- Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, and Charles Leclerc share their thoughts on the Bahrain Grand Prix.
- Alonso finished third after a strong recovery drive from seventh.
- Leclerc’s race ended on Lap 41 following an engine failure on his Ferrari.
It was a dream outing for Fernando Alonso and the Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 team in Bahrain. The Spaniard started Sunday’s race in fifth place, but dropped to seventh after teammate Lance Stroll’s opening-lap tap.
Alonso then began a monumental fightback, eventually finishing third behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
“Finishing on the podium in the first race of the year is amazing. To have the second-best car on race one is just unreal,” an elated Alonso said.
En route to the podium, Alonso cleared the two Mercedes-AMG’s of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr.
The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc retired on lap 41 following an engine failure. Ferrari, who secured a 1-2 victory at the same race last year, are someway off the pace in 2023, and are left with plenty of work to do this year.
“We are very far behind Red Bull. I was not going to say it was positive,” Leclerc said.
“We were second, which was the best we could do, but we couldn’t bring the car to the end, and at the end, this is what is very important.”
Verstappen could not have asked for a better way to start his title defence, commanding the race from the front and winning by a 12-second margin. Perez crossed the finish line 27 seconds ahead of Alonso.
“Very lovely that, really good result,” Verstappen exclaimed.
“We had good race pace. Very happy with that. Thank you guys. That is exactly the start to the season we wanted and needed.”