Verstappen on another level in Bahrain.

Verstappen dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix, leading his teammate and Sainz as he crossed the line to take what could be the first of many wins this season.

The 2024 season has begun. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Lights out and Leclerc got a good start managing to get alongside Verstappen into turn 1. However, the Red Bull forced the Ferrari to take the outside line where Leclerc had to back out and let Verstappen go. Perez also got a great start as he gained a place in one lap. 

Further back, Stroll was spun round and went from P12 to last at turn 1. At the pinch point Bottas bumped into the back of Hulkenberg who then tapped the back of the Aston Martin. Hulkenberg and Bottas picked up front wing damage, causing Hulkenberg to pit while Bottas was able to cope with the damage for the rest of the race.

It didn’t take long for Norris to gain places as he made a move on Alonso into turn 1. This left the door open for Piastri who was able to take advantage just a few laps later.

Meanwhile, Russell spent the first few laps pressuring Leclerc and was able to make a move around the outside of turn 4 on lap three. Perez was not far behind but took his time to take on the Ferrari. Leclerc was suffering with some brake issues which haunted him all race, but on lap seven Leclerc locked up and went wide out of turn 10. This made the move easier for Perez, who took the place from Leclerc. 

The Monegasque problems didn’t end there, Leclerc had a big lock up out of turn 1 just a lap later, which gave Sainz hope to turn 4 but Leclerc was still inside the DRS of Perez meaning he just kept ahead. It didn’t take long though for Sainz to use DRS into turn 1 on lap 11, taking on his teammate in a very close wheel to wheel battle, no teams orders at play here.

It was then time for the first round of stops. Every car swapped for hard tyres, with Russell and Leclerc pitting at the same time and Perez choosing to stop one lap later. The undercut can be very powerful at Bahrain and it very nearly worked for Perez but he came out just behind Russell.

On new tyres though Perez had better grip up the hill after turn 1 and down into turn 4. Russell took a very defensive line but couldn’t make it work for him on the exit and the Red Bull completed the switch back with perfection.

Close racing. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Sainz was unable to make the undercut work for him, he stayed out a couple of laps but came out behind his teammate. Meaning another close fight was imminent. It therefore only took a couple of laps before Sainz lunged from very far back down the inside of turn 1, taking the place from Leclerc.

While Verstappen pitted without a single car around him, Russell was defending his podium position from Sainz but was unsuccessful as Sainz took the inside line into turn 4. The chase was now on for Sainz to take on the Red Bulls.

Leclerc wasn’t the only driver nursing issues. Both Mercedes were told to lift and coast around lap 24 to control the power unit temperatures. Albon was also experiencing similar issues with the Mercedes engines. However, when not in traffic all these problems improved and were much easier to manage.

During the second round of pit stops Bottas came in for a switch of tyres, however this was set to be his second slowest ever stop. This time it was less than a day but he was stationary for 52.4 seconds while the team had to get a new wheel nut as the one they had refused to go on the rim. 

As of lap 44 the unhealthy cars of Leclerc and Russell appeared to make a recovery, with Leclerc all over the back of Russell at every corner. Russell locked up under the pressure in turn 10 and went very wide. Side by side down to turn 11, Leclerc had enough confidence with his brakes to take the position from the Ferrari.

Tsunoda not happy with his team. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Further down the pack, the RBs asked for a driver swap despite Tsunoda being within DRS to Magnussen in front with his teammate behind in DRS. Despite protests Tsunoda complied on lap 53 but this hurt both drivers as Verstappen lapped them a few corners later. Ricciardo lost time to Magnussen and neither RB got past the Haas before the end of the race.

Verstappen ended the race as he began, in P1, with Perez in second and Sainz rounding out the podium. The Dutchman finished 20 seconds ahead of his teammate, which is six seconds less than 2023 but still a large gap to the rest of the grid. He is going to take some beating again this year.

A shoutout to Stroll who had solid performance to recover from the back of the pack after turn 1 lap one, to finish in P10 and gaining a point for his efforts.

The top 3 for the Bahrain Grand Prix 2024. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen on pole in Bahrain but Ferrari not far behind.

Verstappen took pole in Bahrain but was closely followed by Leclerc and Russell in P2 and P3. The most exciting part, by the end of Q3, the top 9 were covered by just over half a second.

Starting with Q1, anticipation was high as each practice session produced a different fastest three so far. It was set to be unpredictable at both ends of the grid.

The Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s were swapping times at the time with the odd lap from the McLaren’s. Stroll put in a stunning lap to make it to P2 just behind Sainz at the very end of qualifying.

Bottas not able to make it out of Q1. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

After looking slow in testing, Haas picked up pace in practice and showed their true colours during qualifying were able to make it into Q2 just beating both Sauber’s who qualified in P16 and P17 respectively. Sargent followed this pair, not able to make any improvement on his lap.

The story for Alpine is very different. After struggling all weekend, they couldn’t make it out of Q1, qualifying last and second last on the grid. Over the radio Ocon had some words of encouragement for his team despite only getting one proper run in Q1. 

Out in Q1 – Bottas, Zhou, Sargent, Ocon, Gasly.

