Verstappen glad with perfect start to new F1 season

Max Verstappen was thrilled to clinch his first victory of the Formula 1 season at the opening race in Bahrain.

Leading from pole position, Verstappen dominated the race and secured a straightforward win, with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finishing in second place.


Carlos Sainz made an impressive comeback from fourth on the grid to complete the podium, ahead of his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

Three-time defending world champion Verstappen, 26, told Sky Sports: “I think today went better than expected — unbelievable.


“We had a lot of pace, it was super enjoyable to drive. It was a lot of fun. I felt good in the car.

“It’s very special to have days like today. It doesn’t happen often, when everything is OK with the car.

“I think the start was good. The first corner is a tight hairpin but from there onwards we focused on our own race.

“We stayed out of trouble. It’s a good start to the year, it couldn’t be better.

It is a long season. A couple of days rest and we go again.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner made headlines before the race after being cleared of misconduct allegations in an internal investigation.

Sergio Perez expressed his satisfaction that the team was able to let their performance on the track do the talking in Sakhir. The 34-year-old Mexican added, “I think we achieved the maximum we could.”

“It was a tricky race with the management of the tyres. There is plenty we will learn from tonight’s race, which is important to the championship but overall it was a great way to start the season.

“We had issues with engine braking and drivability which is not easy because here there are plenty of low speeds but I’m sure we will analyse all that tonight and learn for Jeddah.

“The team definitely have good momentum. We’ve got to keep it up for the coming weekends.”

Red Bull will aim to continue their perfect start to the season when the drivers return to the wheel in Jeddah for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix next week.

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