Three-time world champion Max Verstappen began his title defense in flawless fashion on Saturday at the Bahrain Grand Prix when he guided his Red Bull team to a crushing one-two triumph.

In a statement of emphatic superiority, the 26-year-old Dutchman came home 22.5 seconds clear of teammate Sergio Perez, who started from fifth, to ease some of the pressure on team boss Christian Horner.

Japan's Yuki Tsunoda finished out of the points in 14th in what proved to be a tumultuous race for the RB team.