By Chris King • 20 March 2022 • 18:59
Eventful Formula One season opener in Bahrain.
A new season of Formula One racing kicked off today, Sunday, March 20, with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Located in the heart of the Sakhir desert, the Bahrain International Circuit certainly threw up an entertaining start to the 2022 F1 calendar.
Charles LeClerc had qualified in pole position, and after going car-to-car with reigning world champion Max Verstappen‘s Red Bull, the Frenchman drove his Ferrari to victory. Incredibly, this was the Italian team’s first win since 2019.
With only three laps remaining, the Dutchman dramatically retired from the race with a ‘reliability failure’. This allowed the other Ferrari driver, Spain’s Carlos Sainz, to move up to second, giving the legendary Scuderia an incredible one-two on the podium.
After Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri had an incident with ten laps remaining of the 57, the safety car made an appearance, leading to the field closing on one another. It took three laps before racing could resume, leaving the drivers with seven laps to make their moves.
Drama continued into the final lap, as Sergio Perez spun off the circuit with Lewis Hamilton hard on his tail. This crowned an awful start for Red Bull with neither of their drivers finishing the first race of the season.
Hamilton took the third spot, but his Mercedes never looked to be in the running really, with both cars lacking the required pace. Having said that, Mercedes’ new boy, George Russell, clinched a glorious fourth position in his debut for the team.
LeClerc held his nerve to claim that elusive win for Ferrari, saying after the race, “It’s incredible to be back at the top”, while his teammate Sainz added, “Ferrari is back and it’s properly back”.
There were some awesome results by various drivers and teams. Haas, last season’s slowest car, gained a fifth placing thanks to Kevin Magnussen. Finland’s Valtteri Bottas shone as well, bringing his Alfa Romeo home in sixth. Zhou Guanyu, in the other Alfa Romeo also romped home in tenth in his debut.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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