Max Verstappen wins record-breaking F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024
  • Defending F1 champion leads Sergio Perez to Red Bull one-two in Kingdom’s 20th anniversary F1 race
  • Carlos Sainz claims final podium step in third place for Ferrari
  • Five constructors put both cars in the points, including Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin

Max Verstappen claimed a magnificent victory this evening in an historic and record-breaking Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024—the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 20th anniversary F1 race held at a brilliantly lit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.

The three-time defending drivers’ world champion started from pole and dominated the 57-lap event, celebrating ‘20 Years of a Modern Classic’ as the first-ever F1 Saturday night race in Bahrain.

As a spectacular firework display dotted the night sky, Verstappen crossed the finish line with a 22-second gap, leading Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to a sensational one-two. They were joined on the podium by Carlos Sainz of Ferrari.

Verstappen earned his 55th career victory in F1 and second in a row at ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’. He also clocked the race’s fastest lap.

Presenting Verstappen his winner’s trophy during the podium ceremony was His Majesty the King’s Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs Representative, His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem also presented the FIA President’s Medal to the Red Bull superstar.

Gulf Air Chairman Zayed R Alzayani handed over the trophy to the winning constructors.

Minister of Youth Affairs, Her Excellency Rawan bint Najeeb Tawfeeqi, presented Perez his trophy for second place, while FIA Vice-President for Sport for MENA and Bahrain Motor Federation President, His Excellency Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa, awarded Sainz his third-place trophy.

This year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was the first of a record 24 rounds in the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship.

At lights-out, Verstappen held his position heading into the first corner with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by his side. Then, with clean air ahead of him, it was no looking back from there for the Dutchman.

Verstappen enjoyed his biggest advantage midway through, right before his second pit-stop. When he rejoined the action on track, he still had a significant lead from Perez, and gradually added to the gap while racing solo in front, disappearing into the distance.

With 10 laps to go, he was 18 seconds clear in front and, in the final two laps, had increased the final margin at the chequered flag.

Verstappen’s total winning time was one hour 31 minutes 44.742 seconds. Perez, who started from fifth on the grid, was able to pass the others ahead of him in the race’s early stages. He was classified 22.457s behind Verstappen to form a similar top two from last season in Bahrain. Sainz took the last podium step 25.110s from first, while Leclerc came fourth 39.669 seconds back.

George Russell, who started from third, finished fifth 46.788s behind Verstappen, while Lando Norris of McLaren was sixth, 48.458s adrift.
Completing the top 10 and putting five constructors with both cars in the points were Lewis Hamilton (+50.324s) of Mercedes, Oscar Piastri (+56.082s) of McLaren, and the Aston Martin duo of Fernando Alonso (+1:14.887) and Lance Stroll (+1:33.216).

Rounding off the classification from 11th to 20th, respectively, one lap behind, were Zhou Guanyu of Kick Sauber, Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda of RB, Alexander Albon of Williams, Nico Hulkenberg of Haas, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly of Alpine, Valtteri Bottas of Kick Sauber, and Logan Sargeant of Williams, who was classified two laps back.