2024 Bahrain GP: Highlights and Reaction to Max Verstappen grand slam in a dominant win

Follow the Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 live with expert insights, updates, and more as the new Formula 1 season begins

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Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Welcome to our coverage of the 2024 Bahrain GP, a landmark event in the Formula 1 calendar. This year, the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir hosts the season opener, marking a significant departure from tradition with a Saturday race. This adjustment not only anticipates the holy month of Ramadan but also sets the stage for a season brimming with excitement and innovation.

For the first time in over three decades, Formula 1 introduces Saturday races into the regular season schedule, with the Bahrain GP leading this historic change. 

This decision, deeply rooted in respect for cultural practices, ensures the race does not coincide with Ramadan, observed from March 10 to April 9, 2024. The global F1 community is buzzing with anticipation, as this change brings a fresh dynamic to the racing season.

Stay tuned for live updates, expert commentary, and behind-the-scenes insights from the 2024 Bahrain GP. With the engines ready to roar into action, the Bahrain International Circuit is set to showcase the pinnacle of motorsport technology and the incredible skill of the world’s best drivers. 

Whether you’re a seasoned F1 fan or new to the sport, our live coverage will ensure you don’t miss a moment of the high-speed drama and action. Join us for a spectacular start to the 2024 Formula 1 season!

2024 Bahrain GP Live – Latest F1 updates and highlights


High praise for the champion from a rival’s boss

Charles Leclerc had a disaster with his Ferrari at the season opener

Horner reacts to dominant F1 weekend

After a very challenging week off the track Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was delighted as he was speaking to Sky Sports F1:

“The perfect start and a very dominant race. I have to say a big thank you to all the men and women back at Milton Keynes who have worked so hard over the winter. It’s testimony to all that hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

“A great team performance to get that one-two finish and maximum points today. You can see it’s an aggressive revolution. The whole team have done a wonderful job.

“They haven’t rested on their laurels. They have pushed hard and pushed the boundaries. You can see there’s a lot of innovative ideas on the car. It’s a strong evolution.”

Can anyone stop this man in 2024?

An unstoppable duo: Newey and Verstappen

As the Dutch and Austrian national anthems, all too familiarly, blare out in Bahrain, the footage rightfully focuses on Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey.

Newey’s latest technical monster is once again the class of the field, securing another 1-2 for Red Bull in this new ground effect era.

LAP 57: Verstappen WINS the Bahrain GP

The Dutchman produces a grand slam to absolutely crush the opposition. That’s the world championship over and it only took 57 laps of the season.

Perez finishes second ahead of Carlos Sainz.

LAP 55: Tsunoda is furious

The Japanese driver is famed for his angry radio outbursts and he’s letting his engineer know what he thinks as he says Ricciardo isn’t even that fast.

To be fair, Tsunoda is 0.7 behind on hards whilst the Australian is on softs and making no progress on Magnussen…

LAP 53: RB boys are arguing

Yuki Tsunoda is told to swap positions so Daniel Ricciardo can have a run at Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and whilst he complies, he isn’t happy to do so and lets his engineer know.

Ricciardo says, “I don’t think I have to say anything.”

Are they both tense about the prospect of the Red Bull seat for 2025?

LAP 52: Norris gunning for Russell

The McLaren has found a bit of second wind as Norris hunts after George Russell for 5th place. The gap is two seconds.

LAP 48: Astons swap around

There isn’t much resistance from Lance Stroll as Fernando Alonso goes by in a bit of synchronised driving. That’s now P9 for Alonso and 10th for Stroll, with the Canadian producing a good recovery drive.

LAP 46: Russell finally breaks

Remember Turn 10? How drivers love to lock-up there? George Russell finally does it and that allows Charles Leclerc to scamper through and up into fourth.

LAP 45: Leclerc is faster in all the wrong places

The Ferrari is quicker than the Mercedes and hangs onto the gearbox throughout the corners but it’s just lacking an extra bit of something on the straight to get the move signed, sealed and delivered.

