Bahrain GP: Max Verstappen Highlights Silver Lining in Crushing Defeat To Hamilton

Published 03/28/2021, 2:28 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


You would think that just about every other driver on the grid would be delighted to finish second in Bahrain. But Max Verstappen was in a better position than all of them to win the race. Yet it still fell out of his grasp. Although right after the race, he couldn’t hide his frustration, he’s since had a moment to reflect and is now looking at the bright side.

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Earlier, Max overtook Lewis Hamilton three laps from the end. But had to give it back after exceeding track limits. He gave his team an earful for instructing him to follow the FIA’s directive.

But, almost an hour after the race, he’s presumably had a chat with his team. So, he was instead focussing on the performance deficit Red Bull had made up compared to last season.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 01: Second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with donuts on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“Of course, I am disappointed about today, but last year I would have been super happy to get a race like this. So, it also shows how much we have grown and I think it’s still a positive start to the season,” said Max.

“And (it is) still a long season ahead. So, I will see it as ‘only’ seven points dropped and we’ll try to do better next time.”

This also leads us to believe that Red Bull can finally take the fight to Mercedes this season. However, Max’s taking it each race at a time since he knows that their opponents can catch up. On being asked if Red Bull are the team to beat, he replied – “Well, we will try. We will see how competitive we are in Imola, but we will definitely try again.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

‘A shame that it is so hard to Overtake with these cars’ – Max Verstappen

The current generation of cars are the widest that they have ever been in the history of F1. While they are quicker because of more grip, it can be tough to follow each other through the corners. Max highlighted the importance of track position when explaining his battle with Hamilton –

“The problem is that with these cars, it is so hard to pass. And once you have that track position, it showed again today that it is super powerful.”

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Also, when he did pass Hamilton to take the lead, he had to surrender it as he went off the track. That also significantly damaged his hard compound tires –

“I gave the position back and tried again, but my tires were not in a good state anymore to put the pressure on. So, that was a shame.”

Not a shame for us viewers back at home, though! It was an enthralling race and perhaps a sign of things to come this season. Hopefully, the two can have even more tussles this year.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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