It was an excellent way to start the season for Ferrari after Charles Leclerc was able to brush off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and cross the finish line first, their first win since 2019. Their joy was doubled after Carlos Sainz finished second, to give them their best result in a long while. Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, finished third to complete the podium. Fellow Mercedes teammate, George Russell, held the fourth position.
Red Bull, on the other hand, had a bad day as they picked up zero points. 2021 world champion, Max Verstappen did not finish as he had to retire with just three laps to go after a complaint of a problem with the steering. Things got further worse after Sergio Perez, who they placed their last hope on, had his car suddenly stopped. Perez was chasing second place, struggling to keep Hamilton at bay, until he stopped right on the track, forcing him to retire.
Leclerc and Verstappen spent the earlier part of the race, trading positions as they led the track. Leclerc was then able to retain first place, with Verstappen following closely behind. A Safety Car had to be brought out after AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly’s car went up in flames. Upon the restart, Verstappen started to complain about certain issues with the car, like the steering, battery, and a fuel pump fault. The issues were enough to make him go for a pit stop and end the race there. Sainz also suffered the same issue as he also ended his race shortly after Verstappen. Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner, commented that the issue may be the fuel system in both cars, but this was not confirmed.
The season-opener ended in a way nobody could have guessed, partly because Ferrari has been out of form for so long now, that it was unlikely to imagine that they would produce such fantastic result. They currently lead the driver’s and constructor’s leaderboard, with Mercedes following at second place.
Written by: Leon Osamor