The new season for the Formula 1 is finally here. With last year’s competition being dominated by Red Bull Racing and its now two-time world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, the new season will determine whether if any constructors or drivers stand a chance to challenge RBPT’s supremacy in the 23 races of 2023.
The first race of the new season was held in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Verstappen and Pérez overcame Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the qualifying, before Fernando Alonso, who is now racing for Aston Martin, complete the top five starting spots of the race.
Alonso Hit by Teammate Stroll in Lap One
41-year-old two-time world champion Fernando Alonso made his F1 debut back in 2001 and retired first time in 2019. The Spaniard then made his return to the racing sports two years ago, before joining his career fifth Formula 1 team Aston Martin. During the qualifiers, the Oviedo-born Alonso proved that he is still one of the best drivers in the history of the sports, as he took the greenish Aston Martin, which was presumed to be less superior against better constructors like Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes, to an incredible P5 finish.
Known as an aggressive starter in race, Alonso did not have a great start for the first Grand Prix of the season, when he was squeezed by other racers and forced to fall back. He almost ran into an accident with his teammate Lance Stroll, after the latter made contact with his car in Turn Three, while the Red Bulls and Ferraris were enjoying their handsome lead at the front. His luck finally gained an auspicious turn, after he went back-and-forth with Mercedes’ George Russell, before surpassing the British racer for good in Lap 13 as well as another former Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas four laps later.
Driver of the Day, the Week, the Year.
— GPFans Global (@GPFansGlobal) March 5, 2023
Red Bulls Versus Ferrari Up Front, Leclerc’s Sad Retirement
It was just another day at the office for the defending world champion and constructors’ champion, as both Leclerc and Sainz once again failed to disrupt the status quo set by Red Bull, while the rest of the first eight positions were the Battle of the Greens between Aston Martins and Mercedes.
The moment of the race was awarded to a beautiful overtake by Fernando Alonso on his former McLaren teammate and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in Lap 37. The Spaniard turned on DRS, before overtaking Hamilton on the inside. The 38-year-old Stevenage-born racer then cut Alonso back with a similar pathway in the following corner. The battle prolonged for an additional lap, before Alonso went on to show his one-of-a-kind driving skills in Turn 10 to edge past Hamilton for P5.
16 laps prior to the chequered flag, Leclerc was forced to an early retirement, as a result of Ferrari’s failed mechanics once again, like what happened several times last season. His exit meant Alonso was only a car away from a podium finish, and he took over Leclerc’s teammate and Spanish compatriot Carlos Sainz Jr. before the first corner of Lap 46. Alonso remained P3 till the end of Lap 57 and is now one top-three finish shy from a decade of podiums in Formula 1.
View this post on Instagram
Fernando “Old But Gold” Alonso
41-year-old Alonso is the oldest driver among 20 racers in this season’s Formula 1 Championship, and he won the Driver of the Day in Bahrain. He acknowledged the incredible work Aston Martin has done to achieve this well-earned P3 finish amidst Red Bull’s continued dominance. He said: “[It is] amazing for the team, [it] was [a] great weekend. Finishing on the podium in the first race of the year, it is just amazing. What Aston Martin did over the winter to have the second-best car on race one, it’s unreal.”
Two-time defending F1 champion Verstappen, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude to finally win the Bahrain Grand Prix, stating that “It was a very good first stint”, whereas Pérez ensured that he will give his Dutch teammate plenty of challenges in his second title defence campaign this season.