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In the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, the podium had seen Red Bull-Honda dominate, confirming its status as the leading force. Fernando Alonso, in the Aston Martin-Mercedes, had secured third place, trailing the winner by 38.637 seconds, while Carlos Sainz had finished fourth with a gap of 48.052 seconds. This year, Sainz improved his position, finishing third and crossing the line 25.110 seconds after Max Verstappen, while Alonso slipped to 1'14.887. Mercedes remained stable, with George Russell finishing fifth at 46.788 seconds, whereas in 2023 Lewis Hamilton had finished fifth with a gap of 50.977 seconds.

These data might suggest progress for Ferrari against Red Bull, although the 25-second gap between Sainz and Verstappen isn't particularly significant. However, we must consider the SF-24's strong performance in qualifying and the fact that Charles Leclerc faced brake issues from the first lap. Without these setbacks, Leclerc could have held onto his initial second position and further closed the gap to Verstappen.

The fact remains that Red Bull remains the car to beat, with Verstappen consistently precise, composed, and confident. Sergio Perez also had a strong race, starting fifth and finishing second. However, there are still rumors suggesting his replacement with Daniel Ricciardo, who failed to impress with the Racing Bulls, finishing ahead of his teammate Yuki Tsunoda due to a questionable team decision. Not a promising start as team principal for former Ferrari director Laurent Mekies.

Sainz showed great determination during the race, engaging in a tight duel with Leclerc and then overtaking Russell with a fine move. He attempted to catch Perez but without success. Leclerc performed admirably despite brake issues, finding a way to continue the race and pass Russell towards the end. Mercedes was disappointing, with Russell only fifth due to power unit overheating and Hamilton seventh. Toto Wolff continues to face challenges.

Even McLaren-Mercedes failed to impress, neither in qualifying nor in the race, with Lando Norris sixth and Oscar Piastri eighth. There's disappointment in Aston Martin, with Alonso only sixth in qualifying and far from having a competitive pace in the race, finishing ninth over a minute behind the winner. Lance Stroll earned points after a recovery drive, having to deal with a collision with Nico Hulkenberg at the first corner, triggered by Valtteri Bottas.

Haas-Ferrari delivered a strong performance with Kevin Magnussen finishing twelfth. Williams-Mercedes remained outside the points, with Alexander Albon fifteenth despite a strong qualifying on Friday. Logan Sargeant was invisible, making a mistake that cost him time, confirming the difficulties compared to 2023. Dark clouds loom over the Sauber and Alpine garages.

© Cavalieri Garage & Co.


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