Max Verstappen rages at Red Bull after he took it easy to gift Leclerc to lead

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Pierre Gasly was forced to jump to safety after his AlphaTauri burst into flames towards the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Gasly was coasting towards some comfortable points to reward a good start to the 2022 season in Bahrain. The French driver was P8 for the race in Sakhir until his AlphaTauri car caught fire just over 10 laps before the chequered flag.

The fire prompted a Safety Car in the final stages of an enthralling opening race in the new F1 campaign. The 26-year-old was able to exit the vehicle safely but was left frustrated to retire pointless after a promising weekend ended in disaster.

Gasly had an excellent season In the AlphaTauri last time out, racking up over 100 points for the first time in his career.

But his fiery ending will provide concern as his team head to Saudi Arabia for the next Grand Prix on the calendar next weekend. Gasly's AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda finished in P8 to claim four points.

But it was the dream start for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc secured victory from pole and Carlos Sainz finished second. Leclerc was involved in an enticing battle with current champion Max Verstappen but the Red Bull driver was forced to retire late on with reliability problems.

"The last two years have been incredibly difficult for the team," Leclerc said. "We knew it would be a big opportunity for us and the guys have done such an incredible job in building this amazing car."

He added: "Pole position, victory, fastest lap, one two with Carlos, we couldn't have hoped for any better. I was trying to be as clever as possible, brake early in Turn One and twice it worked out. I took back my first position and I am incredibly happy to make it work."

  • F1

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Max Verstappen was heard raging at Red Bull after he 'took it easy' and allowed Charles Leclerc to lead during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

It proved to be a frustrating start to the Dutch driver's title defence as he failed to finish the opening race of the season after retiring late on in Bahrain. Earlier in the race, Verstappen fumed at his team over the radio as he missed out on the chance to overtake Leclerc and enter the lead.

"This is now two times that I've taken it easy on the out laps when I could have easily taken the lead," raged the 24-year-old over the team radio.

"I'm never ever doing it again."

Verstappen had been instructed to take it easy on his cold tyres as he completed his outlap after pitting whilst in second place.

This allowed Leclerc to come out of the pits ahead of Verstappen after the following lap, angering the Red Bull driver, who believed he missed out on the chance to take the lead due to being told to take it easy.

Leclerc and Verstappen had repeatedly traded positions in the race with multiple overtakes, having started the race at the front of the grid.

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Red Bull's Verstappen started in second after Leclerc earned pole position during qualifying on Saturday and he was able to turn it into a race win with his rival unable to finish the race.

Verstappen was forced to retire during the closing stages of the race after suffering an engine failure to further add to his misery, whilst Leclerc claimed his first win since the 2019 Italian Grand Prix.

The same fate befell his team-mate Sergio Perez, allowing Ferrari to pick up a one-two finish with Leclerc taking the chequered flag ahead of Carlos Sainz.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton took the final place on the podium as he finished the race in third position.

  • Formula One
  • Max Verstappen

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