Crimson Bull crew principal Christian Horner has acknowledged it was powerful to lose the Bahrain Grand Prix to Mercedes after the crew carried out so strongly throughout the race.
Max Verstappen took pole place by 0.4s, confirming Crimson Bull’s pre-season tempo, and led the primary stint earlier than Lewis Hamilton gained observe place with an undercut. As Crimson Bull didn’t reply and caught to its unique plan, it got here right down to a straight struggle on observe with Verstappen needing to cross Hamilton, however failing to take action cleanly and ending up being crushed by lower than a second.
“Mercedes had very robust tempo at the start of the race,” Horner stated. “We couldn’t break (away), and create a niche to cowl them. Their degradation seemed spectacular. So Max might by no means get greater than two seconds away from Lewis. They clearly pitted early for the undercut, we then conceded observe place. And going into the race we very a lot mounted our technique on a two-stop.
“In order that they clearly went early once more on their final cease; we stayed out 10 laps longer. We had a greater tire for the ultimate stint however sadly Lewis had simply sufficient to have the ability to maintain on. Robust to lose a race like that; clearly we managed to get the cross performed at one stage, received large at Flip 4. Max was very sporting and gave it again instantly. Clearly powerful to lose an in depth race like that however we now have to take quite a lot of positives out of the weekend.”
Though Verstappen queried Crimson Bull’s instruction at hand the place again to Hamilton after his off-track overtake — suggesting he might have pulled 5 seconds clear within the remaining three laps to negate a possible time penalty — Horner stated that was by no means an choice.
— Components 1 (@F1) March 30, 2021
“I feel it’s very troublesome — we had an instruction from the race director to present the place again instantly. Max was very sporting and did that,” he stated. “It was irritating, and Lewis had simply sufficient to retain his place to the tip of the race. There’s no assure that we might have gotten the 5 seconds if that had been the penalty. He did the precise factor.”
Whereas harm by the dearth of victory within the opening race, Horner says the larger image is a optimistic one attributable to how tight the championship battle seems to be this season.
“The nice factor for Components 1 is it seems like the 2 groups are shut. It was an incredible race, a tricky race to lose, however congratulations to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton,” he stated. “Hopefully we may give them a tough time in any respect 23 races within the championship.”