2024 Bahrain Grand Prix: Red Bull & Max Verstappen Dominate

The 2024 season kicked of at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, for the officially titled Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on March 10, 2024

Reviewed and checked by Mark Phelan

Max Verstappen driving the Red Bull Racing RB20
Max Verstappen driving the Red Bull Racing RB20 – Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, the inagural race of the the longest season in F1 history started the 2024 Formula One World Championship.

Introducing a departure from the norm, the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix saw a change of schdule with the race being held on a Saturday, instead of a Sunday, due to F1 observing Ramadan later in the season.

Max Verstappen defending his 2023 title with Red Bull Racing qualified on pole position and dominated the race from lights out leading all 57 laps of the race. Along with pole, securing the win, and recording the fastest lap, he earned his fifth career grand chelem (grand slam). His teammate, Sergio Pérez, clinched second place, with Carlos Sainz driving for Ferrari completing the podium in third.

Championship background

With free practice starting on 29th February through to the race on 2nd March, the event marked the start of the 2024 Formula One World Championship and celebrated the 20th edition of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The race, starting at 18:00 local time, was the first Formula One World Championship season opener to be held on a Saturday since the 1982 South African Grand Prix. This scheduling shift was made to follow FIA regulations that stipulate at least one week must elapse between each Grand Prix. The adjustment to the normal schdule allowed for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to take place on the 9th of March, moved a day earlier to prevent an overlap with the start of Ramadan on the 10th of March.

Race entries

The lineup of drivers and teams remained the same as the 2024 season’s entry list, featuring no reserve drivers for the race.

Tyre choices

Pirelli supplied the C1, C2, and C3 tyre compounds for the race, representing the three hardest options in their range. These were designated as hard, medium, and soft, respectively, for the teams to use.

Free Practice

Three free practice sessions took place during the race weekend. FP1 was held on the 29th February, starting at 14:30 local time, with Daniel Ricciardo for RB setting the fastest time, followed by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, both from McLaren. Later that day, at 18:00 local time, FP2 saw Lewis Hamilton lead, with his Mercedes teammate George Russell and Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin following in second and third respectively.

The final practice session, FP3 was held on the 1st of March, at 15:30 local time, where the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz recorded the fastest time, ahead of Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Full Free Practice Reports


Qualifying was held on the 1st of March 2024, at 19:00 local time with Max Verstappen clinching pole position for the season’s first race, overcoming competition from Charles Leclerc’s quick pace, followed by George Russell in third.

Full Qualifying Report

1) Max VerstappenRed Bull1:29.179
2) Charles LeclercFerrari+0.228
3) George RussellMercedes+0.306
4) Carlos SainzFerrari+0.328
5) Sergio PerezRed Bull+0.358
6) Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+0.363
7) Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.435
8) Oscar PiastriMcLaren+0.504
9) Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.531
10) Nico HulkenbergHaas+1.323
Knocked out in Q2
11) Yuki TsunodaRB1:30.129
12) Lance StrollAston Martin1:30.200
13) Alex AlbonWilliams1:30.221
14) Daniel RicciardoRB1:30.278
15) Kevin MagnussenHaas1:30.529
Knocked out in Q1
16) Valtteri BottasSauber1:30.756
17) Zhou GuanyuSauber1:30.757
18) Logan SargeantWilliams1:30.770
19) Esteban OconAlpine1:30.793
20) Pierre GaslyAlpine1:30.948

What happened in the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix?

In an impressive display of skill and strategy, Max Verstappen kicked off his Formula 1 world championship defence with a win, leading a Red Bull one-two finish alongside Sergio Perez at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Commanding the track from start to finish, Verstappen not only clinched victory by a significant margin of 22 seconds ahead of Perez, who had an outstanding ascent from fifth to second but also earned an additional point for recording the fastest lap of the race.

Carlos Sainz, set to be succeeded by Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari next season, showcased his prowess by securing the last spot on the podium, outshining his teammate Charles Leclerc. Leclerc faced brake issues, which saw him fall from his initial second-place start, but he managed to recover to fourth after overtaking MercedesGeorge Russell in the closing stages.

Lando Norris defended his position against Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to finish sixth, while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took eighth place. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll finished in the top 10, marking a race where all 20 competitors crossed the finish line, demonstrating remarkable reliability across the board.

Verstappen’s victory in Bahrain extends his winning streak to eight races and reinforces the predictions of Red Bull’s continued dominance following the 2023 season where they won 21 out of 22 races. Despite this, the distinctive demands of the Sakhir circuit’s surface hint at potential competitiveness in the upcoming 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Street Circuit, providing a glimmer of hope for Red Bull’s rivals.

2024 Bahrain Grand Prix race results

1) Max VerstappenRed Bull1:31:44.74226*
2) Sergio PerezRed Bull+22.45718
3) Carlos SainzFerrari+25.11015
4) Charles LeclercFerrari+39.66912
5) George RussellMercedes+46.78810
6) Lando NorrisMcLaren+48.4588
7) Lewis HamiltonMercedes+50.3246
8) Oscar PiastriMcLaren+56.0824
9) Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+1:14.8872
10) Lance StrollAston Martin+1:33.2161
11) Zhou GuanyuSauber+1 lap0
12) Kevin MagnussenHaas+1 lap0
13) Daniel RicciardoRB+1 lap0
14) Yuki TsunodaRB+1 lap0
15) Alex AlbonWilliams+1 lap0
16) Nico HulkenbergHaas+1 lap0
17) Esteban OconAlpine+1 lap0
18) Pierre GaslyAlpine+1 lap0
19) Valtteri BottasSauber+1 lap0
20) Logan SargeantWilliams+2 laps0
*Fastest lap: Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT) – 1:32.608 (lap 39)

2024 Post-Race F1 Championship Standings

Championship standings for Drivers’ and Teams after the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

2024 Post-Race F1 Drivers’ Championship Standings

1Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT26
2Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT18
3Carlos SainzESPFerrari15
4Charles LeclercMONFerrari12
5George RussellGBRMercedes10
6Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren8
7Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes6
8Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren4
9Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Mercedes2
10Lance StrollCANAston Martin Mercedes1
11Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team0
12Kevin MagnussenDENHaas Ferrari0
13Daniel RicciardoAUSRB-Honda RBPT0
14Yuki TsunodaJPNRB-Honda RBPT0
15Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Mercedes0
16Nico HulkenbergGERHaas Ferrari0
17Esteban OconFRAAlpine Renualt0
18Pierre GaslyFRAAlpine Renualt0
19Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team0
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Mercedes0

2024 Post-Race F1 Constructors’ Championship Standings

1Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT44
4McLaren Mercedes12
5Aston Martin Mercedes3
6Stake F1 Team0
7Haas Ferrari0
8RB-Honda RBPT0
9Williams Mercedes0
10Alpine Renualt0

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Lee Parker
Lee Parker

Lee is our staff writer specialising in anything technical within Formula 1 from aerodynamics to engines. Lee writes most of our F1 guides for beginners and experienced fans having followed the sports since 1991, researching and understanding how teams build the ultimate machines. Like everyone else on the team he listens to podcasts about F1 and enjoys reading biographies of former drivers.

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