Max Verstappen’s 2022 title defense started out perfectly under the stars as he and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez completed a 1-2 finish to start their 2023 campaign. The Red Bull’s looked unflappable around the Bahrain Circuit as title rivals Ferrari and Mercedes failed to mount a significant challenge against the team from Milton Keynes.
In the end it was the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso who took his fight to the podium, capitalizing on pace and tire advantages to overtake Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz in the closing stint of the race as Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc failed to finish. The oldest driver on the grid took his 99th podium in F1 in the seat previously occupied by Sebastian Vettel, as his teammate Lance Stroll finished 6th after missing all of testing due to a wrist injury and having limited running time over the weekend.
With the teams set to face off again in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in two weeks time, the Scuderia and the Silver Arrows have much to work on if they expect to bring the fight to Verstappen and Red Bull at the fastest circuit on the calendar.