Max Verstappen Explains Lewis Hamilton’s Dramatic Spin in F1 Testing

Published 03/22/2021, 4:41 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race on the podium Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


Max Verstappen and Red Bull have had a very good preseason testing period in Bahrain, blitzing past the rest in terms of pace and laying down a marker for the upcoming season. This is in stark contrast to the struggles displayed by the Mercedes’ W12, which has led to claims that Red Bull and Verstappen could be winners at the end of the season. However, the Dutchman has pumped the brakes on any such notion and believes Mercedes will make a strong comeback when the season starts.

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Mercedes have history of underperforming in the preseason tests, with the most recent example being in 2019. They were outstripped by Ferrari in terms of pace and conceded that Ferrari had the better car. However, once the season started, they went on to reel off eight wins in a row at the start.

Max Verstappen believes Mercedes will come back strongly

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In an interview, Verstappen feels that once the season starts, Mercedes will show their speed. He said, “They are indeed fast. We can see what they are doing on the data. They drove their first fast lap with less power. Then they drove two quiet laps, followed by a second flying lap. In that they won half a second on engine power.”

The Dutchman also gave a very logical explanation for Lewis Hamilton spinning out on Day Two of testing. He said, “The wind had turned 180 degrees from the first day and in that corner you always got a bit upset.”

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

“We shouldn’t look too much behind it. Maybe Mercedes was a bit off with the set-up on the first day, but the last day it looked much more stable. They also scheduled two filming days in Bahrain for the first Grand Prix.”

The 23-year-old also gave his predictions for the top three teams in the Championship. He said, “I expect that we and Mercedes will be close to each other. Behind that it is difficult to predict, but I think McLaren is the third team.”

Can the Dutchman withstand the pressures of a title challenge when he is the one being chased?

If Red Bull and Mercedes have the same fate as they did in the testing program in Bahrain when the season starts, Red Bull, and in turn Max Verstappen, might be able to build up an early lead.

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If that is the case, Max Verstappen should look to build upon it and get himself the wins or podiums that can help him solidify a lead in the drivers’ standings. Mercedes have had it so easy that they might have forgotten what it would be like being the chaser. 

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The last time they came back from a large deficit was in 2018. That time they had to use team orders on a few occasions to stymie Sebastian Vettel‘s progress. Will Valtteri Bottas be amenable to that this time? Only time will tell.

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Red Bull will need to be switched on through the course of the season and will need to be wary of every slip-up, because Mercedes will be lying in wait like a hungry tiger. Let’s hope the 2021 season goes the way the preseason went.

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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.

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