Q2 gave us hope for a tight battle for pole in Q3. Verstappen topped the times after the first runs with a 1.29.374, closely followed by his teammate. However, on new tyres, there was a glimmer of hope for Norris, who was half a second back from the pair of them.

With the second runs being completed Sainz was only two tenths from Verstappen and Leclerc put in a stunning lap to go P1 with a 1.29.165. Hulkenberg was also enjoying his Haas by placing it in P6 and making it to Q3.

Lewis Hamilton trying to improve in Q2. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

The Mercedes looked in trouble as they couldn’t compete with Ferrari, RedBull but were able to get P4 and P7 to get into Q3. They were competing with the RB’s who were quick in FP1 but both couldn’t get any further in qualifying. Tsunoda was just out qualified by the McLaren’s by 0.007s but importantly for him, beat his teammate. 

Despite putting in some strong laps earlier, Stroll couldn’t improve during Q2 and was eliminated while Alonso put in a solid lap to put himself between Hamilton and Hulkenberg. The other Haas driver, Magnussen rounded out those completing qualifying in Q2.

Out in Q2 – Tsunoda, Stroll, Albon, Ricciardo and Magnussen.

It was all to play for in Q3. After the first runs the gap was only 0.059 between Verstappen and Leclerc, meaning the fight was on. Russell was in P3 and driving well, beating Sainz to that top 3 spot. 

Alonso heading out on new tyres. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

Hope was alive as we waited for the second run with the clock counting down. Keeping us entertained was Alonso, who put on new tyres in the gap and went for his quick lap. With the track to himself he moved up into P3 with a 1.29.542.

Alonso headed back in, everyone else came out of the pits to start their last flying laps. Russell improved his time to take back P3 while his teammate finished down in P8 but has said his car is set up more towards race pace. At the very top Verstappen improved his time to a 1.29.179 which was slower than the lap Leclerc completed in Q2. 

It was down to Ferrari to take pole, however, Leclerc improved but not enough to take pole from Verstappen. Sainz couldn’t get any closer either but moving up into P4, pushing Alonso down to P5. The McLaren’s followed behind, Norris ahead of Piastri and Perez finished down in P9, despite his teammate taking pole. Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10 but only completed laps on used tyres in Q3, saving a new set for the race.

The top 3 in tomorrows race. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

The grid is set for the first race of the season. RedBull don’t look to have completely run away with qualifying but the race could be a completely different story. The race starts at 3pm GMT, don’t miss it.

Extreme E: Acciona Sainz Secure Desert XPrix Win

Image courtesy of Extreme E
FEBRUARY 18: Laia Sanz (ESP) / Fraser McConnell (JAM), Acciona | Sainz XE Team celebrate , 1st position during the Saudi Arabia on February 18, 2024. (Photo by Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images)

Acciona Sainz recorded their first win of the season at Round 2 of the Desert XPrix this afternoon.

Their victory means the Spanish team move into second in the championship – just two points behind reigning champions RXR.

In a day full of excitement, here’s how the action unfolded.

Qualifying 1 Heat 1:

Yesterday’s race winners, RXR, kicked off qualifying in Round 2, as they faced off against McLaren, Veloce, and Legacy Motor Club.

Championship newcomers, Legacy Motor Club, got away the best off the line, moving into first position ahead of RXR. Veloce were initially right on RXR’s tail, but they dropped off as the teams started the second lap.

After the switch, RXR looked to close back up to Legacy – eventually taking them for first on the final lap.

RXR won the first heat of the day, followed by Veloce, and McLaren. Legacy dropped down to fourth after they were awarded a 17s time penalty for leaving the switch zone too early.

Qualifying 1 Heat 2:

The remaining four teams – Acciona Sainz, JBXE, SUN Minimeal. and Andretti, completed the first qualifying session.

Acciona Sainz took an early lead, as Andretti and SUN Minimeal battled it out behind them. After initially dropping behind SUN Minimeal, Andretti were able to get through into second place.

And that was pretty much all for Qualifying 1. Acciona Sainz took the win, followed by Andretti, SUN Minimeal, and JBXE.

Qualifying 2 Heat 1:

The first heat of Qualifying 2 got underway with Veloce, McLaren, JBXE, and Andretti all looking to secure a place in the final.

It was McLaren who led after turn one, after experienced racer Mattias Ekstrom took a very wide entry and used his superior traction to speed past his rivals. Veloce came out of the first turn in second, closely followed by McLaren.

There would be no moves before the switch zone, but Veloce were able to jump McLaren after the iconic team suffered a slow stop.

Andretti were next to try their luck with the McLaren team. And despite some incredible defensive driving from Gutierrez in the McLaren car, Andretti were eventually able to get the move done.

Andretti then made light work of the Veloce car, moving up into first place, and taking the win. McLaren also got Veloce on the line, finishing second.

Overall Qualifying Classification:

  1. RXR – 20 Points
  2. Andretti – 18 Points 
  3. Acciona Sainz – 16 Points
  4. Veloce – 14 Points
  5. McLaren – 14 Points
  6. Legacy Motor Club – 12 Points
  7. SUN Minimeal – 10 Points
  8. JBXE – 8 Points

Redemption Race:

The bottom four qualifiers looked to salvage some points from the round in the Redemption Race.

