The 2023 Formula 1 season is officially underway. There was a deadzone in the race when all the drivers were managing tires, but the second half of the race was full of action.

Red Bull Racing are in a league of their own. The worry that they would have more race pace than quali pace has been confirmed. Max was completely in control after about 5 laps. Perez had to put some work in to get 2nd, but after that he was in control as well. Fair to say they both had a lot of pace in reserve. Unfortunately for F1 fans, it is starting to appear that we are just going to see another era of domination by a single driver/team. That's terrible for the sport, but its only been one race. Perfect result for Red Bull.

Aston Martin have made giant leaps over the winter. Of course the addition of Fernando Alonso brings so much to the team. Whatever is possible in the car, Alonso will get the max out of it and so far he has a great attitude which is great to see. His driving was masterclass today. Stroll, nearly destroyed it all in just the first lap of the season. Racing incident perhaps, but that was a dive bomb and entirely Stroll's fault if things went bad. But hey, they both continued without damage and all is good. Huge respect to him for gutting it out. 3 limb of his 4 limbs with injuries and he raced to a 6th place, that's pretty impressive. It was sad to hear Lawrence Stroll thank his team, and give a huge praise to his son, but didn't even mention Alonso.

Ferrari, oh Ferrari. Tire wear concerns are true. That removes so many options for them during a race. Leclerc had 3rd in the bag, which all things considered would have been acceptable. The car has pace which is good. Reliability issues are worse than tire wear issues. We saw some Ferrari PU failures in testing, and so it would seem Leclerc's problems were not a one off. When you think of how limited teams are with spare PU parts, penalties could be early and often for Ferrari. Sainz was outclassed by Leclerc, but did an amazing job defending against Hamilton. Probably fought too hard against Alonso, but it was fair and exciting.

Mercedes also had better race pace than quali pace. Unsurprisingly Lewis did a better job than Russell. Perhaps Hamilton should have got 4th. His car was definitely faster than a struggling Sainz, and Alonso got through quite easily. Lewis' tires were only 4 laps older than Alonso's, and much better than Sainz's. 5th is still a pretty good result. Russell did his thing, but spent more time fighting with Stroll than making progress to stay with Lewis. Toto complaining about how it was one of the worst races was silly. It's pretty bad when Skysports questions the budget if/when Mercedes bring out their B spec car. As soon as Lewis made his usual "motivational speech" to his team on the radio, we all know Skysports were going to milk that cow.

Alfa Romeo have a pretty good car, at least good enough to fight for points. Bottas wasn't as fast as the top 4 teams, but he was clearly faster than everyone else. Zhou's race seemed to fall apart near the end. A smart move by the team to let him get the fastest lap and take away points from Alpine.

Alpine do not look very good, but somehow Pierre Gasly got points. He got spanked in quali, was floating around the back to start the race, and next thing you know, 9th pace. Incredible. Ocon, if he had a mulligan to spare, he used it up and then some. Tough day at the office for him.

Williams have improved a lot and it is wonderful to see. We are used to them being at or near the back year after year. Perhaps have a car that can fight for points regularly? Hopefully. No surprise Albon lead the team, but huge kudos to Logan Sargeant. Most figured he would be the worst rookie, but he wasn't that far off Albon all weekend.

AlphaTauri's struggles appear to continue into 2023. The car does not look fast at all, and could be in the bottom 2 for the next few races. Yuki seems to have made another step forward. Nyck De Vries did not meet expectations.

Haas back to the bottom. There were moments when the car looked good, but the team and/or drivers just could not make any forward progress. Why they waited so long to do a wing change on Hulkenburg? Get it over with early, and let him try to fight back. KMag didn't look comfortable in the car the whole weekend and never found a setup to his liking, and simply didn't adapt.

McLaren had a disastrous opening round. There is some pace in the car, but a lot of gremlins to work out. Lando drove as expected and there isn't enough laps to comment on Piastri.

Driver of the Day: Fernando Alonso. Had some epic passes, big saves, was fast, good tire management, and great some good radio messages to boot.