Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton Expected Mercedes to Be Nearly a Second Slower Than Red Bull

Published 03/28/2021, 2:42 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in second place Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


F1 was off to a flying start on Saturday evening, as Max Verstappen guided Red Bull to their first season-opener pole since the 2013 season, with Lewis Hamilton in P2.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Meanwhile, from a Mercedes fan’s perspective, it definitely looked like a disappointing start to the season, handing an early advantage to their championship rivals.

However, that wasn’t really the reaction in the Silver Arrows’ garage. It was instead a sigh of relief, according to the seven-time world champion.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

This is a really good step: Lewis Hamilton

During the post-qualifying press conference, rather than being disappointed, Lewis revealed that the Mercedes crew are actually pleased to see the progress they made since the pre-season testing.

Apparently, Lewis and his team were expecting the gap to be much worse, going into the race weekend. Hence, he expressed his relief that Red Bull are still quite closer.

Yes. Definitely closer than we expected,” Hamilton said. “I think this is a really good step forward for us coming this weekend. I think we thought it was double the gap that you see today.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in second place Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

And so, that’s really down to some really fantastic work from the men and women back at the factory.

“So, collectively just one more pulling together,” the 36-year-old continued.

What caused this stir up in Mercedes?

The prime reason behind Mercedes‘s brief downfall had everything to do with F1’s recent tweaks in terms of the downforce. F1 managed to alter the regulations a little bit, which enforced massive rear instability in both Mercedes cars.

Furthermore, Pirelli’s newly designed tires are only making it worse for the Stuttgart outfit, with the lack of grip pushing the cars into much more spins and lock-ups.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Meanwhile, Red Bull managed to get the setup right, and are now very much holding the upper hand in the pursuit for the championship title.

Hence, this ended up reversing the tide. And after all these years of domination, Mercedes are finally playing the catching-up role rather than leading the way.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, will Red Bull manage to keep Mercedes at bay? Or, will the defending champions find a breakthrough and blitz past the Bulls? Only time will tell.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Rohit Kumar

638 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT