Grand Prix 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The 2023 F1 season is a upon us. As in 2022 we start in Bahrain with 57 laps of the imaginatively named Bahrain International Circuit. The circuit is 5.412 km long. Given the accuracy of the measurement I'm disappointed we don't have centimeters detailed.

Here are the timings for UK viewers:


You may recall at last year's race we had a Ferrari 1-2, with both Red Bull cars our before the end of lap 4 with fuel system problems. We might have an exciting championship, with multiple teams vying for wins, we thought. Then Ferrari did what Ferrari's does best and slowly dissolved into ignominy, meanwhile the Red Bull car got better and better and Max Verstappen went on to romp to the title winning 15 of the 22 races. Mercedes, the dominant team of the "hybrid era" got it all wrong with the new rules and took nearly the whole season to sort their car, managing only a solitary win for new boy George Russell in Brazil.

What has testing told us? The Race website ranks the teams performances as:

1st Red Bull
2nd Ferrari
3rd Aston Martin
4th Mercedes
5th Alpine
6th Alfa Romeo
7th Haas
8th Alpha Tauri
9th McLaren
10th Williams

Every season some suggests that testing tells us nothing, even though every season the team that is fastest in testing goes on to win lots of races. But what the heck, let's not let reality get in the way of our hopes that 2023 won't be another Max and Red Bull walk over. The performance of Aston Martin has raised a few positive eyebrows, whilst the performance of McLaren has raised them for the opposite reason. Even McLaren have been playing down their chances, saying there is a lot to do with the car.

As always, at the start of every new F1 season I have hopes of the excitement of 1982, but without the death and injury, knowing full well that that is almost impossible. All I can hope for is that Ferrari have got closer to Red Bull, and they make fewer catastrophic tactical mistakes. I hope that Mercedes have managed to sort out the performance problems they had with their car, and that another team, whether that is Aston Martin, Alpine, or Alfa Romeo, can actively challenge for podium places even if they can't manage race wins.

Time to strap yourselves in, either to cope with the excitement or to stop yourselves falling out of you chairs as you doze off watching yet another series of processions.
I'm going to jump on the Fernando Alonso hype train for the first time in my life this weekend. I suspect that when it's all said and done the Mercedes will be the better car at the end of the year, but I fully expect Alonso to drag the Aston to places beyond the already high expectations for it.
it is a very interesting fact i was doing researching as it turns out. Max verstappen winning the opening race of the season might be a great idea

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on the qualifying dress rehearsal that most drivers did halfway through the session. Alonso fastest of all 2 tenths quicker than both Red bulls & 4 tenths clear of ferrari. i am now fully on board on the Alonso hype, it is looking very good & it would make a fascinating stats for drivers over 40
  • only 8 drivers in F1 history won a F1 race, 5 of them were before 1958 & only Mansell won a race the last 50 years
  • only 6 drivers have taken pole, (Farina 54 Fangio 58, Brabham 70, Andretti 82, Mansell 94 & Schumacher 12)
  • only 22 drivers have stood on podium, & only 6 of them were in the last 50 years, (Regazzoni 79, Andretti 82, Laffite 86, Mansell 94 & Schumacher 12, Alonso 21
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I think a close race between Alonso and Verstappen will be great. Wouldn’t surprise me if there is a crash because Verstappen doesn’t respect anyone.
you know what i would love a title battle between Alonso & Verstappen because if he & red bull thought Hamilton was bad when he realised giving verstappen respect was not a 2 way road. you give respect & you get nothing in return. max & red bull havent seen nothing yet as some on twitter christened Alonso "the king of 💩 housery"
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18 cars within 1 second in Q1. I’ve never seen F1 as close as this.
this is brilliant we have got 7 cars that could genuinely win a race this year. if the circuit suits their car. & considering that everyone in the paddock is saying that red bull punishment will take effect after the summer break. 3 tenths makes them vulnerable
yeah bit of shame in Q3, as Red bull came to ruin all our fun LOL but it looks good as i was saying we got multiple teams that look good. if Alonso & Mercedes stayed on sync with Red Bull & Ferrari. had 2 runs there was probally another 2 tenths there in track evolution. on overall pace we could have 7 cars within half a second

considering its been 7 years, since winner of the 1st race has won world championship. maybe max winning the 1st race wouldnt be so bad ;)

1 of the things i found fasinating & it is more interesting at the back of the grid than at the front because as the saying goes, "qualifying is when 🐄💩 stops" but this might be the exception because i genuinely couldn't tell you who is slowest car on grid as 5 different constructors all eliminated. id edge towards alpha tauri because of 14th & 20th but the other 4 that were eliminated their teammates did quite well
Magnussen - Hulkenberg 8th
Piastri - Norris 11th
Gasly - Ocon 10th
Sargent - Albon 9th (Q1) Sargent very unlucky eliminated because Norris set his time 1st
Hey. Sorry. Been asleep for two years. Did I miss anything good? I assume by now that Seb Vettel is back to being the best driver on the grid and people have finally stopped paying Fernando Alonso ridiculous amounts of money for pootling about in the midfield? No?

Is Mick Schumacher in a front end team yet?
Hey. Sorry. Been asleep for two years. Did I miss anything good? I assume by now that Seb Vettel is back to being the best driver on the grid and people have finally stopped paying Fernando Alonso ridiculous amounts of money for pootling about in the midfield? No?

Is Mick Schumacher in a front end team yet?
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Alonso is doing alright & at 41 to still be at good level is impressive even if he like no driver anyone can remember. loved as he came in, hated after the Mclaren, renault, Ferrari controversies, loved for his underdogs drives in 2012, hated for his treatment of honda, & seemingly back to being loved in 2023
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