Round 1- F1 GFT AI Driver Rankings: Verstappen opens 2024 F1 season with dominant Bahrain GP victory

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
2 min readMar 3, 2024

2 March 2024
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, Sakhir—After establishing much speculation throughout the F1 paddock that Red Bull Racing had finally been caught by competitors by not dominating the speed charts in Practice 1, 2, or 3, reality set in during Bahrain GP Qualifying. Max Verstappen pushed his Red Bull Racing №1 to the limit and produced a 1m 29.421s with his first Q3 run and worked his way down to a blazing 1m 29.179s during the second runs to ultimately finish two-tenths clear of Leclerc, with Russell a tenth further back in third position.

Carlos Sainz made it two Ferraris in the top four places, with Verstappen Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez at P5. This set the stage for Red Bull to pick up right where they ended the 2023 season- by completely dominating Saturday’s Bahrain GP with a huge Verstappen win that was all but locked in from Lap 5, and a powerful display of race craft by Perez who finished a strong 2nd place, with Carlos Sainz in 3rd. For Red Bull- dominance, for Ferrari a respectable P3 and P4 with Leclerc P4. But for Mercedes, it was more of the same from 2023- hopes and dreams fading quickly as George Russell started P2 and looked good in early laps of the GP faded to finish P5, and another disappointing rae for 7x world champion Lewis Hamilton who had battery and seat issues struggled to finish P7.
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VERSTAPPEN OWNS F1 POINTS and TOPS GFT F1 RANKING MODEL

That’s right F1 fans, Max Verstappen started on Pole, lead every lap, had the fastest lap, took all available points, and finished over 22 seconds ahead of P2 teammate Perez. Complete and total domination by Verstappen and Red Bull Racing.

Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on Saturday, March 2. 2024 (Image Credit: formula1.com)

Winners quote:

“It’s unbelievable,” said race-winner Verstappen. “I think today went even better than expected. I think the car was really nice to drive, on every [tire] compound I think we had a lot of pace. It was just super enjoyable to drive today, we really stayed out of trouble and it’s a great start to the year — it couldn’t have been better.”

Up next:

The F1 paddock will travel directly from Sakhir to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from March 7–9.

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association