F1 2022: Leclerc wins Bahrain GP; Red Bull hit trouble

    Ferrari scored a 1-2 finish with Sainz finishing second, while Hamilton completed the podium.

    Published On Mar 20, 2022 11:39:00 PM


    F1 2022: Leclerc wins Bahrain GP; Red Bull hit trouble
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    Ferrari have delivered on the promising form they showed in pre-season testing, with Charles Leclerc winning the 2022 season-opening Bahrain GP ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz. A dramatic end to the race saw both Red Bull Racing drivers suffer late retirements due to a fuel system issue.

    This allowed Lewis Hamilton to steal the final spot on the podium, but Mercedes seem to be on the back foot compared to Ferrari and Red Bull when it comes to outright pace.

    • Both Red Bull drivers retire with power unit issues
    • Leclerc scores pole, race win and fastest lap
    • Tough start for McLaren

    Double retirement for Red Bull

    It was a perfect start to the season for Leclerc, who converted his pole position into a race win and set the fastest lap to top it all. Verstappen emerged as his main rival and the two even swapped positions several times after the first round of pit stops. But Leclerc managed to gain the upper hand.

    Things went awry for Red Bull in the closing stages. Verstappen, who was already managing a power steering issue, complained about power unit issues after being passed by Sainz. With just three laps to go, he pulled into the pits shortly after to retire from the race. Sergio Perez then spun at Turn 1 due to similar power unit issues on the last lap.

    1-2 finish for Ferrari

    Amidst all the chaos, Leclerc took a comfortable victory out at front, handing Ferrari their first win since the 2019 Singapore GP.  Red Bull’s double retirement allowed Sainz and Hamilton to move up to second and third places, respectively.  Crucially, the opening race showed that the new rules seem to be doing their job for now, with cars appearing to have an easier time following one another.

    “I keep repeating myself, but the last two years have been incredibly difficult for the team, and we knew this was going to be a big opportunity for the team and the guys have done such an incredible job building this amazing car,” said Leclerc.

    "So for now it’s starting in the best way possible. Pole position, victory, fastest lap, one-two today with Carlos, we couldn’t hope for better. Thank you to all of you guys who kept supporting us, it hasn’t been easy, but it’s incredible to be back at the top."

    Zhou scores first F1 point

    George Russell, who started ninth, was able to salvage fourth place. Behind him, Kevin Magnussen has made a strong return to F1 with a fifth place finish for Haas – a team that didn’t score any points last year.

    Alfa Romeo bagged a double points finish with Valtteri Bottas recovering from a poor start to finish sixth and rookie Zhou Guanyu scoring points on his F1 debut with a 10th place result. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was seventh after being handed a penalty early on for making contact with Mick Schumacher. Following him were AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

    McLaren suffered a dismal start to the season, with Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finishing 14th and 15th, respectively. Interestingly, three Mercedes-powered teams (McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams) were the poorest performing ones in Bahrain.

    Next up is the Saudi Arabian GP on March 25-27.

    2022 Bahrain GP results

    2022 Bahrain GP results
    1Charles LeclercFerrari
    2Carlos SainzFerrari
    3Lewis HamiltonMercedes
    4George RussellMercedes
    5Kevin MagnussenHaas
    6Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo
    7Esteban OconAlpine
    8Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri
    9Fernando AlonsoAlpine
    10Zhou GuanyuAlfa Roemo
    11Mick SchumacherHaas
    12Lance StrollAston Martin
    13Alexander AlbonWilliams
    14Daniel RicciardoMcLaren
    15Lando NorrisMcLaren
    16Nicholas LatifiWilliams
    17Nico HulkenbergAston Martin
    DNFSergio PerezRed Bull Racing
    DNFMax VerstappenRed Bull Racing
    DNFPierre GaslyAlphaTauri

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