Off the start line, JBXE’s weekend went from bad to worse. Light contact with the McLaren saw the JBXE machine dig into the sand and role over. The driver, Dania Akeel, was able to get out okay, but they would take no further part in the race.

A brief red flag for the incident meant a three-car, three-lap shootout. Legacy took the lead off the line, closely followed by SUN Minimeal in second and McLaren in third.

There would be no changes to the order before the switch zone, but it wouldn’t take long after it for McLaren to close up on SUN Minimeal. Though it took a few attempts, McLaren were able to move into second place, and start chasing down the Legacy Motor Club car.

And close down the Legacy Motor Club team, McLaren certainly did. In the final corner, McLaren sent a move up the inside and took the Redemption Race win.


The final race of the weekend saw the top four qualifiers battle it out for a place on the podium. And if yesterday’s final was a cracker, today’s was a bit of a damp squib.

Acciona Sainz took the lead off the start, with Andretti not far behind. RXR had found themselves in third place, but Veloce were able to get through.

And that is how the final would finish. Acciona Sainz took home the first placed trophy, putting them right into the championship fight. Andretti recorded their best result of the season so far, with a second place, and Veloce rounded out the podium.

Overall Round Classification:

  1. Acciona Sainz
  2. Andretti
  3. Veloce
  4. RXR
  5. McLaren
  6. Legacy Motor Club
  7. SUN Minimeal
  8. JBXE

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 41 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 39 Points
  3. Veloce – 33 Points
  4. Andretti – 31 Points 
  5. McLaren – 30 Points
  6. Legacy Motor Club – 18 Points
  7. SUN Minimeal – 10 Points
  8. JBXE – 10 Points

An exciting weekend concluded with victories for RXR and Acciona Sainz.

New entrants Legacy Motor Club also made a good account of themselves, taking the Continental Traction Challenge in Round 2.

Extreme E returns in July with a European race yet to be confirmed. It is sure to be an exciting weekend, and – as ever- we will be there to take you through all the action.

Extreme E: RXR Win First Copper XPrix to Take Championship Lead

RXR have taken victory in the first Copper XPrix of 2023 as they move to the top of the championship standings with just one round remaining.image courtesy of ExtremeE

An exciting day of action in which the main championship protagonists finished first and second, means the title race is still all to play for.

Here’s how the day unfolded in Round 9.

Qualifying One:

Acciona Sainz’s title challenge suffered a setback in the first qualifying session of the weekend, when their car ground to a halt on the first lap of heat one.

Fellow championship protagonists RXR. who were also in heat one. couldn’t capitalise on Acciona Sainz’s misfortune, however. Whilst jostling for position with the McLaren, the RXR car picked up a rear left puncture. Once the tyre had been changed, all they had to play for was the Continental Traction Challenge.

Veloce won the first heat, taking ten classification points into the second phase of qualifying. Not far behind, JBXE picked up second, with McLaren dropping to third after a penalty for the incident with RXR.

The second heat in Qualifying One was  a much more tightly contested affair. Carl Cox Motorsport took an early lead, but there wasn’t much to separate the drivers after the first lap.

But, this is Extreme E, and disaster is never far away. Whilst going down the drop, the Chip Ganassi machine dug into the banking and rolled over onto it’s roof. Fortunately, RJ Anderson was able to walk away.

The rest of the heat remained tight between the remaining drivers, but a last lap overtake saw X44 take the top spot. Andretti United were just over a second behind, with Carl Cox and ABT Cupra just 14 seconds back.

Qualifying Two:

Qualifying Two Heat One was a very hectic affair, with multiple red flags during the race.

Acciona Sainz, ABT Cupra, Veloce, Andretti United, and McLaren all got away well from the start line, making turn one very congested.

With all the cars neck and neck into the first turn, there was no room for error. Unfortunately for ABT Cupra, Hosas in the McLaren did make an error, braking too late and sending the ABT car rolling onto its side. A red flag was called but ABT were out of the race.

The restart was fairly quiet, until halfway around the lap when the Veloce car suffered a mechanical failure. Catie Munnings in the Andretti United car was unable to see the slowing Veloce and ran up and over the car. Munnings was able to get out of her car, but was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

The final restart offered a lifeline to Acciona Sainz, as just they and McLaren took the start. In the end it was a fairly comfortable victory for the Spanish team, as they secured they spot in the final after setting a fast super sector time.

The final heat was fairly calm by Extreme E’s standards. X44 got the best getaway but RXR were not far behind.

After the switch zone, Fraser McConnell of X44 went into a corner too deep, and the RXR car was able to take a lead they would not lose.

RXR won the heat, with X44 not far behind in P2. Carl Cox finished in a respectable third, with JBXE and Chip Ganassi bringing up the rear.

Qualifying Classification:

  1. X44 18 Points
  2. Veloce 16 Points
  3. RXR 14 Points
  4. McLaren 14 Points
  5. Acciona Sainz 12 Points
  6. Carl Cox 12 Points
  7. JBXE 12 Points 
  8. Andretti United 12 Points 
  9. ABT Cupra 6 Points
  10. Chip Ganassi 4 Points

X44 topped the qualifying session with 18 classification points. Championship rivals Veloce, RXR, and Acciona Sainz all also made it through, though the latter had to rely on their Continental Traction Challenge time.

