it also extended his run as championship leader to 40 races since the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen looks set to cruise to a fourth consecutive drivers' title with Red Bull as the dominant team again this year when the curtain rises on Formula One's longest-ever season in Bahrain.
Starting from third on the grid, the Red Bull driver stole the lead at the start and then dominated the race, which was punctuated by a lengthy red flag stoppage when Kevin Magnussen crashed heavily in his Haas.
The 26-year-old Dutchman, who started sixth on the grid in his Red Bull car, worked his way through the field to take control before he came home 2.225 seconds ahead of resurgent seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who was disqualified hours after the race when his Mercedes car failed a technical inspection.
Max Verstappen said his third consecutive drivers' world title triumph, achieved in Saturday's sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix, was "the one I am most proud of – the best."
Lewis Hamilton on Thursday praised his erstwhile title rival Max Verstappen for "raising the bar" this season and added his voice to those who support the American Andretti team's bid to enter Formula One.
Red Bull's runaway Formula One leader Max Verstappen credited a rare defeat for setting in motion a record-equalling run of nine wins in a row.
"Fantastic job, the weather didn't make it easy for us," said Red Bull's double world champion
Max Verstappen is rewriting the record books, ready to overtake some of Formula One's all-time greats in what looks ominously like becoming the most one-sided of seasons.