Spanish GP: ‘Sitting Duck’ Max Verstappen Could Foresee Lewis Hamilton Overtaking Him After His Pit-Stop

Published 05/09/2021, 11:28 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after qualifying in second position FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Lewis Hamilton made it three wins out of four races after taking the win in Barcelona right from the clutches of Max Verstappen. Even though the Dutchman overtook him at the start, the Briton came back towards the end after a crucial stop. And as soon as he pitted for fresh rubber, Max knew that his rival was going to re-take his lead.

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He made this interesting revelation right after getting out of his car at parc ferme.

“In a way, I could see it coming. Already at the end with the soft, he was faster, and then when we were put on the mediums he clearly had a lot more pace,” an unsurprised Max told post-race interviewer, Jenson Button.

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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

But this begs the question, could he or Red Bull have done something to prevent the known from happening?

According to Max, they had their hands tied.

“There was not much we could have done. You could see every lap he was getting closer and closer. I was a bit of a sitting duck.”

Red Bull need to improve their race pace to back Max Verstappen

After these opening exchanges, we can conclude that Red Bull are behind Mercedes in terms of race pace. While they mostly hold the edge in qualifying, they are bested by the defending champions on Sundays. A great qualifying doesn’t matter much if you can’t convert it into a promising result in the main race.

Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, came on Max’s radio to console. He believed that it was Hungary 2020 all over again with Mercedes getting the upper hand through their strategy.

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However, Max thought otherwise, “Yeah, it helps a lot when you are just clearly faster. I think it doesn’t even matter if you one or two (pit stops).”

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Hence, they need to buckle up their efforts at Milton Keynes as they wouldn’t want a frustrated driver behind the wheel. If Hamilton keeps increasing his title gap, that would pile the pressure on Max. And they certainly wouldn’t want him to overdrive and make mistakes that could potentially cost him the title.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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