Zhou Guanyu claimed the fastest lap at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, won’t claim the championship point for doing so after finishing 16th.
That means Pierre Gasly was cruelly denied an extra point, he raced brilliantly after starting at the back of the grid to finish ninth, while his Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon retired after starting ninth.
Gasly had set the fastest lap with ten laps to go after he pitted for soft tyres under a late VSC and looked like he could get a deserved three points.
However, Gasly have to settle for two points after Zhou outpaced him on the last lap of the race.
That capped a positive first weekend for Alfa Romeo, who qualified 12th and 13th for the race led by Valtteri Bottas.
Though the team had hoped to get into Q3, Bottas made amends with a fantastic start to the race and his top ten position never really looked in doubt.
Zhou wasn’t able to replicate his teammate’s heroics, but the fastest lap demonstrated that he can keep pace with the more experienced Finn.
Entertaining desert duel despite Dutch dominance
Max Verstappen claimed the win in Bahrain with a result that never really looked in doubt.
The Dutchman only surrendered his lead when pitting, but even a late VSC, caused by Charles Leclerc‘s retirement with an engine problem, never looked like threatening his lead.
However, Fernando Alonso lit the race up with his charge from seventh to third. He duelled with George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz on his way to the podium and vanquished them all wheel-to-wheel whilst masterfully controlling his tyres.
He picked up the pieces from Leclerc‘s retirement but still needed to be there to do it, and Aston Martin had more joy as Lance Stroll held off George Russell for sixth place.