“I’m so happy,” says Leclerc. “The last two years have been so difficult and we knew the new regulations were our chance. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the season.” Sainz adds: “Ferrari is back!”
It was a spectacular Grand Prix that showed that the new cars, with which the drivers can follow each other better, have paid off. For laps, Leclerc and Verstappen duel for victory, including several changes of place and high tension. End up with the better end for Leclerc.
The big beneficiary is Lewis Hamilton, who, thanks to the Red Bull KO, takes third place ahead of his Mercedes teammate George Russell. It’s damage control for the Silver Arrows. “Expectations change so quickly,” says Toto Wolff. “Last year we would have been deeply saddened. But we are currently still lacking the performance of the chassis, engine and pitstops. The Ferrari is simply good and also has a weight advantage.”
Ten laps before the end, a burning AlphaTauri from Pierre Gasly provided a safety car that brought the field together again. However, Leclerc’s victory is not in jeopardy.
Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix
2. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +5.598s
3. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Mercedes +9.675
4. George Russell (Great Britain) – Mercedes +11.211
5. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) – Haas +14.754
6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +16.119
7. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +19.423
8. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +20.386
9. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +22.390
10. Zhou Guanyu (China) – Alfa Romeo +23.064
11. Mick Schumacher (Gland/Switzerland) – Haas +32.574
12. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +45.873
13.Alexander Albon (Thailand)-Williams +53.932
14. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +54.975
15. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren +56.335
16. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +1:01.795 min.
17. Nico Hulkenberg (Emmerich) – Aston Martin +1:03.829
18. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +1 lap
19. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull + 4 laps
Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri (45th lap)