Although Red Bull fans are happy for the boys seizing a 1-2 position for the first race, the dogfight between Ferrari’s Sainz and Aston Martin’s Alonso steals the spotlight.
Red Bull fans may be happy for Verstappen and Perez securing 1st and 2nd on the podium but, the real highlight of the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2023 was the dogfight between Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Carlo Sainz Jr. for a podium position.
The heated fight boiled down to the proper timing of the Drag Reduction System (DRS), eventually escalating into a three-way match between Sainz, Alonso, and Hamilton.
A Fantastic Dogfight
Although it was clear that Red Bull’s Verstappen could hold his position in the lead with his partner Perez dogging behind him, it was a battle for third place. Fernando Alonso’s decision to dive into the pits may have dropped him into 6th place, leaving him to fight with Lewis Hamilton in 5th place.
He rides Lewis Hamilton’s slipstream before diving through Turn 10 to overtake him while bringing the fight to Sainz at 4th. However, Sainz moves up to 3rd as his teammate Charles Leclerc suffers engine failure and has to deal with the pressure from two world champions fighting for the position with Alonso at 4th and Hamilton at 5th.
Fernando Alonso then rides the slipstream behind Sainz before taking the inner curve and overtaking Sainz in turn 11, fulfilling the magical podium finish in 3rd place.
The podium finish in third shined up Alonso’s debut run with Aston Martin, giving the team some hope after Sebastian Vettel retired.
A good start for Aston Martin
Aston Martin may have lost a fast and skilled driver from their roster but, gained an amazing one in Fernando Alonso. The Spanish driver may have two world championships to his name for now but, his podium finish for the very first race of the season in Bahrain and his debut has the whole team singing praises.
It was an amazing fight out there that boiled down to the skillful use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) and the willingness to risk overtaking the trickiest turns in Bahrain. But it was worth it. Aston Martin is making a comeback!
Banner image from F1 on Twitter.