Race start, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023

Rate the race: 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Bahrain Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (3%)
  • 9 (3%)
  • 8 (11%)
  • 7 (28%)
  • 6 (24%)
  • 5 (13%)
  • 4 (8%)
  • 3 (3%)
  • 2 (2%)
  • 1 (5%)

Total Voters: 184

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “Rate the race: 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. This race was a solid snooozzzzzzzzzze.

    1. I wanted to like it, but I can’t help longing for the old days when F1 was truly a spectacle. Todays cars are ugly and sound terrible and I miss the girls. In the end why invest my time and money watching a season who’s outcome is predetermined.

  2. An okay race, not the best ever Bahrain GP, but neither a boring one.

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    5th March 2023, 16:45

    Without Alonso, that would have been a pretty boring but it was great following him through the race. Some excellent racecraft on show to force his way past Hamilton and Sainz.

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      5th March 2023, 17:11


      Alonso’s racecraft – and his radio messages – made the race a decent 6/10 for me. If it wasn’t for him, it would have been a snoozefest.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        5th March 2023, 17:50

        Yeah – I gave it a 7 but that was due to an extra +1 for Ocon’s race genuinely making me laugh out loud.

    2. Indeed, 7 for me, not very eventful, loses at least a mark without alonso battling it out for 3rd place.

  4. Sam (@undercut677)
    5th March 2023, 16:46

    F1’s biggest obstacle to further growth are races like that. They either need to be content without further growth or make radical changes so that this is not the product on TV.

    1. @undercut677
      Uhm.. please don’t let them read this

    2. @undercut677 Or you just need to accept that not every race is going to be great.

      If you need to have every race be full of constant artificial action they go watch one of the other categories that are happy to be full of fake artificial gimmicks that produce awfully contrived fake racing which virtually nobody watches because a vast majority of race fans don’t like or want fake artificial gimmicks creating fake non racing.

      1. Sam (@undercut677)
        5th March 2023, 17:05

        You did not say anything contrary to what I said. If F1 wants to cater to current racing fans they dont need to make changes to make this closer. IF they want growth outside of current race fans then they do. I am just stating the reality of the situation and you know full well which way F1 will lean towards.

      2. I dont think many people want artificial action. On the contrary, they would like the that cars “naturally” could compete around most of the field.
        Yes, Alonso drive saved the race.
        Other than that, albeit it may be too soon to call, the VER-RB supremacy remains, Ferrari is not on the game, Sainz/Perez are secondary players, Mercedes so bad that broken wrists Stroll AM is a contender – that is a pretty dismal scenario for the race and for the rest of the season.

        1. Then they should go and watch Indy. Lots of action, lots of different winners. There is a lot to like there. More gimmicks go to FE. More gimmicks? I can recommend Rocket League. Like sand? Go for rally or rally cross, excellent stuff. More show? Go for stadium trucks or even monster trucks.. the list of options is almost endless. Just stop messing with F1 because they’re not making it any ‘better’

    3. I quite enjoyed it

  5. A decent opening race. How fantastic to have Fernando properly back. Winding back the years in that one! That move on Lewis at turn 10 was incredible. Looks like red bull has moved further ahead. Getting some real F2004 vibes! The fight behind is incredible though so I won’t complain! Gave it a 7

  6. Worst Bahrain GP since 2010.
    Alonso vs Hamilton was the only nice fight to watch.
    The gap between RB and the rest of the field is embarrassing and depressing for the fans

    1. Well, we got what we wanted, innit? Fans hated Mercedes so much only to get another domination that won’t stop until at least 2026 given that these cars are basically locked on development.

      1. Fans hate domination, regardless of the team

        1. I could actually live with some domination if it were ANYONE other than RedBull/VER.

          I was waiting to subscribe again to F1TV until after this first race and am glad I didn’t waste the money. I fully expect that the rest of the season will be this bad or worse so I’ll have a bunch of free time for other activities.

          1. @jms90h5
            Okay, thanks for informing us. Have a nice life and bye now

          2. Itsmeagain (@)
            5th March 2023, 21:43

            Well Jim, half the world was leaving during the MB dominance. Than one guy made it interesting again… and yes, his team is now top.

  7. Proud_Asturian
    5th March 2023, 16:51

    Only entertainment other than Alonso lucking in again was Ocon

  8. Snoozefest, only partially saved by Alonso’s manouvers.
    Season seems to be over already for the title.

  9. I really don’t like all this flashy Americanized nonsense with the big LED screens and stuff thats contaminated the post race stuff in parc-ferme and the podium now.

