Formula 1 Livefeed

Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates

Follow the live action as the 2023 Formula 1 season gets going with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

After the three-day pre-season test at the same track last week, the 2023 F1 season begins this weekend.

Max Verstappen starts on pole as Red Bull locked out the front row in qualifying with Sergio Perez slotting into second.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc lines up in third ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz with Fernando Alonso, who topped practice, in fifth for his new team Aston Martin ahead of both Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Tom Howard



  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Perez, Red Bull
  3. Alonso, Aston Martin
  4. Sainz, Ferrari
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Stroll, Aston Martin
  7. Russell, Mercedes
  8. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  9. Gasly, Alpine
  10. Albon, Williams
  • Max Verstappen wins the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole to head a Red Bull 1-2 from Sergio Perez.

  • Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso charged from fifth to third after late overtakes on Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

  • Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc retired from second with a power unit issue on lap 40/57, Sainz holds on to fourth. 

  • Lewis Hamilton finishes fifth ahead of the injured Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll. George Russell (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Alex Albon (Williams) score points  
  • After a series of penalties Esteban Ocon retired from the race, along with McLaren’s F1 debutant Oscar Piastri, who suffered an electrical issue   


Status: Stopped
And that's all from us, thanks for joining us throughout the race! Enjoy the rest of your day, and we'll see you in two weeks' time for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Here's the report from the 2023 season opener in Bahrain:
Just one race last season featured a non-Red Bull/Ferrari/Mercedes driver on the podium - given Alonso's pace today, I daresay we might not have that triopoly this year. Is triopoly a word? We hope it is.
"Great work over these two weeks. We know where we're not where we want to be, still work to do, but let's keep pushing," Hamilton says after claiming fifth.
"What you have done, I'm so proud of you!" says Alonso, delighted with a great start to life with Aston Martin.
Bottas keeps eighth ahead of a hard-charging Gasly, as Albon holds off a Tsunoda charge to claim 10th!
Sainz keeps fourth place, with Hamilton fifth. Stroll, despite his wrist break, finishes in sixth place from Russell.
Ah, that's why Zhou pitted late on. He went for the fastest lap of the race which takes it off Gasly in the Alpine, but he doesn't pick it up himself as he finished outside of the top 10. Cheeky.
Sergio Perez finishes second, 12s behind, as Fernando Alonso claims an excellent third place!
And Max Verstappen kicks off 2023 to win the Bahrain Grand Prix!
Final lap! Verstappen is 12s clear of Perez, it's been an easy ride for the reigning champion.
Zhou makes a third pitstop which drops him to 16th, while Norris pits for the SIXTH time.
The fight for the final points place will go down to the wire with Tsunoda in DRS range of 10th place-sitting Albon.
In truth, it won't make much difference to Hulkenberg's race given he is 55s ahead of the five-stopping Norris, who has just been shown the black and white flag himself for the same offence.
Hulkenberg is in trouble here, he's been pinged for another track limits offence and is duly given a five-second penalty.
Magnussen is the latest driver to get by sitting duck de Vries, who is going to the bitter end on his old hard tyres. The Dane goes into 14th.
"This is a lovely car to drive," Alonso says. He's a happy bunny.
Alonso is now 6s up the road from Sainz, and lapping faster than the Red Bulls - but that's largely since the leading duo is in cruise control.
Hulkenberg is shown the black and white flag for track limits - the first driver to get that in this race. He's currently running a distant 16th and nine seconds behind team-mate Magnussen. The Haas pace has been nowhere today.
Norris, who was an avid spectator to the Alonso-Sainz-Hamilton battle, pits for the fifth time as McLaren manages the pneumatic problem. The only good news for him is that should be the last time he needs to stop with seven laps to go.
"We seem to have lost the engine on Charles' car", says a statement from Ferrari. Bad start to the year for the Scuderia.
"Why am I bouncing so much?" Sainz asks, as he's told to focus on the race.
Sargeant gets by Zhou for 12th place after battling the Alfa Romeo for a few laps. It is been a solid showing by the F1 debutant so far, just eight seconds and two places off team-mate Albon.
Hamilton's all over Sainz now, as the Ferrari driver is struggling with his tyres. Norris, a lap down, is somehow clinging onto the pair of them!
That Turn 4 nibble was very close to comfort - Alonso managed to slam on the anchors but just touched Sainz there. Still, Alonso is through and making a break for freedom.
Alonso gets third position! He got far too close for comfort into Turn 4, followed Sainz downhill, and pounced on a lock-up from his compatriot to get the move down with DRS into Turn 11!
"Try to protect the position," Sainz is told. "If I push these tyres won't make it to the end," comes the reply. Alonso is told to keep the pressure on.
De Vries, who didn't pit with the midfield runners during that brief virtual safey car period, is having his race ruined as he drops behind Tsunoda, Zhou and Sargeant on his aging hard tyres. The Dutchman is now 14th.
Here's the battle then - Alonso's already on Sainz's tail and about 0.4s a lap quicker.
But it is also race over for Ocon who retires from the race in the pits. He joins Leclerc and Norris out of the action early.
Alonso is now gunning for the final podium position, and he's hacked the gap to Sainz to 1.3s. Can Aston Martin break the Red Bull/Ferrari/Mercedes podium monopoly tonight?
Gasly gets by Albon at Turn 1 to move up to ninth, and behind them it is a three-way fight between two AlphaTauris and one Alfa Romeo.
The VSC is shortlived, and we're back to full-speed running.
The pitstops have pushed de Vries up to 11th and Zhou to 12th, having both not stopped, ahead of Tsunoda and Sargeant.
It sounds like the car just cut out as he got to Turn 13, and Leclerc's race is run. He's parked up by a marshal's post, so that'll be cleared quickly.
The virtual safety car is called and that has triggered frantic pitlane action as Albon, Gasly, Tsunoda and Sargeant all pit together.
Leclerc's come to a stop! His Ferrari crawls to a halt along the final straight and his day is over!
At the front, Perez has whittled the gap to Verstappen down to 11.6s. Leclerc's another 12s down the road.
Behind the titanic battle for fifth place, Albon is making his Williams as wide as possible to keep Gasly at bay. The Alpine driver is in DRS range, as is Tsunoda on him, but the fight remains static for now.
Hamilton's coming back at Alonso though, but the Spanish veteran kept his former team-mate at arms' length into Turn 4. He'll try to stabilise now and then go after Sainz.