Max Verstappen demonstrated the sheer dominance of the RB19 as the Dutchman cruised to the win at the Bahrain International Circuit.
“It was a very good first stint where I made my gap and from there it was just looking after the tyres,” he told reporters after the race.
“You never really know what is going to happen later on in the race so we wanted to have the right tyres in good condition as well.
“Very happy to also finally win here in Bahrain.
“I think we have a good race package.
“We can definitely fight with this and also a big thank you to the team again for what they have done over the winter to have a quick race car again.”
He was joined by his teammate, Sergio Perez, in second who said “it’s a great start”.
“If we look back at last year and how we started here, it’s really it’s nice.
“We’ve worked really hard over the winter, so it’s great to see everyone enjoying the first race and we’ve got a really strong package.
“Today the start put me out of contention for the race, but finishing second is the maximum I could do today. I think I’m getting closer [to Verstappen] every session.”
A delighted Fernando Alonso who filled the final step on the podium told Nico Rosberg, “This is unreal” as he hailed the work of the Aston Martin team to produce the second-best car on the grid by race one.
“It is amazing for the team. It was great,” he said.
“To come here and finish on the podium in the first race of the year, it is amazing what Aston Martin did over the winter to have the second best car on race one. This is just unreal!
“We had not the best star today and we had to pass on track. It was more exciting, more adrenaline.”
Here’s the full top ten from the Bahrain Grand Prix, 2023: