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HomeNewsMax Verstappen wins the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amidst the Highest Fan Applause!

Max Verstappen wins the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix Amidst the Highest Fan Applause!

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Max Verstappen led teammate Sergio Perez to a Red Bull Racing front-row lock-out for Sunday’s highly anticipated Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023—the first round of this year’s FIA F1 World Championship.

Verstappen blitzed to a sensational pole after steering his RB19 challenger to a quickest lap time of one minute 29.708 in the top 10 shootout of qualifying, held under lights in front of a massive Saturday night crowd at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).

Verstappen’s time was almost a second quicker than Charles Leclerc’s pole-setting mark in Sakhir from last year of 1:30.558 for Ferrari.

“Very happy to be on pole, having such a strong car with Checo up there as well, it’s amazing and I’m looking forward to tomorrow as well,” said Verstappen, who has yet to win in Bahrain.

Verstappen was 0.138 seconds quicker than Perez, while set to start behind them on row two are the tandem of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Leclerc’s best lap in the Q3 shootout was 0.292s slower than Verstappen’s, while Sainz was 0.446s off the pace.

Two-time world champion and three-time winner at BIC Fernando Alonso could not translate his leading pace in today’s practice into pole position, but still impressed by securing fifth on the grid in his debut grand prix weekend with Aston Martin. He was 0.628s back.

The Mercedes pair of George Russell (+0.632s) and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (+0.676s) followed in sixth and seventh, respectively, while Lance Stroll (+1.128s) was classified eighth in the other Aston Martin.

Esteban Ocon qualified ninth after finishing 1.276s from the leader, and Nico Hulkenberg was 10th after being unable to set a time in Q3.

Earlier in the day, dropping out of qualifying from Q2 were Lando Norris of McLaren, the Alfa Romeo pair of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Williams’s Alexander Albon.

In Q1, eliminated from further contention were Williams rookie Logan Sargeant, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri and AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries.

First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS), President of the General Sports Authority (GSA), President of Bahrain Olympic Committee, His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa crowned Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

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Gulf Air Holding Company Chairman Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani crowned the Red Bull team which won first and second place, while Minister of Youth Affairs  Rawan bint Najeeb Tawfiqi crowned Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, who won second place.

President of the Bahrain Motor Federation  Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa crowned the driver of the Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso who finished third in the race.

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister attended the 2023 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, where he toured the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) track to meet with fans and review preparations for the race.

HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister emphasized that the success of the 2023 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is a testament to the Kingdom’s capacity for hosting international sporting events and reflects His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s aspirations.

His Royal Highness welcomed this year’s attendees and commended the efforts of Team Bahrain and their contribution to the Kingdom’s continued success.

His Royal Highness was accompanied by the First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the General Sports Authority, and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa bin Salman Charity Educational Charitable Trust, His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and a number of senior officials.

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, also announced a record sell-out crowd for the final day of the 2023 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 36,000 spectators who witnessed another incredible race under the lights in Sakhir was the highest single-day attendance in the race’s 19-year history, with a total of 99,500 attending over the weekend

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of Bahrain International Circuit, said:

“Over the course of the racing weekend, fans have been treated to an incredible festival of motorsport and entertainment, creating lifelong memories for those who have joined us at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East. To deliver an event of this nature involves the support of all of Team Bahrain and I thank all those who have worked so hard. I offer a particular thanks to my team at BIC, who have worked tirelessly to deliver the show for fans.”

“As the dust settles on our 2023 race, we are already looking towards the future. Next year represents a landmark 20th anniversary for us as a circuit and our involvement in F1. For that, we plan to step up another year for our fans with a special celebration. We look forward to welcoming everyone again next year. “

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