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Ferrari Achieves Overwhelming Victory in Electrifying F1 Return

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Formula 1 is back, and after a three-month break since Max Verstappen’s controversial crowning as champion last year, the first Grand Prix of the season did not disappoint. In an unpredictable race, Ferrari, the sport’s best-known team, returned to the laurels of victory after years of drought and claimed first and second place on the podium, for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively, with Lewis Hamilton joining them in third place.

The Bahrain Grand Prix marked the beginning of a new era in Formula 1, as this will be the first season with a series of new technical and financial regulations designed to increase the sport’s competitiveness, after eight years of almost uninterrupted dominance by Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc was the winner of the Bahrain GP, with teammate Carlos Sainz coming in second place (EFE)

Ferrari achieves overwhelming victory and capitalizes on Red Bull debacle

Leclerc came into Sunday’s race in an excellent position; his Ferrari started the race in first place after an excellent qualifying round on Saturday. Leclerc faced—for the vast majority of the race—strong pressure from the Red Bull of Verstappen, who started in second place.

Verstappen and Leclerc were in an electrifying head-to-head battle in which the Ferrari driver managed to maintain his lead for most of the race. The final laps of the Grand Prix pointed to a clear advantage for Leclerc, until an accident in Pierre Gasely’s car forced the FIA to drive a safety car, giving Max a chance to come back and snatch the victory from Charles.

However, the Red Bull engine had other ideas, forcing Verstappen to retire from the race (after being overtaken by Sainz) and leave Bahrain without points, a fate that teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez also suffered on the last lap of the race, leaving Red Bull without points on this first day of the season.

Ferrari had a dream season start (EFE)

Ferrari’s car and engine seem to be the fastest and most reliable on the grid, not only did they set excellent times in Saturday’s qualifying, but the other teams with a Ferrari engine (Haas and Alfa Romeo) outperformed those with Mercedes engines (McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin) or Red Bull.

Ferrari, which had not been a serious contender for the title for two consecutive seasons, started the new season on a very good footing, as they have managed to score a valuable 44 points and have a car that seems fast and reliable. Mercedes and Red Bull will have to work overtime if they want to compete against the Maranello team.

Haas resuscitates, McLaren suffers

The other two big stories to be written at the Bahrain circuit were the sudden downfall of McLaren and the spectacular resurrection of Haas. The former, the home team of veteran Daniel Ricciardo and rising star Lando Norris, finished a disappointing P15-P16. While Haas, which did not score a single point in the whole of last season and is without a sponsor, managed a surprising P5 in the hands of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher (Michael’s son) was just one place away from scoring his first points in Formula 1.

The former was coming off a couple of successful seasons, bouncing back from terrible years, taking a historic win at Monza last year, their first since 2012. Unfortunately for McLaren, the change in technical regulations seems to have worked against them and their cars had serious brake problems in the pre-season practice sessions. Although in theory the problems were fixed, both cars were sluggish, leaving Ricciardo and Norris fighting to avoid being at the back of the grid.

The Bahrain race was the first with the revolutionary new technical regulations (EFE).

If the McLaren offices are in crisis mode, at Haas they have reason to celebrate for the first time in years. The only American team in Formula 1 has had a couple of years to forget, scoring just three points in two full seasons. The start of this season did not look promising for Haas either, after it decided to terminate its commercial agreement with its sponsor Uralki (a company owned by a Russian oligarch) and replace one of its drivers due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Despite this tumultuous preseason, Kevin Magnussen managed to give Haas its best result since 2018 and put them (provisionally) in third place in the teams’ competition. The Haas car, under development since last year, seems to be up to the task, only time will tell if this will be enough to make the team that was a cinderella this couple of years competitive again.

We won’t have to wait long to see how the teams and drivers react to yesterday’s race, as Formula 1 returns this weekend for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.

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