Sakhir (Bahrain), Mar 2: Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen eased to victory in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday despite the turmoil surrounding his Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Verstappen started on pole position and was never seriously challenged on his way to a commanding one-two win for Red Bull ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez. Alpine Drivers Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon Slightly on Back Foot, Realistic About Prospects for F1 2024 Season

Carlos Sainz Jr. was third for Ferrari after fighting hard with teammate Charles Leclerc. At the start of the longest-ever F1 season at 24 races, Verstappen already shows signs of repeating his near-perfect record from 2023, when the Dutch driver won 19 of 22 races on his way to a third straight title.

Saturday was the eighth win in a row for Verstappen going back to September last year. He set an F1 record of 10 consecutive wins last season.

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