Marko Explains How Lewis Hamilton Battle is Forcing Max Verstappen’s Hand

Published 05/17/2021, 10:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Albert Gea


Tire compounds and strategy are one of the most important factors in an F1 race, and one wrong move can cost drivers a race win. Unfortunately, that is what’s been happening with Red Bull, who have been struggling quite a lot with the medium tires, compared to Mercedes. Owing to this, Max Verstappen, their frontline in the title fight, has lost a bit of ground to Lewis Hamilton.

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In light of this, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut said, “If we knew that, we would have turned it off. It certainly has to do with the fact that the Max is forced to drive at the absolute limit, which puts more stress on the tires.

“Perez, who could not drive fully and freely, has significantly less tire degradation.

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“But the whole story is not yet black and white.”

Can Red Bull and Max Verstappen claw back the advantage?

Theoretically speaking, the Dutchman has the capability to take the fight to Hamilton and Mercedes. It is just a matter of having all the pieces fall in place for him and Red Bull. At this weekend’s race in Monaco, the outfit will have no better chance to close the gap to Mercedes.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

Verstappen himself is 14 points adrift of Hamilton and will want to catch up. At a track like Monte Carlo, where it is difficult to overtake, he and Red Bull know that qualifying will be of utmost importance. Even if he does not get pole, a front row berth should also suffice. However, that can only work in his favor, as long as he gets a good launch off the line.

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Even after that, the battle for victory at the Principality is not over yet. This is because the Red Bull team themselves need to get their strategy and pit stops, inch-perfect.

The team normally prides itself on being the quickest team in the pit stops, but it came back to bite them in Spain last weekend. Safe to say, Red Bull and Max Verstappen will be careful to not succumb to that kind of hubris next time around.

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Dhruv George

11625 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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