Gallery: the best images from the Bahrain GP | Top Gear
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Gallery: the best images from the Bahrain GP

The new F1 season began under the lights in Bahrain, with Verstappen cruising to victory and Alonso returning to the podium

Published: 07 Mar 2023

Well, that was eventful wasn’t it? No, not the race - that was fairly drab as these things go - but somehow there was still plenty to talk about afterwards.

Where to start? Well, if you’re a pessimist the season looks over already, with Red Bull and Max Verstappen coasting to a victory so comfortable he could’ve taken an actual comfort break mid-way through. Although at least there was a new (well, old) face on the podium, with Fernando Alonso confirming the hype around Aston Martin’s vastly impressive new car by claiming P3, having dispatched Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz with a pair of unorthodox overtakes along the way.

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He did need a bit of fortune to get there, though, and it arrived in the form of the usual misfortune for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari as the engine gave up just 41 laps into the new season.

And beyond that? Mercedes’ car isn’t porpoising this year, but the team sounds like it’s given up on 2023 already, such is the W14’s lack of downforce and its relative gap to Red Bull's RB19.

Further back there were decent points for Alfa Romeo and Alpine, plus a solitary (and unexpected) point for Williams driver and future GT3 RS owner Alex Albon. You can read TG’s full chat with him by clicking on this hyperlink.

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Oh, and any McLaren fans might wish to tune into the team’s various other racing exploits this season… debutant Oscar Piastri retired and Lando Norris racked up several pit stops on the way to last place in the MCL60. Ouch.

Still, why not cheer yourself up with some of the splendid photographs above? F1 heads to Saudi Arabia in two weekends’ time, maybe that will be better…

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