Redemption Race:

Just three cars made the start of the redemption race, as ABT Cupra had too much damage to repair and Andretti United’s Munnings was still being assessed at the hospital.

The reduced grid made for a much calmer race than Extreme E is used to. Timo Scheider for Carl Cox Motorsport got the best start, and gave the team a lead they would not lose.

JBXE had initially taken second place, but suffered a mechanical issue which saw them drop to the back and ultimately grind to a halt just before the end.

Carl Cox won the redemption race, scoring 8 points in the championship. Championship contenders Chip Ganassi had a day to forget, picking up just 6 points.


The penultimate final of the season was a thrilling battle between the two main championship challengers: Acciona Sainz and RXR.

The lights went out and Acciona Sainz took an early lead, ahead of RXR and X44. Veloce didn’t get off the line and retired from the start.

The cars were all neck and neck around the first two laps, before RXR just pulled alongside the Acciona Sainz car as they entered the switch zone.

Mattias Ekstrom in the Acciona Sainz spotted a gap in the rules and cut the corner in the switch zone to put his car ahead of the RXR machine.

However, disaster struck for Acciona Sainz, as dust blew across the front of their car just as Laia Sanz was waiting to see when she could leave. She was held up for just a few seconds too long and RXR took the lead of the race.

Some excellent defensive driving from Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky kept the RXR ahead as the teams crossed the line separated by just three tenths of a second.

RXR, Acciona Sainz, and X44 completed the podium, with McLaren coming in fourth place for the round.

Round 9 Classification:

  1. RXR – 25 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 18 Points
  3. X44 – 15 Points
  4. McLaren 12 Points
  5. Veloce – 10 Points
  6. Carl Cox – 8 Points
  7. Chip Ganassi – 6 Points
  8. JBXE – 4 Points
  9. ABT Cupra – 0 Points
  10. Andretti United – 0 Points

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 164 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 158 Points
  3. Veloce – 129 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi – 105 Points
  5. X44 – 103 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 75 Points
  7. Andretti United – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 57 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 48 Points
  10. JBXE – 46 Points 

RXR take the lead of the championship by just six points heading into the final round of the weekend. Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and X44 have all fallen out of championship contention, meaning the fight for the title will feature just the top two teams. It’s sure to be a enthralling end to the season tomorrow.

Extreme E: Championship Fight Comes to a Head in Chile Finale

  • Image courtesy of Extreme EThe third season of Extreme E will reach its conclusion in Antofagasta, Chile this weekend (2nd-3rd December) with five teams still in title contention.

Current championship leaders, Acciona Sainz, hold a narrow three point gap over Season 1 winners, Rosberg X Racing (RXR). The two teams have been the most consistent on the grid, scoring an impressive five podiums (two wins) each.

Also still in the championship battle are Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and X44, who currently lie 21, 40, and 52 points off the top respectively. It would take a bizarre set of circumstances for X44 to retain their crown come the end of the season, but anything can (and usually does) happen in Extreme E.

Driver Changes

Aside from the championship battle, we also have some new (and old) faces returning to the Extreme E grid.

McLaren driver Emma Gilmour is still recovering from her injury from last time out in Sardinia and is replaced by JBXE’s Hedda Hosas. Hosas and JBXE have struggled to find form so far this year, making the Grand Final just twice in eight races.

Tamara Molinaro, who had previously stood in for Gilmour as the championship driver, will fill Hosas’ seat at JBXE.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Over at ABT Cupra, Adrien Tambay will make his Extreme E debut, taking over from fellow Frenchman Sebastian Loeb. Tambay has little to no off-road racing experience, but he did win the eTouring Car World Cup in 2022 with the Cupra team.

Standing in as reserves for this weekend are Patrick O’Donovan, and the loveable Christine GZ.


The format for the weekend remains unchanged from the rest of the season.

Teams will take part in two qualifying races, earning classification points depending on their finishing positions. The points will be added up, and the five teams with the most points will progress to the final. The remaining five teams will compete in the redemption race.

Bonus championship points will be awarded for the fastest Continental Traction Challenge time for each round of the double-header.

Championship Standings:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 139 Points
  2. Rosberg X Racing – 136 Points
  3. Veloce Racing – 118 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi – 99 Points
  5. X44 – 87 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 75 Points
  7. Andretti – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 45 Points
  9. JBXE – 42 Points
  10. Carl Cox Motorsport – 40 Points

Sainz Wins an Interesting Singapore GP

Carlos Sainz wins the Singapore Grand Prix through some intelligent driving under immense pressure from behind. Verstappen made up places but the Red Bulls were not in good form while the Mercedes team made an impressive strategy call to challenge for the lead.

The Ferrari’s away cleanly at the start. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

Lights out and Sainz got away cleanly but behind him Russell bogged down meaning Leclerc made it past the Mercedes before turn one. The challenge was now on for Leclerc, who started on softs, to keep up with his teammate in the first stint.

Slightly further back Hamilton had a great start to out-break Norris before heading around the outside of Russell but having to take to the escape road and then back on track. Hamilton eventually gave back both places and then settled into his P5 position for a while.

