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VERSTAPPEN DOMINATES OPENING RACE OF 2024 IN BAHRAIN


Formula One is finally back after a what always feels like an age from the final race of the year and the first race. But it was ultimately Red Bull who were fastest by an absolute mile after having a pretty much perfect opening race with Verstappen doing what he does best and disappeared early on and we didn't see him until the chequered flag. Perez did well to fight up the front runners to give Red Bull and 1-2 finish and the final podium place went to the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz who looked quick all race.


A quick start by Max Verstappen with Charles Leclerc in second and George Russell looking for a move in third. Sergio Perez is fourth and Carlos Sainz in fifth.


Lance Stroll had the worst start going from 10th to 20th after being hit from behind by the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg who dropped to the back as well. Bottas in his bright green Kick Sauber also had minor front wing damage after hitting Hulkenberg in turn one.


On lap three the Mercedes is looking quick as Russell passes Leclerc for second place.


It was Charles Leclerc who looked to be struggling with his tyres as he locks up for a fifth time. He now sits fourth and under threat from his teammate behind. Perez passed him three laps earlier for third. Bahrain seems to be a track that Leclerc simply can't get a good result seemingly a bogey track for the Ferrari driver.


The only real drama came ten laps in when the yellow flag was shown as Logan Sergeant pulls over in his Williams. He gets going again and is now last by about 20 seconds. A big lock up caused Sargeant to go off.


Now with 18 laps gone and everyone has now made at least one pit stop and the top five looks thus: Verstappen, Perez, Sainz, Russell, Leclerc.


It was another unlucky stop for Valtteri Bottas who pitted but there was a problem with the wheel nut - causing him to have a 52 second stop. Thankfully this wasn’t a day and a half like the stop at Monaco Valtteri had a few years ago at Mercedes. This really ruined his race in a car that seems to have decent race pace as shown by his teammate Zhou.


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