F1 Bahrain GP 2024 – Driver of the Day

Carlos Sainz produced a masterful drive to take his Ferrari onto the podium at the 2024 Bahrain GP

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Carlos Sainz took home the Driver of the Day award in the opening race of the season as the Ferrari star impressed at the Formula 1 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Spaniard had begun the season with the disappointing news that he would be replaced in the team by Lewis Hamilton for 2025, needing to find a drive for next season and put himself in a shop window for a potential seat at Mercedes or Red Bull.

And the 29-year-old did himself justice, showing he still has a lot of talent behind the wheel, as he upstaged his team-mate Charles Leclerc twice, overtaking the Monegasque in a thrilling battle before settling for a place on the podium.

He started fourth on the grid behind George Russell, but found his way past the Briton during the second stint and put up some strong resistance to Sergio Perez too as he claimed third, making him the best of the rest.

He was subsequently named Driver of the Day by fans voting at home after finishing an overall impressive weekend on a high with his 12th podium for the Prancing Horse since joining in 2021.

Ferrari struggle to show pace

It wasn’t quite the afternoon Ferrari would have been hoping for after starting P2 and P4 for Saturday’s race, with the Scuderia still a fair distance from being quick enough to catch Red Bull and Charles Leclerc struggling with rear grip.

Max Verstappen’s winning margin of 18 seconds was perhaps misleading given how he was a in league of his own. Some may feel the Dutchman was hard done by after cruising off into the distance.

But the pace of the RB20 is well established, whereas it is fair to say a big question mark had been placed over Sainz after he was brutally discarded by the Italian team.

But maybe there will be some feelings of regret with that decision if Sainz continues to produce performances of this kind.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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