ parade is underway with under 90 minutes until the 2023 season begins!

Matt Majendie in Bahrain

13:27 , Marc Mayo

Whisper from the Red Bull garage is that both their drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, are genuinely worried about the potential pace of the Ferraris, who held back a set of softs by not doing an additional lap in Q3 on Saturday, as well as the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.

But team management is more bullish, the belief being the RB19 has the race pace to comfortably take the win.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix countdown

13:23 , Marc Mayo

Introducing the squad photo of 2023!

Poor Yuki Tsunoda… on a step and still peering over George Russell’s shoulder.

Qualifying recap: How Max Verstappen grabbed pole position

13:18 , Marc Mayo

Team-by-team guide: AlphaTauri

13:11 , Marc Mayo

In recent weeks, rumours had been circulating that Alpha Tauri was set to be sold but team boss Franz Tost insists the team is not for sale. That said, they could yet relocate to the UK.

In Nyck de Vries, they have an exciting talent behind the wheel, who they hope will push Yuki Tsunoda to raise his game.

Click here to read the full blog on The Evening Standard’s website


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