The calls that decided Hamilton and Verstappen's Bahrain battle
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.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point
OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?
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An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal
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Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.
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