Horner: Verstappen letting Hamilton through "the right thing" in Bahrain GP

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen "did the right thing" letting Lewis Hamilton through under race control orders in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Horner: Verstappen letting Hamilton through "the right thing" in Bahrain GP

With four laps to go in F1 2021's season opener, Verstappen went off track in Turn 4 in an attempt to snatch the victory away from leader Lewis Hamilton, forcing him to hand the position back to Mercedes driver.

Verstappen questioned Red Bull's call to give the position back, claiming he would have preferred to risk a potential five-second penalty and try to gap Hamilton over the final three laps. 

Instead, Verstappen was unable to launch another attack and had to settle for second place less than a second behind Hamilton.

Horner said Verstappen "did the right thing" to follow race control's instructions as there was no way of knowing if the Dutchman would have been able to pull out a large enough gap in just three laps.

"I think it's very difficult," Horner commented on the call. "We had an instruction from the race director to give the place back immediately. Max was very sporting and did that.

"It was frustrating and Lewis had just enough to retain his position to the end of the race but look, there's no guarantee we could have gotten the five seconds if that had been the penalty. So he did the right thing."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Horner rued the fact that Red Bull couldn't convert a convincing pole position into a win but believed Verstappen's pass vindicated the team's choice to cede track position and try to overtake Hamilton on the track.

"I think that Mercedes had very strong pace at the beginning of the race," Horner explained. "Their degradation looked impressive, so Max could never get more than two seconds clear of Lewis.

"Going into the race we very much fixed our strategy on a two stop. They obviously went early again on their last stop. We stayed out ten laps longer so we had a better tyre for the final stint, but unfortunately Lewis had just enough to be able to hold on.

"Obviously, we managed to get the pass done at one stage and got wide at Turn 4. Max was very sporting, he gave it back immediately.

"It's tough to lose a close race like that, but we have to take a lot of positives out the weekend."

shares
comments
Hamilton: Final few laps of F1 Bahrain GP were "horrifying"
Previous article

Hamilton: Final few laps of F1 Bahrain GP were "horrifying"

Next article

Verstappen explains inability to re-attack Hamilton in Bahrain F1 GP

Verstappen explains inability to re-attack Hamilton in Bahrain F1 GP
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022