It was a race of mixed emotions for the Red Bull Racing team; despite being the favourites for the victory, Mercedes AMG Petronas Racing Team strategy proved to be the real winner of the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir International Circuit.
Despite Max Verstappen running the majority of the race as the fastest car on track he failed to overtake Lewis Hamilton legally after exceeding track limits at Turn 4. Verstappen twice found himself behind Hamilton after Mercedes pulled the undercut twice on Verstappen. Overtaking Hamilton for the lead proved too difficult for Verstappen who had to settle for second place.
All in all it’s been an extremely positive start to the season for Red Bull and team principal Christian Horner insists that his team are ready to take the fight to Mercedes.
“First of all, congratulations to Mercedes, it was a great race today. We are all racers in this Team and to lose by such a small margin obviously hurts but the positive is that we have put in a strong performance all weekend and pushed Mercedes all the way.”
“Max was nursing an issue from early on, how much of an affect that had during the race I’m not sure but he drove his heart out as always and we can’t ask for anything more than that. He got the pass done to re-gain the lead but ran out wide and was instructed to give the place back, which he did immediately and then he pushed Lewis to the line.”
Sergio Pérez had a debut to remember for the Red Bull side after a engine cut out on the formation lap demoted him to a pit-lane start. In true Pérez style however he majestically worked his way through the field, crossing the line in an impressive fifth place for the Mexican who many had already began to question his ability in the Red Bull car.
“Hats off to Sergio as well in what was a great comeback drive for him, especially after starting in the pit lane. He kept a cool calm head after the issue on the Formation Lap and was able to deliver a strong points haul.”
“I think the biggest winner today is the fans, this race sets up a great season and I really hope we see Lewis and Max have many more battles. The fact that we’ve been so competitive this weekend is a good signal for the championship.
“If we’re frustrated with second place, then that’s not a bad place to be and shows the determination within the Team. We’re certainly in the fight and ready to take on the season.”