Lewis Hamilton leaves Max Verstappen wanting at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Both staged an intense battle for victory, which remained for the Mercedes champion.

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The 2021 season of the F1 started with a Bahrain Grand Prix in which strategies played a fundamental role. The fight for victory had only two protagonists: the English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who finally won, and the Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

The Bahrain GP start with Verstappen and Hamilton fighting for victory. Photo: Bryn Lennon / Getty Images.

Verstappen, who started from pole position, and Hamilton, who started second, battled for victory at all times, alternating at the front of the pack as each made their respective pit stops to change tires.

The final stage of the test saw both on hard tires and with Hamilton in front, albeit with more worn tires. Verstappen had left him the lead in the 40th turn, 16 from the end, to wear his last set.

Lewis HamiltonThe eight seconds between them quickly dwindled and they faced the last four laps 1.5 seconds apart. Those last turns were emotional as Verstappen, taking advantage of the DRS, managed to smooth the gap and overcome it, but little could he enjoy it.

The overshooting maneuver had been passing the limits of turn 4, something that forced the Red Bull to return the position to the champion, who had already demonstrated his decision to win by stretching the braking in the corners.

Tire strategy
The strategy of each team in the Bahrain GP.

Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) was a luxury witness to that battle and without a chance to join it had to settle for third place on the podium. But before he went to the pits, I put on new tires and set the lap record. The Top 5 was completed by English Lando Norris (McLaren) and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), who started from the pits after his car came to a stop in the middle of a formation lap.


Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton: "Max put a lot of pressure on me on the finish… It was one of the hardest races I've had in a while, so I'm really thankful for winning!"

Max Verstappen: “It is disappointing not to win, but we really fought Mercedes and we have to be happy in general. It was close to the end, but at least we added some good points ”.

Valtteri Bottas: "I'm disappointed. I had to defend myself. I was never in a position to attack like last year. Lewis and I had different strategies today… For my part things could have been better ”.


Sergio PérezThe Mexican Sergio PérezIn his own way, he was another of the great protagonists of Sunday. He was in 11th place on the grid, but problems with his Red Bull in the middle of the training lap forced him to start from the pits. However, that was not a stumbling block to stand out on the Bahrain night. With rhythm, speed and good maneuvers he closed the Top 5.


Lando Norris"Are those fireworks for me?" I ask Lando Norris when he saw the sky lit up at the end of the race. With his particular humor the Englishman celebrated fourth place achieved in the competition, a result that demonstrates the advancement of McLaren now that it has Mercedes power units. The australian Daniel Ricciardo, his teammate, made his debut in the Woking team with a seventh place.


Yuki tsunodaThe Japanese Yuki tsunoda (AlphaTauri) scored points in his official debut in the category after finishing in ninth position. The Japanese, who started 13th, had great moments when he beat two great champions, the Spanish Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin). As for the other rookies, the German Mick Schumacher (Haas) was the last classified in the 16th place; while the russian Nikita mazepin, his partner, left shortly after the start after a mistake.


Mick Schumacher"In general, I would say that I am 90% happy and 10% not because I had a spin on the relaunch after the Safety Car. Fortunately, the car allowed me to continue and continue to gain experience", Mick Schumacher summed up after finishing his first Grand Prix one lap behind the winner.


Charles LeclercAfter the prominence it had in Saturday's classification, it could be said that the result of Ferrari Sunday he liked little. While the Monegasque Charles Leclerc He came in third in the first part of the test, his car's performance declined with the running of the turns and he finished sixth almost a minute behind the winner. The Spanish Carlos SainzMeanwhile, he finished eighth in a discreet career.


Fernando AlonsoThe Spanish Fernando Alonso could not round off a good return to Formula 1. After starting ninth he was placed in seventh position, but brake problems in his Alpine He was started behind in the lot and eventually dropped out as he was averaging the Grand Prix and was marching in 15th place.


  • 96th win for Lewis Hamilton
  • 5.126 laps led for Lewis Hamilton (new record)
  • 14th podium for the Hamilton-Verstappen-Bottas trio
  • 200th podium for honda
  • 4th pole position for Max Verstappen


pos. No. pilot auto laps. time / diff. PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 56 1:32:03.897 25
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 56 +0.745s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 56 +37.383s 16
4 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 56 +46.466s 12
5 11 Sergio Pérez RED BULL RACING HONDA 56 +52.047s 10
6 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 56 +59.090s 8
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 56 +66.004s 6
8 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 56 +67.100s 4
9 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 56 +85.692s 2
10 18 Throw Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 56 +86.713s 1
11 7 Whom Raikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 56 +88.864s 0
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 55 +1 lap 0
13 31 Esteban Or with ALPINE RENAULT 55 +1 lap 0
14 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 55 +1 lap 0
15 5 Sebastian Hag ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 55 +1 lap 0
16 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 55 +1 lap 0
17 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI HONDA 52 DNF 0
18 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 51 DNF 0
NC 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 32 DNF 0
NC 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 0 DNF 0

AVERAGE: 200,883 km / h. LAP RECORD: Bottas, in the 56th, in 1: 32.090 at 211,567 km / h. DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Hamilton, 25 points; 2) Verstappen, 18; 3) Bottas, 16; 4) Norris, 12; 5) Pérez, 10; 6) Leclerc, 8; 7) Ricciardo, 6; 8) Sainz, 4; 9) Tsunoda, 2; 10) Stroll, 1. BUILDERS CUP: 1) Mercedes, 41 points; 2) Red Bull, 28; 3) McLaren, 18; 4) Ferrari, 12; 5) AlphaTauri, 2; 6) Aston Martin, 1. NEXT DATE: 18/4, Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna.

44 HAM C3u C2n (13) C2n (28)
33 SEE C3u C3n (17) C2n (39)
77 BOT C3u C2n (16) C2n (30) C3u (54)
4 NOR C4u C3n (12) C2n (33)
11 VIA C3u C3u (2) C2n (19) C3u (38)
16 LEC C4u C3n (12) C2n (32)
3 RIC C4u C3n (13) C2n (32)
55 SAI C4u C3n (15) C2n (37)
22 TSU C3u C2n (15) C2n (33)
18 STR C4u C3n (12) C2n (28)
7 RAI C3n C2n (13) C3n (29)
99 GIO C3n C2n (12) C3n (30)
31 OCO C4n C3n (13) C2n (31)
63 RUSSIAN C4n C3n (13) C3n (36)
5 VET C3n C2n (24)
47 MSC C3n C3n (14) C2n (33)
10 GAS C3u C2n (4) C3u (19) C2n (39)
6 LAT C4n C3n (14) C3n (32)
14 HELLO C4u C3n (11) C2n (29)
9 MAZ C3n

Note: C2, hard compound; C3, middle compound; and C4, soft compound. N, new game; U, game used.

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