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Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix reaches its climax on race day.

The opening race of the 2024 F1 season is here, as Max Verstappen starts from pole position at the Bahrain GP.

Red Bull comes into the new campaign as heavy favourites, but can any of its rivals take the fight to Verstappen in the opener?

Charles Leclerc starts alongside Verstappen on the front row, with MercedesGeorge Russell third and the sister Ferrari of Carlos Sainz fourth. Sergio Perez will be looking to climb the order for Red Bull from fifth.

The Bahrain GP gets under way at 3pm GMT.

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary

Summary
  • Verstappen takes a crushing first win of 2024, leading Perez by over 22 seconds in a Red Bull 1-2, as Sainz completes the podium for Ferrari
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Perez, Red Bull
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Leclerc, Ferrari
  5. Russell, Mercedes
  6. Norris, McLaren
  7. Hamilton, Mercedes
  8. Piastri, McLaren
  9. Alonso, Aston Martin
  10. Stroll, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
Thank you for joining us for today's race, there is just seven days to wait until round two of 2024. We'll be back on Thursday for opening practice of the Saudi Arabian GP. Until then, go well, and have a lovely rest of your weekend!
 
Verstappen and co get busy with the non-alcoholic fizzy! What a performance by the world champions. Catch them if you can.
That familiar duo of the Dutch and Austrian national anthems rings out on the podium before the trophies are handed out. How many times will we hear that this year?
Here's the full race report - F1 Bahrain GP: Verstappen dominates in Red Bull 1-2
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

It is a nice opportunity for Verstappen to catch up on what happened behind him, as he gives a nod of approval for one of Sainz's many overtakes. The Spaniard has rightly been named driver of the day.
The top three head to the cooldown room to digest the race highlights. Verstappen hardly looks like he's broken a sweat all day.
Red Bull were so dominant in that race, but credit to Sainz for keeping Perez honest throughout, finishing 2.6s back. But the 25.1s gap to Verstappen will be a big concern. Nobody could lay a glove on him.
Red Bull boss Horner congratulates and thanks both his drivers over team radio on a 1-2, pole and fastest lap clean sweep. After a weekend in the spotlight, this will be exactly what he wanted.
 

Verstappen on his win: "Simply lovely! What a great race, unbelievable balance as well. A great start to the year guys, really, really good. A 1-2 as well so absolutely fantastic."

Albon takes a low-key 15th, as Hulkenberg, Ocon, Gasly, Bottas and Sargeant complete the finishing positions.
Zhou takes 11th ahead of Magnussen who defends from Ricciardo at the line. A frustrated Tsunoda has to settle for 14th behind his team-mate after team orders.
Leclerc comes home in fourth ahead of Russell, Norris, Hamilton and Piastri. Aston Martin pair Alonso and Stroll complete the points places.
The fireworks go off as Verstappen weaves across the line in celebration as he wins by 22.5s from Perez. Sainz completes the podium in third 2.6s off the Mexican.
Verstappen wins the Bahrain Grand Prix! That's a flawless performance and his 55th career F1 win.
Final lap time, can Norris or Hamilton get into DRS range for a late move?
Tsunoda continues to blow up across team radio, suggesting that Ricciardo, "isn't fast at all". This will be a fun debrief, you would imagine.
Verstappen starts the penultimate lap and has hardly had to break into a sweat today. This could be the easiest win of his career, which is ominous for the rest of the season.
Into the final three laps and the Brit pack - Russell from Norris from Hamilton - can see each other on the back straight. The gaps look a little too big to close with the number of laps left.
"Thanks guys, I appreciate that," says Tsunoda. The sarcasm is palpable.
Verstappen laps the squabbling RBs and has a good chance of lapping all drivers up to and including Zhou in 11th.
"I don't need to say anything," says Ricciardo as Tsunoda fails to pull over. Almost making a point, Tsunoda then moves out of the way through the Turns 5-6-7 chicane.
Verstappen's lead pops over the 20s mark at the start of lap 53. Perez has second sorted with a 4s gap over Sainz.
RB inform Ricciardo they'll allow him past team-mate Tsunoda. The pair are hunting down Magnussen and it appears Tsunoda is less than willing to adhere to this plan.
Norris is closing in on Russell for fifth, with the gap down to 2.1s, as we approach the final six laps of the race.
Piastri is currently in P8 and is four seconds off Hamilton. He's closing but very slowly. With seven laps remaining, it's unlikely that he'll catchup in time.
Perez's softs are doing just fine, as he continues to match Sainz's pace to keep his buffer at 4s. The Red Bull 1-2 is looking ever closer.
Alonso is now also past Stroll after Aston Martin orchestrated the switching of its drivers.
Russell hasn't been able to fight back against Leclerc after accidentally waving him by as the gap is at 2.2s.
Verstappen has been pinged for track limits at Turn 4. Maybe he is dozing off at the front with his lead up to 17s.
Russell locks up into Turn 10 and goes off the track. That gives Leclerc an easy overtake up the inside into Turn 11 to move up to fourth. That was gift wrapped.
Perez is still matching Sainz's lap times so the battle for second place isn't igniting yet.
Leclerc is within DRS range of Russell so we have a fight for position on our hands.
Alonso uses DRS to slide past Zhou into Turn 4. As easy as you like there.
"When do we expect the hard tyre to be quicker than the soft?" Sainz quizzes Ferrari. "I'll come back to you... around this lap," is the reply.
Russell is finally coming under pressure from Leclerc in the fight for fourth. What's quicker, a driver managing engine temperature or a driver managing a brake issue?
Alonso dropped to P11 when stopping, and he is only likely to recover past Zhou and team-mate Stroll unless there are more stops to come.
It probably isn't anything to worry Red Bull but that fastest lap push has been followed by two slow laps by Verstappen as his lead is trimmed to 15.2s. He'll probably be alright.
New hard tyres come out for Alonso as the Aston Martin driver finally pulls into the pits for his final stop.

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