    All just looks ridiculously tacky.

    But it’s an American Show now so guess those looking for a more pure sport need to start looking elsewhere if what F1 is been turned into disgusts us so much :(

    Been an avid F1 fan for 45 years and it’s taken Liberty only 5 to destroy my passion for it with tacky nonsense Americanisation aimed at the American casual non-fans who won’t stick around due to having short attention spans.

    1. I really don’t like all this flashy Americanized nonsense with the big LED screens and stuff thats contaminated the post race stuff in parc-ferme and the podium now.

      All just looks ridiculously tacky.

      That I completely agree with you on.

      I just turned off as soon as I saw it. Hate stuff like that, Just feels it’s trying to force contrived spectacle.

      1. Agreed to both. I stayed longer because sometimes the cool-down room gives a few gems. But they cut it short and talked over it :-(

      2. VER may have broken the floor on his teacher. Glad he didn’t topple off when the ramp skidded away under him

  10. Really dull, you can change the regulations whichever way you want but it’s won’t matter if 9 out of 10 teams are nowhere near the standard set by the champions.

    If the next race doesn’t offer a glimpse of some real competition it’ll be time to cancel F1TV and stick to the highlights.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      5th March 2023, 16:59

      There are 2 choices – spec series or what we currently have. If you let the teams design their own cars, one team is usually going to design a better one that the rest and they’ll win.

      People complain about it being boring but no-one likes any of the potential solutions to it…

      1. The way F1 is wouldn’t be as bad if most teams didn’t, well, have ‘room for improvement’. It’s even worse that some of them don’t even seem to be making the effort, so props to Stroll and Aston Martin for actually doing that; I’m glad for them that it’s starting to pay off.

        Either way, those are mainly issues for the participants. For me as a viewer it’s just a choice between spending 90 minutes or 5 on the same race. With 22 races to go, that’s a 32 hour difference over the course of the season. Based on race 1, the highlights seem to be the better way to enjoy the good bits the season will inevitably have without having to slog through the irrelevant rest.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          5th March 2023, 17:13

          Ah yeah absolutely – I’ll watch the first few races to see how things play out. They’ve done less laps to this point than they did last year in pre-season testing alone so most teams will still be unlocking pace in their cars. If it stays as it is currently, I’ll definitely be switching to highlights fairly soon!

        2. I still watch all the races, but as I’m playing games at the pc as well, for example, in a boring race like this I tend to watch less and focus more on the game and obviously, as soon as I heard what alonso said in the post race interview (and the other 2 as well), I turned off the tv, not wasting time hearing comments or podium ceremony of races where there’s no fight whatsoever, and this as someone who likes verstappen.

      2. Sam (@undercut677)
        5th March 2023, 17:13

        Well said. The problem is that a lot of it comes down to survivor bias. The same Merc team that got it right last cycle, got it wrong this one. The opposite is true for Red Bull. With the limitations in spending and development, you are essentially locked into the initial design. A lot of this is talent but it also comes down to luck. Every top team is making a gamble and someone will always come out on top. The ceiling for the RB car launched a year ago is significantly higher than the Merc so no amount of development will close the gap at the very top until several years have gone by.

        1. Yep. I agree that the cost cap is going to hurt the sport more than many expected. There is simply no way for any team to recover. It hurts even more that the one at the top was the one who violated the cap to help get there. Sometimes it really does pay to cheat and they played it perfectly. Low risk for huge gain. I used to enjoy watching the down board competitions but having RB/Ver at the top week after week year after year ruins even that. If it were ANY other team/driver I could still get excited.

          After skipping this and then next few seasons until the next regulation shakeup I doubt I’ll still be interested. I’ve only been watching since 2014 so nobody will care that me and viewers like me will be lost though.

        2. With the limitations in spending and development, you are essentially locked into the initial design.

          @undercut677 Indeed, and this has been a big issue for a long while. The problem, as always, is that the teams are too self-centered and arrogant to consider that their ideas might not be the best and that rather than being clever and locking in an advantage for their own team, they’re instead condemning themselves to years of wasteful spending on fundamentally flawed or limited cars and engines that’ll be lucky to ever see the podium. The engine token idea was perhaps the worst example of this, and if the FIA hadn’t been so incompetent in writing the regulations, and had Ferrari not spotted this and effectively forced it open, we’d have had many more 2014-like seasons where Mercedes – as they admitted later – didn’t even use all of their performance.

