The 2022 Formula One season got off to an unexpected start as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the Bahrain Grand Prix after world champion Max Verstappen retired with just three laps remaining.
Leclerc led teammate Carlos Sainz home in a one-two for a resurgent Ferrari.
Red Bull driver Verstappen, who went wheel-to-wheel with Leclerc on several occasions, was on course for second but was forced to retire after losing power. Teammate Sergio Perez appeared to suffer the same fate from third place on the final lap.
Mercedes' seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had reasons to celebrate as a third-place finish at Sakhir exceeded his expectations.
"This is really the best result we could have got," said Hamilton.
"A big, big congratulations to Ferrari, it's so good to see them doing well again," he added. "It was such a difficult race - we've struggled throughout practice and this was the best result we could hope for. We're grateful for these points."
Ferrari's return to form is expected to boost Formula One and help sell more tickets, according to chief executive Stefano Domenicali.
The Maranello-based team are F1's most decorated team but Leclerc's win at Sakhir was their first since 2019.
Sunday's win raised hopes that Ferrari have mastered this season's radical rules overhaul and are back in contention.
The action moves to Saudi Arabia for the next race this weekend. With the cars heavier and with bigger wheels, in a change aimed at making overtaking easier and the racing more competitive and exciting, expect more drama as the season unfolds.
How and where to watch F1 in the UAE?
Formula One fans can watch the F1 action MBC’s streaming platform www.shahid.net under the sports package of Shahid VIP. The entire season will be available only on Shahid VIP as part of the sports package. However, this weekend's Saudi Arabian GP will also air on MBC Action. Also, race highlights are available on Formula One's YouTube channel.
Formula One 2022 calendar
March 18-20: Bahrain GP
March 25-27: Saudi Arabian GP
April 8-10: Australian GP
April 22-24: Romagna GP
May 6-8: Miami GP
May 20-22: Spanish GP
May 27-29: Monaco GP
June 10-12: Azerbaijan GP
June 17-19: Canadian GP
July 1-3: British GP
July 8-10: Austrian GP
July 22-24: French GP
July 29-31: Hungarian GP
August 26-28: Belgian GP
September 2-4: Dutch GP
September 9-11: Italian GP
September 23-25: Russian GP (cancelled)
September 30-October 2: Singapore GP
October 7-9: Japanese GP
October 21-23: United States GP
October 28-30: Mexico GP
November 11-13: Brazilian GP
November 18-20: Abu Dhabi GP