(Photo Credit: @Max33Verstappen)
Well, it's the same song different verse as Max Verstappen picks up another dominating victory for the season opening race at the Bahrain International Circuit. For Verstappen, it seemed like he was out for a nice Sunday drive. For everyone else, it was a battle for second place.
From the start it was a Red Bull Racing front row lock out while the Ferrari's took the second. Perez got a slow jump out of the box and Charles Leclerc took second place. By this time, Verstappen was already out to a 1.5 second lead.
Leclerc made the first stop on lap 13 which brought Verstappen in a lap later. By pit exit, Vertsappen still held a ten second lead. Perez went longer on his stent to take soft tires and used them to close on Leclerc. Using DRS down the pit straight, he was able to overtake Leclerc on lap 26.
Verstappen was hindered slightly by a downshift issue which caused his rear tires to lock up but pulled away to a 11.9 second lead to take the win.
While Red Bull seemed to take the top two spots, the battle was for the final spot on the podium between Sainz, Hamilton, and Alonso.
For Ferrari, Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz. He was the last Ferrari on track at race end as on lap 40, Leclerc said that he lost drive on his engine and retired on lap 40, thus bringing out a virtual safety car. During that restart, Alonso was able to pass Sainz and hold on for his first podium with Aston Martin.
Formula One Podium:
1st: Max Verstappen
2nd: Sergio Perez
3rd: Fernando Alonso
For Formula One, the series takes a week off before returning March 19th as the series gears up for round two of the FIA Formula One World Championship as they take to the streets of Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.