It wasn’t all clean racing on lap one as there was a small amount of contact between Tsunoda and Perez which led to the Alpha Tauri retiring a few corners later. Luckily for the drivers he was able to pull off the circuit safely and the race continued.

Verstappen had gained a place in the first couple of laps and was now on the tail of Magnussen. It was a tight battle between the pair but Verstappen took advantage of DRS to make it into P8. His next job was to chase down Gasly, however, on the hard tyres the Red Bull was still sliding around so Verstappen was told a few times to back off and cool the car down.

Verstappen trying to gain places early on. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

The race began to settle down while we waited for the first pit stop window to open. Sainz was managing the race well by keeping the pack close together, however, this meant that even 15 laps in, if the Spaniard had pitted from the lead, he would have come out in P17.

Just a few laps later Sargent ended up hitting the barrier around turn eight and damaging his front wing. Sargent was able to get back to the pits but not without leaving debris along the track and causing a safety car.

Ferrari took this opportunity to double stack. Most Ferrari fans waited with bated breath as this was the sort of thing that could ruin a Ferrari race, however they managed to pull it off… to a certain extent. 

Leclerc had backed up the pack in order to create himself a gap to allow the double stack to happen. Because of this a queue of cars formed behind him and all filed into the pit lane as the Monégasque needed to leave, so he had to be held in his pit box until there was a gap, which cost him track position.

In an interesting strategy call, Red Bull didn’t pit either of their cars as they had started with the hard tyres. However, Sainz came out ahead of Verstappen after his stop so the plan hadn’t paid off for the World Champion. This meant that he and Perez were on old tyres with everyone else of fresh hards around them at the restart.

The safety car restart. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

On lap 23 the safety car came in and Sainz had the lead from Verstappen who was struggling to defend against Russell. Just behind them Perez had to fend off Norris and Hamilton who were closing rapidly. 

Almost synchronised, Russell overtook Verstappen and Norris gained a place on the other Red Bull. Perez nearly left the door open for Hamilton but the Mexican was able to stay ahead for a few more corners before the Mercedes made a move stick using DRS.

This then became the trend for a few laps. The Red Bulls began to tumble with Norris and Hamilton gaining places on Verstappen in quick succession. Perez was at the start of a train of cars which led to an interesting battle between the Red Bull, Alonso, and Ocon. 

On lap 37 Alonso dived up the inside of Perez but went in deep and Perez was able to fight back. This opened the door for Ocon to join the fight which was getting closer and closer to the wall. Perez defended the inside of turn eight from Alonso but Ocon went around the outside of the Aston Martin to go side by side into the next few turns.

Ocon was able to make the move on Alonso stick for P8, and was able to pull off a switch back on Perez just a lap later. Alonso then saw his opportunity and overtook Perez a few corners later before the Red Bull headed into the pits for his tyre change.

Sainz at the front had been controlling the race at a decent but slow pace which meant the pack were still quite close together. By the time Perez exited the pit lane, he went from P9 to P18. The story wasn’t much better for Verstappen who came in one lap later from P6 to come back out P15.

Two laps after both Red Bulls changed tyres, the virtual safety car was deployed for Ocon who had stopped just before turn two with a gearbox issue. The top five had already passed the pit entry when the VSC came out but that didn’t stop Mercedes making a bold move.

They double stacked their cars on the next lap for some new mediums to come out P4 and P5 in clean air and only the top three ahead of them. Russell was ahead of Hamilton and it was a very aggressive call but as they headed out the VSC ended and both Brits were on a charge, closing in by two seconds per lap to the leaders. 

With 17 laps left it was now an incredible strategy race to see the Mercedes pushing in full force for the podium. Something we haven’t seen for a few seasons. Because of this, it wasn’t long before both cars were within the DRS range of Leclerc in P3.

Out of the corner Russell pulled out a switch back and won the battle of traction against Leclerc to take P3. One lap later and his teammate made a similar move to take P4 from the Ferrari. Now the hunt was on to claim P2 from Norris ahead.

The Mercedes were gaining on the leaders. Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1

The Mercedes were closing at an alarming rate, so Sainz came over the radio to ask for the gap to Norris on every lap for the last five laps. When told Norris was 0.8 seconds Sainz replied with ‘that’s the point’. In some very clever driving, Sainz kept Norris within DRS range to give the McLaren some help with speed down the straights. This not only helped Norris but also meant Sainz would likely keep hold of his win.

It was the final lap and the top four were still within 1.5 seconds. Both Mercedes were moving all over the road in a bid to get past Norris. However, with only a few corners to go, Norris tapped the wall on his rear right but came away unscathed. Russell behind him was not so lucky as he clattered the wall with his front right, breaking the suspension and going head first into the barrier. He was ok but had lost P3 right at the end for his teammate to claim the podium.

Sainz was able to break the Red Bull 2023 win streak by taking the win, Norris finished on the second step of the podium while Hamilton took P3.

It was a fascinating race which intrigued not only this Formula 1 fan but many around the world. We are at Suzuka next weekend which will likely see the Red Bulls back on form.

Verstappen Breaking Records at the Italian GP

Max Verstappen takes the win at the Italian Grand Prix, which means he has taken the record for 10 consecutive wins in a season. It wasn’t plain sailing for him and his teammate, but they came home with a 1-2, while Sainz rounded out the podium after starting on pole. 

