The definition of Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 will be remembered for the emotional duel between Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who finally got the win; and Max Verstappen (Red Bull). Also for that Dutch overshoot to English at Sakhir Turn 4 and by the request made by the sports authorities to return his position.
For many that decision was arbitrary because it was not clear how that sector was going to be controlled, that the pilots usually cut exceeding the limits of the track. Unlike in 2020, when that action was prohibited, for this year they allowed it, although with certain precautions.
“The tolerance that was given to the drivers who went off-track during the race, is something that was clearly mentioned in the drivers' meeting and in the notes. It was said that it would not be controlled with respect to a lap time setting, so to speak ”, explained Michael Masi, race director.
“If there was an off-track overtaking and you had an advantage, a lasting advantage, then we would turn to the radio and suggest that the team immediately give up that position. That was very clear ”, the authority admitted in reference to the Dutchman's overcoming maneuver.
“Red Bull immediately received an instruction from me suggesting that they give up that position, as stated in the sporting regulations, because they gained a lasting advantage by overtaking another car off the track. And they complied with it ", Agregó.
“If the team had chosen not to return that position, the matter would have been referred to the sports commissioners. What they consider appropriate in those circumstances is generally a time penalty, and from what we've seen it could be five seconds or up to 10 ", he finished.
To have greater control in the area, overseers were placed and, according to their Masi, "All the cars, except one, were doing the right thing within what we expected."