LAP 44: Now we can fight… Alonso up to 10th

After taking a lot of pain for most of the race, Alonso can finally begin to battle with a few cars as he clears Zhou Guanyu for 10th place.

Next up the road is Lance Stroll, who is five seconds ahead.

LAP 43: Russell holds off Leclerc… For now

The Ferrari is pushing for fourth place despite all of its problems, but it doesn’t count have the traction to maximise DRS in the second of the three locations around the lap.

This feels like it’s more a case of when, not if.

LAP 42: Alonso finally pits

After running a mammoth middle stint, possibly hoping for a safety car or red flag, Fernando Alonso can finally pit for hards.

He drops behind Stroll and Zhou but will have fresher rubber to try to rein them in. He’s seven seconds behind Stroll.

LAP 41: Norris in trouble at the end?

Hamilton questions the speed of the McLarens but Bono calmly tells him that Norris pushed hard on the out-lap so he might be in trouble towards the end of the race. 16 laps to go.

Lap 40: Verstappen lapping exactly half a second faster

The defending world champion sets a 1:32.608 on the softs to take the fastest lap as he is exactly half a second per lap faster than Carlos Sainz in the nearest non-Red Bull.

Lap 38: Verstappen pits

His gap to second is so great that you can’t actually see another car in the heli-cam shot. He will probably win every race this season unless reliability has anything to say about it.

He puts on the softs to go 19 laps.

Lap 37: Norris up to 6th, Perez pits

Perez can’t use the hards so he switches to the softs with Carlos Sainz hot on his heels. Can the Ferrari fight back at him later in the race? Perez has a dilemma between pushing or saving his tyres.

Norris passes an out-of-sync Alonso for 6th.

LAP 35-36: Leclerc and Piastri pit

At least the pit-stops have been okay for Leclerc but Oscar Piastri loses out to Lewis Hamilton!

As the McLaren exits the pit, he sees the Mercedes coming thundering down the straight and immediately attempts to cover it off but he doesn’t have the grip to do so and slides off the track.

Hamilton and his experience allows him to simply cut back underneath and take 8th place, opening up a three second gap on the Australian in the process.

Leclerc is running in 5th after overtaking Fernando Alonso.

LAP 34: Norris and Hamilton pit

Mercedes and McLaren pit both their cars at the same time as Oscar Piastri looks to go one lap longer with a three second gap to Hamilton.

LAP 33: Stroll dives past Zhou

After the opening lap contact, the alternate strategy is working well for Stroll as he gets past the Sauber for 13th, which is realistically around 10th.

LAP 32: Russell pits; problem for Bottas

Russell is in and out in 2.9 seconds on the hards but the same can’t be said for Valtteri Bottas who has to wait for a minute and 14 seconds to get his Sauber serviced as the mechanics are unable to get the tyre bolted on.

He’s now 19th and basically out of contention practically anything in this race.

LAP 31: Magnussen locks up into Turn 10

It’s certainly a driver favourite to lock up at the fast, half-blind, downhill left hander and Magnussen is the latest driver to do just that.

LAP 29: Stroll pits

That probably means we can expect to see Hamilton respond in about five laps if Stroll has any decent pace to offer.

Zhou pits in response in the meantime giving Alonso an eight-second margin to Tsunoda in 10th.

LAP 28: Hamilton gets it all wrong at Turn 10

The Briton goes too deep but rather than locking a wheel, he decides to just run wide and carry on. He’s consistently three seconds behind Oscar Piastri but he’s 11 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso.

LAP 26: The pace order between the top teams

At the moment, it looks like Red Bull are clearly half a second faster than their next challenger in the hands of Verstappen. That next challenger is Ferrari, then Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin.

Of course, we are only 26 laps into a sample of one.

LAP 24: Mercedes PU problems continue

Both cars have been told to increase their lift and coast as they seek to keep temperatures under control in the middle-phase of the race. Russell is 5.5 seconds off the podium whilst Hamilton is in 8th, three seconds behind Oscar Piastri and around nine seconds behind his teammate.