The camera showed the stricken Alpha Tauri of Tsunoda as the front row began to line up on the grid after the formation lap. Unfortunately for him and the team, there was an immediate engine failure, which left the car in gear and therefore led to a second formation lap.

However, an aborted start meant that confusion ensued as the cars were parked on the grid with engines off while the teams were waiting at the gate to be let back onto the grid. The red flag was never brought out, but there was a delay of a few minutes before the engineers could be let onto the grid.

Despite this, after a 23-minute delay, we could get going with another formation lap.

The eventual race start. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

Lights out, and Sainz got off to a great start by cutting off Verstappen into turn one and holding on to the lead. Just behind them, Leclerc had tried to dive up the inside of Verstappen, but the door closed, and the attempt left room for Russell to put pressure on the Ferrari. Russell couldn’t make a move stick.

Both McLarens had a good start, with Piastri making up a place on Albon into turn one as the Williams driver got boxed in. Although the Willams in a straight line is very slippery, just one lap later, Albon was back up into P6.

It didn’t take long for Verstappen to become a hunter with Sainz the hunted. Leclerc couldn’t keep up with the leading pair as the Red Bull pushed the Ferrari all the way. Verstappen was always within the DRS zone and tried to make a move around the outside of turn one on lap six, but it didn’t pay off with Sainz defending well.

Slightly further back, on lap eight, Verstappen’s teammate was mounting a charge on the Mercedes of Russell as he tried a move that didn’t pay off. He built up pressure until lap 14 when Perez tried a move around the outside, outbraked himself, and went straight on which meant he had to give back the place he gained. Two laps later though, the Mexican took the inside line into turn one and this time the move stuck.

Sainz locked up before losing the lead to Verstappen. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Meanwhile, the Dutch Red Bull driver was closer to Sainz by a couple of tenths heading into the main straight. He tried around the outside of the Ferrari, and even though the move didn’t work, Sainz locked up, which meant Verstappen had better traction coming out of the corner. On lap 15, the inevitable happened into the chicane as the Red Bull had more speed than the Ferrari.

With the world champion unleashed, he gained a 1.5-second lead within one lap. The race began to settle as the pit stops started.

Struggling with tyres after locking up, Sainz was the first of the Ferrari drivers to come in. One lap later, the team pitted Leclerc; however, it was tight between the teammates, and they nearly touched as Leclerc came out of the pit lane. The Monegasque ended up staying behind his teammate, with Perez coming out behind them after his stop.

A similar story was unfolding with the two McLaren’s on lap 24. Norris was the first to pit, with Piastri changing his tyres the lap after. However, Piastri was on the inside of Norris into turn one as he came out from his stop, but unlike the Ferraris, the McLarens made contact. Luckily for both drivers, they were able to carry on, and the stewards decided to take no further action.

Hamilton was the last driver to stop, as he started on the hard tyres so he could go for a longer stint. Coming out from his stop, it didn’t take too long before his new mediums warmed up and he began to gain places on those now on hard tyres. He started with Alonso into turn one on lap 29.

The Mercedes wasn’t the only one on a charge. Norris had been chasing down Albon for several laps, when on lap 38, Norris made a move around the outside but went off the track and gained an advantage. He managed to give the place back and unfortunately for the Brit, this is where he would stay.

A few laps later, Hamilton could smell the chance to make a move on Piastri but couldn’t make it stick. Towards the end of the lap, Hamilton was within the DRS zone of the McLaren and looked for a move on the inside but opted for the switch back, getting better traction out of the corner. Hamilton was mostly in font heading towards the chicane but, crucially, not completely past. 

As Hamilton moved towards the racing line, his back wheel made contact with the front of Piastri’s car, damaging the McLaren’s front wing. Both drivers were able to carry on, but Piastri did need to pit for a new front wing, and Hamilton got a five-second time penalty for causing a collision.

While this was happening, Perez had gained a place on Leclerc to put him on the podium and was chasing down P2. It wasn’t long before Perez was within the DRS zone of Sainz, and he used that to his advantage on lap 46, where he made it past Sainz.

This meant the final five laps were all about which Ferrari would be in P3. The radio call came saying, ‘Still race, but no risk’, However, the teammates knew what was at stake. Leclerc kept the pressure on right until the final lap, where he had a huge lockup and nearly took out both cars, Luckily, he avoided an accident, and Sainz finished in P3 with Leclerc in P4.

However, no one had an answer for Verstappen’s performance, as he crossed the line with a substantial lead over his teammate. A new record was broken, and the speed of the Red Bulls continues to be unmatched.

Next up is Singapore, which Verstappen has never won. Is that an omen or another record to extend?

2023 Italian GP Qualifying

Carlos Sainz has made the Tifosi’s dreams come true and secured pole position for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Celebrating on the track in front of the Ferrari fans the Spaniard who has been very quick all weekend put in one of the laps of his life to beat Max Verstappen by the smallest of margins.

Q1 began with everyone on the Hard Pirelli compound as this qualifying session was being used for the new mandatory tyre allocation strategy trial of hards being used for Q1, mediums for Q2  the softs for Q3.

