The first GP of the season has been spectacular. After a tactical joust, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fought a duel in the final laps. Seven-time world champion Hamilton was the winner.
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Wonderful duel between Hamilton and Verstappen
All motorsport fans were looking forward to the first GP of the season and the possible duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. And the duo did not disappoint in Bahrain.
Mercedes soon decided to make it a tactical joust and adjusted Hamilton’s tire strategy. As a result, Red Bull had to send Verstappen in pursuit of the world champion with fresh tires.
The joust took on an extra dimension when Red Bull addressed Hamilton’s too wide exit in turn 4 over the on-board radio. It seemed to pay off, but in the final laps it came back like a boomerang.
Verstappen finally got hold of Hamilton and could also pass him, but he went wide at turn 4. His team had to let Hamilton pass and that cost the Dutchman the victory. Suddenly Hamilton found a second wind and so he kept Verstappen just behind him at the finish.
What you still have to remember from the first race:
- Valtteri Bottas was – partly due to a bad second pit stop – never able to get involved in the duel for the victory. And he was not satisfied with that afterwards: “I did not understand that the team had chosen a defensive strategy for me.” He did take an extra point by driving the fastest lap.
- Lando Norris drove to fourth place in his McLaren, a boost for the young Briton. It ended behind him Sergio Perez after a catch-up race – he had to leave the pits last – fifth.
- Yuki Tsunoda gave his calling card in his debut race. In his AlphaTauri the young Japanese took 2 points with his 9th place.
- In his comeback in Formula 1 showed Fernando Alonso that he has not lost any of his qualities. The Spaniard had to give up his Alpine due to a braking problem.
- Sebastian Vettel will want to forget Bahrain as soon as possible. He was quickly killed in qualifying, received a grid penalty and collided directly with Esteban Ocon in the race. That also put him on a penalty.
Short reactions from Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton (GBr)||Mercedes|
|2.||Max Verstappen (Ned)||Red Bull|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas (Fin)||Mercedes|
|4.||Lando Norris (GBr)||McLaren|
|5.||Sergio Perez (Mex)||Red Bull|
|6.||Charles Leclerc (Mon)||Ferrari|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo (Aus)||McLaren|
|8.||Carlos Sainz jr (Spa)||Ferrari|
|9.||Yuki Tsunoda (Jap)||AlphaTauri|
|10.||Lance Stroll (Can)||Aston Martin|
|11.||Kimi Raikkonen (Fin)||Alfa Romeo|
|12.||Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita)||Alfa Romeo|
|13.||Esteban Ocon (Fra)||Alpine|
|14.||George Russell (GBr)||Williams|
|15.||Sebastian Vettel (Dui)||Aston Martin|
|16.||Mick Schumacher (Dui)||Haas|
|17.||Pierre Gasly (Fra)||AlphaTauri|
|18.||Nicholas Latifi (Can)||Williams|