Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 finish in F1 opener, Hamilton is 3rd

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Formula 1 starts the 2022 season in Bahrain, and while the opening race started with David Croft’s familiar “it’s lights out and away we go!” the event saw an unfamiliar conclusion: a one-two finish from last year’s midfield team, Scuderia Ferrari.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Who won the F1 2022 Bahrain GP?

    Scuderia Ferrari won the F1 2022 Bahrain GP.
  • Who took P1 and P2 in the said GP?

    They were both Ferrari Drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.
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    After 45 races, The Prancing Horse’s F1 team managed to make it to the podium once again. Charles Leclerc claimed his first win since Italy in 2019 to lead Ferrari’s spectacular victory. The Monégasque is followed by Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who steps into the podium for the seventh time.

    “It feels amazing, obviously after yesterday it already felt great, but we had to finish the business today and we did a one-two – so it’s the perfect start to the season. And I’m incredibly happy after the last two years, which have been very difficult for the team, for myself, for Carlos last year. We had to work extremely hard and… to finally prove all the work we did in the last two years is paying off felt amazing. So for now it’s started in the best way possible – pole position, victory, fastest lap, a one-two today with Carlos – we couldn’t hope for better,” Leclerc said to Formula 1.

    The race started with Leclerc in pole position after he beat defending world champion Max Verstappen’s time in qualifying, placing the Belgian-Dutch race driver in P2. Both Leclerc and Verstappen made a good start with the Ferrari driver holding onto the lead despite the constant pressure from the Red Bull car.

    Behind them, engaged in their own battle were Sainz Jr. — son of rally driver Sainz Sr. — and Sergio “Checo” Pérez. During the scramble, the Mexican Red Bull driver lost places to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and returning Haas driver, Kevin Magnussen. Pérez then went on the attack on lap three, with the aid of DRS, to claim back the third spot by passing Magnussen and the seven-time world champion.

    Back at the fore, Leclerc continues to fight with Verstappen for P1. The battle went on for several laps but ultimately, the Ferrari driver was able to maintain his lead.

    At lap 54, Verstappen encountered steering and power unit issues on his Red Bull RB18. Immediately, the Red Bull driver was passed by Sainz Jr. who gladly took his place right behind the leading Ferrari.

    “I mean, what happened at the end is obviously very frustrating, but of course before that, quite a few issues. First of all the balance was off. I didn’t have the same feeling as on Friday on the long runs, so that was a bit disappointing. Then suddenly my steering, I don’t know what happened to that, it was just completely locked and the faster I was going, I could barely steer. So it was not easy on the restart to defend from Carlos. But then I was still in second with that big issue so you think, okay, with all these issues that I’ve had today, second would be a good result. And then suddenly I had to retire, everything just switched off. It looked like a fuel pump or issue, there was no fuel coming to the engine,” Verstappen said to Formula 1 on Sunday.

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    Similarly, the remaining Red Bull car driven by Checo encountered engine failure which opened an opportunity for Lewis Hamilton.

    “I was very unfortunate. I lost the engine, just locked the rears completely and there was nothing I could do. It looks a very similar problem to what Max had. I’m definitely disappointed but we are a strong team and it’s a long season ahead of us, we just have to remain working as hard as possible and next weekend is another opportunity,” said Pérez.

    At the end of the race, Leclerc now holds 26 points, followed by Sainz Jr. with 18 points, and Hamilton with 15 points.

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    New Mercedes driver George Russel takes the fourth spot while Magnussen finishes P5. Ocon finished P6 despite his five-second penalty. Young guns Tsunoda and Guanyu also managed to score points for their teams so as veteran Fernando Alonso.

    Photos from FIA and Formula 1

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