          The more ardent F1 fans like to mock spec-series like Indycar, but at least all their ‘cars-that-can’t-be-developed’ are all the same, leading to great racing and a competitive field more often than not.

      3. Most alternatives are really bad.
        But I dont thing F1 can remain as a full “constructors” series.
        When development meant half a dozen mechanics – without a engineer degree – working over the night to shave weight or to fine tune a mechanical engine setup, it would make sense.
        Now, there is almost no comeback. Not even Mercedes had the money or the wits to improve the car.
        It is only the first race, but on a moderate pace, RB is .3 ahead of the field.
        Where will Ferrari or Mercedes find .5 until mid season to bring some real competition Verstappen?

      4. + 1 that’s it a nutshell.

    2. MB is 8 times champion team. Nobody forced them to design a car this bad. Ferrari is oldest team in F1 and they cannot get their act together. Anybody who says you cannot make big jump is wrong because AM is 2.5 seconds faster than last year. How is this F1 regulators fault ? IT looks like people having hard time to accept MB was spending 2.5 times more than any other team during this period and same true for Ferrari during 2000-2008 period. RB has better human resources than any other team and probably AM has the second …

      1. and RB broke the cost cap

    3. Very biased attitude – this race was way more interesting behind Max than most of the borefest races in 2014-2015 with Lewis and Rosberg qualifying 1 second ahead and finishing even further down the road in some races.

      Only reason you are complaining and calling it dull is because Max and RB are now winning instead of your golden boy Lewis.

  11. This wasn’t the best Bahrein GP, it was rather boring from the start. But then Alonso was able to overtake Russell and it was game on. Quite good battles. This should 6 or 7 overall.

  12. 4/10 pretty dull race.

    98% of the passing was down to DRS & therefore not especially fun to watch.

    Alonso’s real overtake was great though, Just wish we saw more real racing/overtaking rather than all the fake DRS passing that isn’t exciting or memorable.

    And then all the cringe contrived flashy spectacle after the race with that awful podium screens and stuff.

  13. I get the mixed reactions about the race. I enjoyed it however, following Alonso closely and up to the point he overtook Sainz it was pretty tense. And that overtake on Hamilton was awesome, certainly the highlight of the race. So 7 out of 10 for me, but a very subjective one.

  14. F1 only hope is to ban Newey.
    Give him some royalties on the championship earnings, but get him out.
    Otherwise, he will spend the next decades designing a winning car that only needs a decent PU and a good driver Marko can find him.

  15. 5/10 but +1 for Ferrari A* comedy.
    6/10 overall

  16. Some nice battles and a few retirements. but otherwise kinda boring “fuelsaving” race

    1. Is fuel management really an issue? Tyre management definitely is a big one.

  17. I mean, it was pretty average, wasn’t it? In terms of the fight at the front, it was no greater a disappointment than many of the early-season races of the last 10 years or so, where we hoped for a close-ish battle between two or more teams and instead got a one-sided affair. The fact that the identity of the dominant team has changed again doesn’t really change much.

    As for the rest, Alonso did his best to provide some entertainment, but there wasn’t much else to write home about. As I said, quite average for F1 of recent vintage, which is why it gets a 5 from me.

  18. I luv chicken
    5th March 2023, 17:47

    Any race where Fred does well, is a 10 for me. In true F1 fashion it’s not the video, it’s watching the timing screen. It was interesting to see the top 4 teams push until pit stops, and spend the next stint clawing back the time, to once again challenge at the end of the following stint. The exciting part was whether the chasers were going to catch up by the end of the race. Also nice to see Gasley turn a disastrous qualifying in to a good result. Someone wrote earlier, that The Clerk looks like he can’t wait to get out of Italy. I can believe it.

  19. 6. Alonso responsible for a point or two, along with the battle for last place between Norris and Ocon. Which kind of sums it up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a F1 race with less coverage of the race leader. Ferrari: no words left for them. Good luck for the rest of the season Charles.
    Not to say I didn’t enjoy watching the race, I did. First race of the season etc. But in terms of race quality, low, normally it would be a 4.

  20. I’m so glad I was watching football and spared some minutes during HalfTime to check out the highlights on YouTube, all in all can’t complain

  21. Alonso bumped it to a 3/10. Other than that, a waste of time.

  22. Boring. So much so I switched to the Forest/Everton game. First time in over 40 years that I walked away from a race.

