Lewis Hamilton Admits Last Minute FIA Change Helped Score Bahrain GP Win Over Verstappen

Published 03/29/2021, 5:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium with the trophy Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Lewis Hamilton started his 2021 season on a great note by pulling off one of the greatest drives of his career as he held off the surging Max Verstappen. He ended up crossing the chequered flag 0.7 seconds ahead of the Dutchman to take victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, the Brit admits to being on the right side of the track limits infringement which was called on Verstappen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The incident happened in the closing laps of the race. Verstappen had the tire life advantage over the Brit going into the final stages of the race. The Dutchman made his move on Hamilton near turn 4, however, his overtaking maneuver took all four of his wheels outside the car limits. This led to Verstappen having to immediately cede position to Hamilton, who eventually ended up taking the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton admits to being confused over the track limits call

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the post-race interview, Lewis Hamilton spoke about how he was confused with the track limits statute at Bahrain. He said, “Yeah, I think it’s a difficult one. It was very confusing. Most tracks we’re not allowed to put four wheels outside the white line. But this weekend on that particular corner we weren’t allowed to on Friday. In actual fact, you could go two wheels outside the line. But you can’t go past the blue and white kerb, but in the race, you can. And that is what had been written so going into the race then you can.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The Brit also spoke on how this worked to his advantage in terms of helping him conserve tire life. He said, But it’s quite a different corner when you have to do one or the other in terms of approach. And it is faster when you can go out, but then whatever is the boundary when you are overtaking? You’re not allowed to overtake off-track but halfway through the race, they basically changed their minds. And all of a sudden you’re not allowed to go outside that white line, which is fine for me.

“It’s actually… I think it’s faster in the end for me, it helped me look after my tyres actually. So I’m grateful for the call and ultimately it meant that Max wasn’t able to overtake off track.”

Will races like season-opener at Bahrain be the norm throughout the season?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix has the scope to be one of the exciting season-openers in recent history. The talk before the race was about how much Verstappen will win the race. But, Mercedes managed to pull it back by pulling off a very brave strategy.

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

They employed a bold three-stop strategy that saw Hamilton not pitting again for the last 30 or so laps of the race. This needed supreme execution from Hamilton and he executed it to the tee. However, Red Bull won’t be too disappointed with their performance over the weekend as they were clearly the superior car and were defeated by ingenuity on Mercedes’ part. This sets up the 2021 season to be a thrilling one.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Read More:- F1 Track Limits: What Are They and Why Are They So Confusing?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT