F1 2023, Max Verstappen wins season-opening Bahrain GP: Key stats
Defending Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. Red Bull driver Verstappen dominated the scenes as Sergio Perez brought home a one-two for Red Bull to produce a perfect weekend for the constructors' champions. Fernando Alonso secured a podium finish on his first outing with his new team Aston Martin. Here are further details.
78th podium and 36th race win for Verstappen
Verstappen fetched his 78th podium finish and 36th race win. He won a record 15 races in the 2022 season. Verstappen's 15 Formula 1 race wins last season were the most by an individual in a single F1 campaign. He broke the previous record of 13 races held by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013) at the Mexican Grand Prix.
99th podium finish for Alonso; Perez maintains his consistency
Alonso secured his 99th podium finish. One more finish in the top three will see him become the sixth F1 driver to collect 100-plus podiums. Alonso claimed his maiden podium since the 2021 Qatar GP. Second-placed Perez secured his 27th podium finish. Notably, Perez managed 11 podium finishes in 2022, finishing third in the season behind Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Key details about the race
McLaren's Oscar Piastri was out of his debut race with an apparent electrical issue. Alpine's Esteban Ocon also retired after several time penalties. Meanwhile, Ferrari's Leclerc, who held 3rd place, retired on lap 41. His team-mate Carlos Sainz took fourth place, seeing Alonso surpass him late on. Mercedes, who looked slow saw Lewis Hamilton take fifth place and George Russell claim seventh.