    1. “I’d rather watch Everton than your lousy race” should strike fear into Liberty.

      But the City Ground has a million times more atmosphere – this long-awaited season opener looked like a test session on the Moon. Bring back Melbourne – can’t we start every season during Ramadan?

  23. What a dull, dull race. Alonso was fun to see but can’t give it more than a 4. What people were watching to think it was 7 I’ll never know!

  24. I misread the chart and so I incorrectly rated the race. I meant to give it a 9 but instead gave it a 2. Oh well. So why a 9/10? All the cars appeared to be get air time, the potential incidents that might have created Red Flags were dealt with quickly and efficiently without interrupting the race, and mostly the important events appeared to get covered.

    1. @drycrust @keithcollantine I think the chart has been switched round from previous seasons?

      1. @david-br Yes, that’s what I thought too: That the chart had been switched around from what it was previously, but that’s Keith’s (@keithcollantine) prerogative. It was my own fault, I should have read the chart to make sure I was voting correctly.

  25. If it wasn’t for my poor internet making my streams stutter and keeping me active to reloading and shifting to others, I would have slept for sure. The tyre deg was nowhere as bad as it was made out to be. F2 had better action, albeit at the cost of Maini’s debutante podium. 4/10

  26. Number of people here saying the sport is ruined for them after watching for XX years – Leave it alone then, its fine – find something that does float your boat, no pressure! It’s fine.

    I have been watching since early 70’s and it was OK for me today.

    Each to their own I guess.

    1. How do you remember Pironi, if I may ask?

    2. Exactly and thank you – many now screaming zzzzz or bored were all too happy watching the same in 2014-2020 period yet now their golden boy isn’t the one leading the race it is suddenly boring.

      Haven’t been watching as long as you but haven’t missed a single race this century and watch them all in full regardless who was leading.

  27. Nice to see that Racefans readers have some sense of balance. This was a good race, even despite the leaders running away and never seeming like dropping the ball. Even though it might be the usual sight for most of the season, I think we’re in for some classic battles behind the Red Bulls.

  28. 1/10 Trash race, worrying the the season will be a depressing snoozefest considering that the first race of the season is usually action packed and not a dominant RB 1-2 from the start.

    Time to drop this rubbish track from the calendar as well, its a low iq simple track with airport taxiway sized runoffs which creates boring races.

    The next race in Saudi in two weeks will be an unbearable wait because unlike bahrain it will guarantee action due to its speed and punishing mistakes.

    Also alonso fans are huge hypocrites, when alonso overtakes its due to his savant skills but when HAM overtakes its because of the car…

  29. I docked the race a point or two – 20 mostly black / dark red driving in the dark does not satisfy..

    1. “mostly black / dark red cars”.

  30. I guess this is what you get when you don’t adequately penalize a team that exceeded the budget cap to out develop the teams that followed the rules.

    1. Like a couple millions make half a second per lap difference… it’s very minor compared to the gap we’ve seen here, I think it’s more that mercedes got the regulations wrong and ferrari isn’t capable of a year long challenge, last year ferrari had a good starting car, then got out-developped, this year their starting car is not even as good.

      1. I think people greatly underestimate what a few good engineers can provide. Being an engineer myself, I KNOW what a few millions can give you in engineer talent. That can make a huge difference. At some point, there are diminished returns. But since their budgets were cut in half, they aren’t anywhere near that diminished returns point. I think a few millions is worth a whole helluva lot.

  31. I quite enjoyed it. 7/10. Definitely didn’t find it boring like some have said. Alonso and AM made it though.

  32. Listened to it on the radio and it sounded kind of ‘Meh’… result was a done deal after a couple of laps, Alonso versus the Ferraris’ seems the only fight worth watching this year…or should I say listen to as I cant even be bothered to hunt for a stream of it…. Roll on BTCC and WEC etc.

  33. Saved by Alonso… but really the worst part about the race was the realisation that the team with the most strict division between primary and secondary driver since Schumacher and Barrichello has the fastest car and it’s not even remotely close promises an incredibly flat, boring season at the front. May as well give Max his empty trophy already.

  34. Ferrari and Merc fans will no doubt think it was a snooze-fest but Alonso was superb. Reminds me of plenty of races in 2015 when Rosberg struggled to keep with Hamilton but Vettel was keeping us all entertained anyway.

  35. Wait, since when do we have 10 on the left and 1 on the right of the vote? Seems very counter-intuitive to me. Got read-checked over here and failed! xD

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