Formula 1: Two big surprises to start the 2023 season

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Formula 1 (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Formula 1 (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) /

The 2023 Formula 1 season is officially underway following the Bahrain Grand Prix. What surprised us from this year’s opener?

The first race of the 2023 Formula 1 season took place at Bahrain International Circuit this past Sunday.

Reigning world champions Red Bull dominated and scored a 1-2 finish, but there were a number of surprises that will definitely change the outlook that many fans have toward the rest of the 23-race season.

Here are two of the big ones after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Formula 1 Bahrain surprises: No. 1 – Mechanical failures hit Ferrari again

Throughout the 2022 season, Ferrari were hit with several mechanical issues. These failures cost them lots of points in the driver and constructor standings, and many believe they cost Charles Leclerc a chance at his first world championship.

Given how damaging these issues were to Ferrari, the general expectation was for an improvement to be seen in 2023. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Prior to the race, Ferrari replaced Leclerc’s control electronics and energy store components after reviewing his power unit data. His engine failed on lap 40 as he was comfortably in third place. The team are unsure why the failure even happened, but it will give Leclerc a grid penalty later this season.

Formula 1 Bahrain surprises: No. 2 – Aston Martin are here to stay

After showing well in testing, Aston Martin put on a statement performance throughout the entire weekend. One thing they made sure everyone noticed was their pace.

The team from Silverstone put together a very competitive car with high hopes this season. Along with that, they put together a wonderful strategy which resulted in them jumping the two Mercedes cars.

A lot of people have pointed out similarities between the AMR23 and Red Bull’s RB18 and RB19. Members of the Red Bull team had words to say regarding this matter.

“I think it demonstrates to all the teams that it’s possible,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “So, they’ve obviously done a good job over the winter. They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery! It’s good to see the old car going so well!”

Sergio Perez, who finished in second place behind Max Verstappen, also commented.

“It’s nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium,” he said.

Clearly, the reigning champions are not all that thrilled to see the similarities between the two cars. Following Fernando Alonso’s podium finish, Aston Martin look like be a force to be reckoned with this season, and they will definitely be in the spotlight for the rest of the year.

Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list. dark

We saw many surprises to open the 2023 Formula 1 season in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Be on the lookout for more during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday, March 19. ESPN is set to broadcast the race live beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET, so start a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!