Russian rookie Nikita Mazepin of Haas crashed out of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday on turn three of the opening lap. The crash revived memories of a similar accident at the same corner last season, also on the opening lap, when his predecessor Frenchman Romain Grosjean made a dramatic escape after his car burst into flames after going into the barriers. Mazepin badly bent the front wheels on his car, but he escaped unhurt.
The race was paused for a Safety Car intervention for two laps with the contest resuming on lap four.
The race distance had already been trimmed to 56 laps because of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull car suffered a power failure on the formation lap, requiring him to recover and then start from the pit lane.
On the re-start, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly lost his front wing after a clash with McLaren new boy Daniel Ricciardo while rookie Mick Schumacher spun off at Turn Four – a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed briefly.