F1 Bahrain GP: The Formula 1 2023 is all set to be kicked off as the first race promises to be a high-voltage action between some fierce competitors. The race will be held in Bahrain on Sunday evening and defending champion Max Verstappen is aiming to start the season on a high note. Before the action unfolds, here are the things you can watch out for in the season opener.
Max Verstappen eyes win in Sakhir
Red Bull driver and defending champion Max Verstappen looks to start the season on a high note. He took the pole position after leapfrogging teammate Sergio Perez, who took second place. As it looks, Red Bull are quicker than Ferrari and the rest in this race. Both- Perez and Verstappen were forced to retire last time in Bahrain and they would want to give a better performance.
Ferrari chase win
Even though Red Bull looked strong, Ferrari are not far behind. To add to their chances, Charles Leclerc has a set of fresh soft tyres, which could push him fast towards the top grid. As Red Bull took the front grid, Ferrari settled for third and fourth. Having a new set of soft tyres in the start can spice things up for them.
Fernando Alonso in the hunt of a podium
Veteran Fernando Alonso had a brilliant outing in the Saturday qualifying. He also claimed that he felt incredible with the result of the qualifying and feels he can compete with the Ferraris for a podium finish.
Mercedes look to challenge
Mercedes took 6th and 7th in the grid and were around 0.6s slower than the Red Bulls at the front. Lewis Hamilton felt they are not competitive enough but can still push for the podium if not race for a win. They had a good speed in the race than qualifying and can pose a good challenge to Alonso and the Ferraris.
Close midfield and Rookies in the mix
The midfield is looking close and there are some rookies also in the mix. The teams like Aston Martin, Alpine and Haas have their drivers in the top 10. Hulkenberg made an impressive run in qualifying to take his Haas to 10th place, while Ocon finished in 9th. Rookies like Sargeant, Piastri and De Vries look to challenge from behind and look to earn some points in the first race of the season.