The calls that decided Hamilton and Verstappen's Bahrain battle
Prime

The calls that decided Hamilton and Verstappen's Bahrain battle

By:

Fastest in every session, all signs pointed towards Red Bull and Max Verstappen starting the 2021 F1 season with a victory. That it didn't pan out that way, and Lewis Hamilton scored a surprising win, owes much to an aggressive Mercedes strategy and a pre-race tyre selection that Verstappen would later question

Given the astounding levels of success Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have achieved in the past seven Formula 1 seasons, it's somewhat surprising that their latest Bahrain Grand Prix victory – and Hamilton's 96th F1 win – was something of an underdog tale.

Mercedes had ended pre-season testing seemingly well adrift of Red Bull on pure pace and with poor car balance. When the teams arrived back in Bahrain for the 2021 race, they knew most of the obscured elements from the testing picture would finally be revealed. And Max Verstappen's near 0.4-second pole margin over Hamilton confirmed that Red Bull was indeed the team to beat.

shares
comments
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
Red Bull: Track limits rules should not be "shades of grey"

Previous article

Red Bull: Track limits rules should not be "shades of grey"

Next article

Mercedes has "no strengths" over Red Bull in F1 2021

Mercedes has "no strengths" over Red Bull in F1 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Author Alex Kalinauckas