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Verstappen's Red Bull first tainted by historic F1 curse  - Bahrain GP stats

Verstappen's Red Bull first tainted by historic F1 curse - Bahrain GP stats

F1 News

Verstappen's Red Bull first tainted by historic F1 curse - Bahrain GP stats

Verstappen's Red Bull first tainted by historic F1 curse  - Bahrain GP stats
Sundaram Ramaswami

The Bahrain Grand Prix got the 2023 F1 season off to an enthralling start as Max Verstappen delivered a crushingly dominant display.

The Dutchman coasted to victory by 11.9 seconds from his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez with Fernando Alonso, the best of the rest, 38.6secs back.

Without further ado, GPFans brings you all the best stats and facts from the season-opening weekend.

Verstappen hits Red Bull firsts

Victory at the Bahrain Grand prix was the 36th of Verstappen's F1 career but this was the first time that the Dutchman had won a season-opening race.

It was also the first time he had won in Bahrain and Red Bull's first one-two at the start of a year.

It was the 22nd different circuit the Dutchman has won at, putting him joint third with Alain Prost on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher (23) and Lewis Hamilton (31) are the only drivers to have registered higher totals.

Remarkably, Bahrain was also the first time that Red Bull successfully converted a front-row lockout into a one-two race result since the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen cursed?

Verstappen's success could carry a heavy price as the winner of the season-opening race has not gone on to secure world title honours since 2016.

Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have all endured failed title bids during this time.

But an omen in Verstappen's favour is that he has followed Nico Rosberg, the last driver to successfully convert a race one win into a world title, in becoming the first man to win both the last race of the previous season and the first of the new one. Rosberg achieved this between 2015 and his title-winning 2016 effort.

READ MORE: Ferrari haunted by ghosts of F1 past as Aston Martin embarrass rivals - What we learned at the Bahrain GP

Ferrari failings

2016 continues to provide good omens for Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc's retirement on lap 40 marking the first time a Ferrari driver has retired from a season-opening race since that year.

Hamilton and Mercedes streaks reach a shattering end

Before last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes had featured on the podium at every season-opener in the hybrid era.

The event also saw Hamilton's streak of nine consecutive podium appearances at the track come to an end as he finished fifth, 50.9secs off Verstappen.

Alonso closes on podium century

Alonso scored the 99th podium of his F1 career when finishing third on his Aston Martin debut. It had been 24 races since he last featured in the top three. This was his second-longest drought.

His longest wait between drinks was 146 races between the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix and the 2021 Qatar event.

One more podium finish would see him join Kimi Raikkonen, Prost, Vettel, Schumacher and Hamilton in the 100 club.

At the age of 41 years and 7 months, Alonso is the oldest driver to score a podium since seven-time champion Schumacher at the 2012 European GP. The German was over 43 years old at the time.

Alonso scored his first podium 19 years and 11 months ago at the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix. Only Schumacher has a longer interval between his first and last podiums - this record standing at 20 years and three months.

Alonso rolls back the years

Alonso's podium finish is the third time he has registered a top-three finish on debut with a team. He also achieved this with McLaren in 2007 and Ferrari in 2010.

For the first time since the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, Alonso also finds himself in the top three positions in the drivers' standings.

Zhou makes history

No fastest lap point was awarded in Bahrain as Zhou Guanyu, the holder of this accolade, finished 16th - a top 10 finish is mandated to receive the point.

This was, nonetheless, the second time Zhou had set the fastest lap in his F1 career, a modest tally that makes him the most successful Asian F1 driver of all time in that regard.

Salute the Sargeant

Expectations were muted around Williams driver Logan Sargeant on his F1 debut, but the American driver impressed with his performance.

Finishing P12, this was the best result for an American debutant since Sanny Sullivan finished 11th at the 1983 Brazillian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon's point in the sister car marked Williams' first score in a season-opening race since 2017.

Piastri emulates Brabham

It was a nightmare weekend in Bahrain for McLaren, with Oscar Piastri becoming the first Australian to retire from his debut race since David Brabham in 1990.

The matter was made worse after Lando Norris, who made six stops during the race, registered the worst result of his career in P17.

READ MORE: Alonso: Stroll 'my hero' after courageous injury-defying points

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