LAP 23: Tsunoda hot after Zhou

The race has just settled down for a moment but Yuki Tsunoda is chasing after Zhou Guanyu for the final points’ spot with Lance Stroll not too far behind.

LAP 20: A recap of the order

Verstappen leads, comfortably as he sets the fastest lap. We can forget about him for the next 37 laps.

Perez is six seconds behind in 2nd, with Sainz 2.6 behind and Russell 2.1 behind Sainz.

Then comes Leclerc, Norris, Piastri, Hamilton, Alonso and Zhou in 10th.

LAP 19: Power issues for Russell

The Mercedes power unit is complaining about the Middle Eastern heat and he has absolutely nothing at hand to stop Carlos Sainz from going past him into Turn 4.

Sainz up to third as his excellent start to this season continues so far.

LAP 18: Verstappen pits

I forgot he was in the race to be honest. He is that far clear that everything is completely a walk in the park.

After pitting several laps later than Perez, he still leads his teammate by five seconds.

LAP 17-18: Round two for the Ferrari’s

Sainz tries down the inside at the end of the third DRS zone but doesn’t get the chance to make a move, so he patiently waits for the rest of the lap and then absolutely sends it down the inside into Turn 1!

Great move by Sainz, he’s really out to prove something this season! Leclerc locks up again!

LAP 16: Problem for Hamilton!

The Mercedes driver complains that he has a battery problem, saying it’s showing 1% but he isn’t losing enough time at the moment. Maybe it was a gremlin and it’s been solved now.

He’s 10th, 3.3 seconds behind Oscar Piastri.

LAP 15: Sainz won’t be happy…

After overtaking Leclerc, Sainz is left out and Leclerc gets ahead of him with the undercut. Leclerc is still complaining about front-locking on his tyres.

LAP 14: Perez schools Russell

Using DRS to get into range, Perez watches Russell protect the inside, pays no interest and takes his line and gives the Mercedes driver a cheery wave as he drives past him on the exit.

Perez up to second now.

LAP 14: This is a howler so far from Leclerc

Will the Ferrari driver actually manage to string a clean lap together at some point? This is the worst race for him in some time.

Perez has pitted and is on Russell’s gearbox.

LAP 12: Russell and Leclerc pit

This could trigger an undercut which Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle describes as “powerful”. Let’s see how this plays out…

LAP 11: Sainz sets the bar on Leclerc!

The Ferraris will not cooperate much this year as Sainz has to prove himself to the rest of the F1 grid and he dives down the inside at Turn 1 and leaves his teammate no space on the edge of the track.

Good move, hard but fair.

LAP 11: Yellows for Sargeant

The American pulls up at Turn 4, waits for some time and then gets going again. It was a weird one.

Lap 10: Hamilton passes Alonso

The Mercedes dives down the inside of Alonso into Turn 1 and defends from him into Turn 4, Alonso down to 9th as the Aston Martin simply has absolutely no race pace.

Lap 8: DRS saves Leclerc

Another lock up and he’s pressured by Carlos Sainz but Leclerc keeps DRS so he can defend his place.

Russell has a gap of over one second to Perez behind.

Lap 7: Perez up to third!

Perez claims Leclerc’s scalp at the end of the third DRS straight as the Monegasque struggles with his tyres.

Carlos Sainz is all over his teammate now and thinks he is faster, Ferrari have to be careful.

Verstappen leads by six seconds.

Lap 6: Alonso down to 8th

The Aston Martin doesn’t appear to have a lot of speed at the moment as Alonso has shuffled behind both McLarens and has Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes close too.

A stark contrast from this time last year as the Spaniard finds himself in eighth.

LAP 5: Verstappen leads by four seconds

It’s going to be a repeat of 2023 with the Dutchman checking out at the front and a close pack behind.

Russell, Leclerc, Perez and Sainz are all separated by about two seconds.

