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Verstappen started the season with a victory, Red Bull from a double, Alonso and Aston Martin from the podium

Date: March 21, 2023 Time: 16:37:39

Section for lovers of statistics

In the early 90s, an interesting sign developed in Formula 1. The driver who won the first race of the season became the world champion. This sign worked from 1990 to 1996. Ayrton Senna, Nigell Mansell, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill were convinced of its correctness. Something went wrong in 1997 when David Coulthard won the first stage and Jacques Villeneuve became champion.

Later this sign worked in 1998, 2000-2002, 2004, 2006-2009.

However, in the period from 2017 to 2022, a different sign developed: the driver who won the first race of the season became the second in the championship. Sebastian Vettel, Valteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were convinced of this. Whether or not the tradition will be broken, we will know after the end of the next 22 races.

Alonso on the podium, Mercedes admits mistakes

The new regulations are not given to Mercedes in any way. In 2022, the team released the W13, faced with a backlog problem, which took almost half the season to fix and help from the FIA ​​in the form of a special directive. By 2023, they got rid of the backlog, but the car didn’t get any faster. Furthermore, the Bahrain race showed that it is time for Mercedes to think not only about fighting Ferrari, but also about protecting Aston Martin. The decoration of the race was the fight of the rivals/partners of a lifetime: Hamilton and Alonso. And how Alonso overtook at the tenth turn, where overtaking is extremely difficult, shows: there is gunpowder in the Spaniard’s flasks. And behind them were Russell and Stroll. Pit stop hitch, strategic decisions in favor of driving ahead of Hamilton led to the fact that Stroll left after the second pit stop and almost immediately overtook Russell.

As a result, Alonso overtook Lewis. With 11 laps to go in the race, he overtook Sainz, having won the podium in a brilliant fight. Aston Martin surprises!

Mercedes admitted mistakes in the development of the W14, which means that a new search for leaders awaits us. It’s hard to say how long this season will take.

Speaking of the field layout of the leaders, Red Bull won, as they say, with one goal. On lap 10 Verstappen, who won the start, was already 8.4 seconds ahead of Leclerc. And when Leclerc retired, the Monegasque was more than 20 seconds off the lead, all things being equal. Adrian Newey’s creation rides like on rails, behaves consistently and saves rubber. “Ferrari” is clearly not up to it in this form. But this is only the first race, and the season is very long.

Windows picked up a collection of fines, Leclerc and Piastri left

Racing is not just luck, but sometimes sheer bad luck. This truth in Bahrain was confirmed by Oscar Piastri, who retired in his first race, Charles Leclerc, who was let down by the engine. But above all Esteban Ocon. Even before the start of the race, he made a mistake and placed himself incorrectly on the starting grid. And he was fined five seconds. He went to serve a fine, the mechanics messed up and started changing tires before five seconds had elapsed, so Okon was fined another 10 seconds. The Frenchman went to serve the second penalty and exceeded the speed limit in the pit lane, receiving the third penalty. Alpin decided not to torment the driver any further and due to technical issues they called into the pits and issued a retirement.

The transformation of the “Big Three” into Four will seriously complicate the life of the middle peasants. If before the places from 7 to 10 were free to fight, even if the first six drivers could not be reached (if there were no technical problems), now the drivers of four teams can take the first eight places without technical problems, leaving only three credit points for everyone else (two for ninth, one for tenth). Thus, the pilots of the intermediate teams will have to rely more on technical gatherings. In Bahrain, Bottas, Gasley and Albon were able to score points (Williams also surprised, since he was signed as an outsider). Gasly could have earned three points, but Guanyu Zhou posted the fastest lap of the race in the last one, and since he finished outside the top ten, no lap points are awarded.

The second stage of the World Cup will take place from March 17 to 19 in Saudi Arabia.

Championship position (top ten).

Individual classification: Verstappen – 25, Pérez – 18, Alonso – 15, Sainz – 12, Hamilton – 10, Stroll – 8, Russell – 6, Bottas – 4, Gasly – 2, Albon – 1

Constructors’ Championship: Red Bull – 43, Aston Martin – 23, Mercedes – 16, Ferrari – 12, Alfa Romeo – 4, Alpin – 2, Williams – 1.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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