Marko Explains Lewis Hamilton’s Sly Tactic While Repassing Verstappen in Bahrain GP

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April 5, 2021 1:06 pm

Formula 1 started off with what was a nail-biting season-opening race in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battling their heart out for an early advantage on the driver’s table.

The flying Dutchman showcased brilliant pace throughout the weekend, while Mercedes were nowhere near the Red Bull driver’s lap times. However, the end result was more of a shock to the fans, with Lewis heading out as the race winner.

What’s interesting is that Mercedes were actually the slower ones compared to Red Bull amidst rumors that the Stuttgart outfit were sandbagging.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

So, how did Hamilton manage to stay ahead of Max during the latter part of the race despite running on a much older set of tires a slower car?

Well, Red Bull’s advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, has the answer to it.

According to the former racing driver, it was Lewis’s tactical way of driving that gave him the advantage over Max. The Briton made his final pit-stop on lap 29, almost 11 laps earlier than Max.

However, Marko noticed that the seven-time world champion was never pushing hard on the fresh tires. Instead, he was keeping up the nine-second gap to Max, watching over his tires and maintaining an optimum temperature. And when Max’s threat loomed over Lewis, the latter had enough rubber left on his tires to push.

Marko’s view on the clever move by Lewis Hamilton

As reported by Motorsport, the 77-year-old opened up about how Lewis managed to halt the charging bull of Verstappen from behind.

Hamilton is very sophisticated about those things. There is no doubt about that. He waited a relatively long time to catch up with Max again,” he said. (Translated from Dutch using Google Translate)

This allowed his tires to cool down for a while and he benefited from that in the remainder of the race. Max made it clear. Also a little slider in turn 13 and picked up some dirt on his tires. The race was over with that.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference with second-placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Despite losing out to Mercedes yet again, Red Bull have a lot of positives to take away from the weekend in Bahrain. For the first time in years, Red Bull are fielding a much faster car compared to the ever-dominant Mercedes.

Hence, if the Austrian outfit could make better strategic calls under pressure, there is clearly no stopping them. Overall, F1 is just a week away from entering its second race weekend of the season. But who is going to nose ahead this time around?

Also Read: Lewis Hamilton Calls for a ‘Smarter’ Mercedes to Beat Red Bull and Verstappen

Rohit Kumar

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. With his favorite track being Hockenheim and his favorite turn being Eau Rouge (Spa, Belgium), Rohit is a strong advocate for bringing back the pre-turbo-hybrid era V10 engines and their screams. Apart from being an author, Rohit is also a trained tennis player, having qualified for national tournaments. He has been a part of the Estilio Academy for over a decade.

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