Max Verstappen’s first lap of qualifying was deleted for exceeding track limits, He immediately pitted, came back out and went quickest by 0.338 from team mate Sergio Perez. They were followed by Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin and then the Williams of Alex Albon.

The track was getting quicker as the session went on meaning the final runs would be crucial.

Ocon out after damage in Q1. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

As the final runs ended Albon moved up to P2 with Leclerc also up to P3. At the other end Zhou, Gasly, Ocon, Magnussen, and Stroll were all out of qualifying.

Q2 started with both Ferrari drivers under investigation for not being under the new maximum time to get round for a lap to prevent everyone going slowly on their outlaws, This would be investigated after the session so the result of qualifying might be decided in the stewards room.

Once again Verstappen was first on track and immediately went to the top of the time sheets, Shortly after that Sainz in the Ferrari sent the Tifosi wild and went quickest by 0.044, Behind them was Leclerc and Albon in the flying Williams.

Surprisingly the Mercedes pair went out to the track later than everyone else, Even with the clear track they could only manage 6th and 12th.

All 15 cars left the garages at the same time leaving the pitlane looking like the worlds most expensive car park.

When the last runs finally began the Williams of Sargeant was at the front of the pack, he didn’t improve though and stayed 14th. Joining him in not making it trough were Tsunoda, Lawson, Hulkenberg and Bottas.

Hamilton making his way into Q3. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

The top of the timesheet had a familiar look about it with Verstappen fastest with a 1.20.937 ahead of Leclerc, Sainz and Perez. Albon was next up continuing to impress in the Williams, Hamilton improved to 6th ahead of his team mate Russell. Completing the top 10 and making it to Q3 were Piastri, Alonso and Norris.

Q3 brought the inevitable excitement with Verstappen dipping a wheel into the gravel on his first lap but still managing to make the top 3, At the front it was Sainz from Leclerc, then Verstappen and Russell, Behind them were Albon, Perez, Norris , Piastri Hamilton and then Alonso.

The final runs of the session would be the ones to determine the grid for Sundays race.

Charles Leclerc went first and moved to provisional pole, then came Verstappen who beat him but he was then beaten by Sainz in the Ferrari with a scintillating lap time of 1.20.294, the top three separated by just 0.067

4th was George Russell, then came Perez, Albon, Piastri, Hamilton and Norris and Alonso closing out the top 10.

Sainz gets a pole at the home of Ferrari. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area

Almost immediately after the session was completed it was confirmed no further action was necessary for the Ferrari’s earlier transgression meaning Sainz had pole in a Ferrari at Monza.

Can the Tifosi get their dream result tomorrow or will Max Verstappen continue his run and win a 10th successive race.

Extreme E: RXR Double at Island XPrix

Imagine courtesy of Extreme ENico Rosberg’s team, RXR, won both races at this weekend’s Island XPrix, putting them right back into championship contention.

Meanwhile Acciona Sainz took advantage of Veloce’s poor weekend, going into the lead of the championship with two second place finishes.

Round 5 Redemption Race:

A bad qualifying from the championship leaders saw Veloce compete in the redemption race against McLaren, X44, Carl Cox Motorsport, and JBXE.

Contact off the start line with McLaren caused Bakkerud in the JBXE machine to spin out. The McLaren would lose its door.

But with all the chaos going on behind them. Veloce cruised to a win in the redemption race, securing crucial points in their championship fight.

Round 5 Final:

The top five qualifiers from the round five competed in a thrilling final.

As the cars raced towards the first turn, Johann Kristofferson was forced off into the bushes.

Miraculously, the car was relatively unharmed and the experienced swede quickly got it going again.

Kristofferson made light work of the ABT Cupra car, which had picked up a puncture, before closing down on Acciona Sainz.

After the switch Kristofferson’s teammate, Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, passed Acciona Sainz and looked to overtake Andretti United.

However, contact between the two cars saw the Andretti United roll onto its side. The driver, Catie Munnings, was unharmed but unable to finish the race.

Chip Ganassi crossed the line first but a penalty for a switch-zone infringement saw them drop down into third, behind RXR and Acciona Sainz.

Round 6 Redemption Race:

If Veloce thought Sunday would allow them to bounce back, they were to be mistaken, as they once again found themselves in the Redemption Race.

ABT Cupra got the best start and led into the first turn, swiftly followed by X44 and Veloce.

It was a relatively uneventful race after the initial start, with ABT Cupra taking the victory. Veloce finished in second, and X44 were just behind in third.

Round 6 Final:

In a move similar to the previous day’s Final, Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen was forced into the bushes off the start line.

Learning from the day before, though, was Kristofferson, who initially slowed to avoid getting squeezed, before storming into the lead in the aftermath of the contact ahead. Acciona Sainz were just behind.

Though the cars ran fairly close to one another for the entire race, there was little action for the remainder of the race, and RXR took their second win of the weekend.

Acciona Sainz finished in second and Andretti United rounded out the podium.

