The long-awaited 2024 Formula 1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was a welcome sight for race deprived fans of the motorsport, despite the somewhat predictable nature of the finishing order, as Max Verstappen cruised to victory at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday, March 2.

Verstappen began the race in pole position and rapidly distanced himself from the rest of the pack as they battled it out for a place on the podium. The flying Dutchman’s Red Bull Racing teammate, Sergio Perez crossed the line 22 seconds later in second place, providing the premonition that Red Bull might just continue to dominate for another season.

A man on a mission and the fan-voted ‘Driver of the Day’, Carlos Sainz made a point of passing fellow Ferrari man Charles Leclerc on more than one occasion, as the Monegasque struggled with tyre degradation and suffered multiple lock-ups. In the end, it was Sainz who took the third and final podium place, while Leclerc claimed fourth place after clearing the leading Mercedes of George Russell late on in the race.

Following fifth place Russell was Lewis Hamilton, who managed a seventh place finish, as the Mercedes duo was plagued by issues with batteries throughout the race. The seven-time world champion also reported a broken seat, but overcame what would have quickly become an immense discomfort to finish behind McLaren’s Lando Norris in eighth place.

With the season now officially open, the F1 circus will pack up and travel directly to Jeddah ahead of the Saudi Arabian GP on Saturday, March 9.

Featured image courtesy of REUTERS/Rula Rouhana: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix