Emilia Romagna GP: Max Verstappen Curbs Enthusiasm Over Red Bull’s Qualifying Pace

Published 04/15/2021, 10:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


So far, the general consensus regarding Red Bull has been that they have the better package as compared to Mercedes this year. After all, the Milton Keynes-based outfit were thoroughly dominant during the pre-season tests and also impressed big time in the season opener. While Max Verstappen was busy fighting Lewis Hamilton for the win, Sergio Perez was breezing past everyone in mid-field. This has led everyone to believe that Red Bull might be much superior to the Silver Arrows. However, the team’s own ace driver Verstappen doesn’t think so.

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Max had pleasantly surprised the F1 world after he put in a magnificent lap to take pole position from Hamilton by three-tenths of a second. However, reflecting on that incident, Max believes the reason for that gap in qualifying was due to Hamilton’s error rather than his outright speed.

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He said, “Looking at the quali lap, I think Lewis made a mistake in Turn 10. So that’s where he lost three-tenths. Otherwise we would have been within a tenth of each other.”

Max Verstappen claims Mercedes are closer to Red Bull than they are willing to admit

In recent times, Mercedes have been very open about their pace. They have often mentioned that Red Bull are the team to beat and not themselves. However, Verstappen is not buying into the German team’s mind games.

He said, “I wasn’t really surprised that they were so close in the race. They are very close, even though sometimes they don’t say it.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

So, as it seems, Mercedes and Red Bull appear to be on parity. Thus, it may well come down to their drivers’ skills in determining which team takes home the championship.

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While one can expect Verstappen and Hamilton to come to the party in every race, the performances of the teams’ number two drivers, i.e. Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, could well decide the championship. Bottas showed up in Bahrain, but it wasn’t the same for Perez; He, admittedly, had brake issues in qualifying, although he did recover splendidly well during the race.

Either way, it should mean a thoroughly entertaining season is in store. Fans would hope the race in Imola can deliver more of the same that was witnessed in Bahrain.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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