Championship Standings:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 109 Points
  2. RXR – 105 Points
  3. Veloce – 95 Points
  4. Carl Cox Motorsport – 80 Points
  5. X44 – 59 Points
  6. Andretti United – 55 Points
  7. McLaren – 44 Points
  8. ABT Cupra – 40 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsports – 26 Points
  10. JBXE – 26 Points

Another fascinating weekend of Extreme E is over and only two rounds remain in the season. The next round location is yet to be confirmed but a trip to the Americas seems likely. You won’t want to miss it!

Verstappen’s clean sweep in Austria amongst Track Limit Dramas.

Verstappen took a clean sweep in Austria with Leclerc in P2 and Perez making a great recovery drive to finish on the podium. But, late penalties meant the on-track finishing positions changed hours after the race. 

Less than 24 hours after an entertaining Sprint, F1 fans settled down to watch the Grand Prix with the grid set from Friday’s qualifying session. Unlike Sprint Saturday, Sunday’s race was set to be dry with the Ferrari’s able to launch a double attack on Verstappen ahead, if they could catch him.

Vertappen narrowly leading Leclerc into turn 4. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area.

Lights out and Verstappen got a clean start with the Ferrari’s following behind. Both Mercedes had a better launch than Norris in front, and Hamilton went around the outside of the McLaren while a small tangle with Stroll behind meant Norris was compromised and had to give the place up to Hamilton.

Further back in the pack many were trying to get three wide through turn 1 which didn’t end well for Tsunoda who picked up front wing damage. Having lost downforce he locked up into turn 4 but was able to make it back to the pits for a quick front wing change. However, a safety car was deployed at the end of lap 2 to recover the debris from the Alpha Tauri.

On the restart everyone got away cleanly with very few dramas. The Alpha Tauri’s were getting very close together while Magnussen tried to go around the outside of turn 4 but managed to get back on track. Perez also gained a position on Ocon.

Just nine laps in and this is where the track limits debacle began. Norris was reporting Hamilton using every inch possible and slightly more on each lap. This was due to a brake issue Hamilton was managing meaning he couldn’t slow the car properly, however he did manage to pick up a black and white flag by lap 13.

While this was happening, Hamilton’s teammate, Russell, was under pressure from Perez. It took a few laps of great defending from the Mercedes but he made a mistake into turn 3 and went wide, leaving the door open for the Mexican driver to take advantage of DRS and make his move which eventually stuck by turn 4.

One lap later, a very slow Haas pulled to the side of the track. Hulkenburg lost power and had to retire the car. A Virtual Safety Car was deployed as they pulled the stricken vehicle to the escape road. However, it only took them two laps, and by lap 16 the green flag was shown.

Confusion now rained over the grid with main making pitstops as this was the first stop window of the day. However, Ferrari and Aston Martin missed the initial VSC call so came in just as the green flag was shown. To make matters worse for Ferrari, their double stack didn’t work, Leclerc’s stop was slow which compromised Sainz who came out in P6, losing 3 places.

A four car battle on track. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Area.

Through the now interesting developments in the race, Tsunoda was the second driver to pick up a penalty for track limits. Meanwhile Ocon, Albon, Magnussen, Stoll and Gasly had an intense battle on lap 20. It was hard to keep up with everything going on.

Despite most coming in for a change of tyres during the VSC, Verstappen chose to stay out and not come in until lap 25. He came out having lost two places behind the Ferrari’s now in P1 and P2. There was finally action for the lead however, this was not to last very long because within five laps Verstappen was back out in front.

As the race began to settle again Norris in his upgraded McLaren was pressuring Hamilton at every turn. On lap 28 he made a great move around the outside of turn 4 to make it into P4. Some great racing between the brits.

Sainz then became the third victim of the time penatlies fro track limits while Ocon was given one for an unsafe release during the stops. At this point four drivers had penalties but this was not the end.

Gasly was added to the list on lap 38 with De Vries picking up a penalty for pushing Magnussen out wide around turns 5 and 6. While it may seem like there were a lot of penalties, at this point nearly half the grid had been shown the black and white flag, so some penalties were taking longer than normal to be given.

To make matters worse for Tsunoda he was given a 10 second time penalty for not serving his original penalty correctly. This was added to his time at the end of the race. 

The action on track never stopped. Perez was making his way through the pack and came up against Sainz in P4 on lap 59. This led to a three-lap long battle between the drivers as Sainz attempted to hold off the faster car behind. After some great racing however, Perez learned to hang back slightly into turn 3 and gain DRS towards turn 4, eventually making the move stick.

Perez finally overtakes Sainz.

Sargent and Magnussen picked up time penalties for track limits while Verstappen picked up his 7th Grand Prix win of the year. However, the race was not over yet.

Aston Martin lodge a protest of the results which was accepted and reviewed. The complaint was regarding the track limits violations which seemingly hadn’t all been through the stewards so more penalties were yet to be dished out.

In total 83 lap times were deleted, resulting in the following penalties:

Sainz – 10 seconds, Hamilton – 10 seconds, Gasly – 10 seconds, Albon – 10 seconds, Ocon – 30 seconds, Sargent – 10 seconds, De Vries – 15 seconds, Tsunoda – 5 seconds.

It is fair to say the track limits issue tainted the race with results being decided hours after the chequered flag dropped. This will be a talking point at least for the next week as we head to the British Grand Prix next where track limits are not considered as much of an issue.

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