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Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates

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

Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates

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.