Stroll and Hulkenberg incident

Stroll got ahead of Hulkenberg but the German was too late on the brakes

That knocked the Aston Martin into a spin and Hulkenberg was left with front wing damage. There wasn’t much in it and it’s had huge consequences for both.

LAP 3: Russell around the outside of Leclerc! Alonso struggles!

The Mercedes dances around the outside of Turn 4 to take second place as Fernando Alonso drops behind Lando Norris into 7th and just manages to hold station ahead of Oscar Piastri and Lewis Hamilton.

LAP 2: DRS open due to new regulations

DRS will now be opened on Lap 2 going forwards, instead of Lap 3 but it doesn’t matter for Verstappen as he opens a 1.6 second gap over Leclerc.

LAP 1: Damage for Hulkenberg!

The Haas has front wing damage and he drops to 19th ahead of Stroll, did they make contact?

LIGHTS OUT: VERSTAPPEN LEADS

Formula 1 is back as Verstappen defends from Leclerc into Turn 1 and Lance Stroll spins at the first turn, disaster for the Canadian!

The race is imminent! Here are the tyre sets available for each driver

The C2 medium isn’t likely to be used as it doesn’t offer a wide range of benefits to the drivers.

It’s national anthem time!

The start of the 2024 Formula 1 season is almost upon us as the Bahraini national anthem is played at the circuit! The race starts in just over 10 minutes time!

Are Red Bull compromised?

At the high degradation circuit, the medium tyres are almost useless. They have the same pace as the hards whilst not offering the same life and they lack the outright speed of the softs.

But that didn’t stop Red Bull using an extra set of hards compared to their rivals. Could that compromise them if they misjudged the rate of tyre deg in the race which is expected to be a two-stopper?

Red Bull were thought to have excellent, virtually non-existent, loss of tyre life throughout testing and it will be discovered how true that is today.

Here is the final grid for the Bahrain GP, which begins in 30 minutes

Who will win the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix? Here are the odds…

Max Verstappen is on pole, a story that’s all-too familiar over recent years but the chasing pack are not far behind.

Can Charles Leclerc or George Russell beat him to the win? How much money can you win if someone other than Red Bull emerge victorious?

Here are the odds for the Bahrain GP.

Sky Bet have price boosted Verstappen to 11/4 to win, whilst Leclerc is 7/1 and Russell is 20/1.

Hello everyone and welcome to our live blog for the 2024 Bahrain GP as the new Formula 1 season gets underway.

Start time for F1 2024 Bahrain GP

CountryBahrain GP 2024 Start Time
BahrainMarch 2, 18:00
UKMarch 2, 15:00
Canada (ET/PT)March 2, 10:00 / 07:00
USA (ET/PT)March 2, 10:00/ 07:00
IrelandMarch 2, 15:00
Australia (AEDT)March 3, 02:00
South AfricaMarch 2, 17:00
New ZealandMarch 3, 04:00
EU (CET)March 2, 16:00

What is the UK start time for the 2024 Bahrain GP?

The UK start time for the 2024 Bahrain GP is 15:00 (3:00 PM) on Saturday, March 2nd​​, with the race being broadcast live on Sky Sports F1. 

What is the US start time for the 2024 Bahrain GP?

The start time for the 2024 Bahrain GP in the USA, specifically for the Eastern Time Zone (ET), is 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 2nd, and for the Pacific Time Zone (PT), is 7:00 AM. 

Why is the 2024 F1 Bahrain GP on Saturday?

The 2024 F1 Bahrain GP is scheduled on a Saturday to accommodate the holy month of Ramadan, which takes place from March 10 to April 9, 2024. During Ramadan, Muslims around the world engage in fasting, prayer, and reflection, which influences the scheduling of major sporting events to ensure they do not occur during this period. 

Holding the Bahrain GP on a Saturday, before Ramadan begins, aligns with this consideration, ensuring the event respects the cultural and religious practices of the period. This adjustment reflects Formula 1‘s flexibility and respect for global cultural and religious events.

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