Lewis Hamilton started his season in the best possible way with a win in Bahrain. The victory bodes well for his title chances as he aims to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record. However, in some ways, his win in Bahrain was slightly fortunate.
With Max Verstappen having overtaken him in the closing stages of the race, the Dutchman was forced to give back track position since he breached the track limits. But Hamilton knows that the error on Verstappen’s part won’t happen again.
Speaking after the race, Lewis said, “We were fortunate today with Max going wide in Turn 4 but that won’t happen again I’m pretty sure.”
Having looked second best to Red Bull all weekend, Lewis knows he perhaps doesn’t have the best package on the grid anymore. In order to make up for that, he believes Mercedes may need to outdo Red Bull in the strategy department, just like they did in Bahrain.
He added, “We’ve got to do better, we’ve got to be smarter in how we navigate through our weekends with the fact that we don’t have the fastest car at the moment.”
His teammate Valtteri Bottas also echoed this sentiment.
Bottas agrees with Lewis Hamilton in saying that Mercedes aren’t the best on the grid
The Finn, who ended the race in P3 after a botched pitstop, believes Mercedes will have to beat Red Bull in all other departments since the gulf in performance that they had in the past few years is simply not there anymore.
He said, “We don’t have the fastest car at the moment, we need to be perfect in every other area.
“So, yeah, as a team, strong performance overall – but there’s still things we need to do better and we can do better – but it’s a start and it’s early days in the season.”
Mercedes have opened up a 13 point gap after the first weekend on Red Bull. That is exactly the kind of start they would have wanted as they seek to win an 8th consecutive title.
But Red Bull aren’t going to be pushovers. They may not have had the rub of the green as a team, but there were plenty of positives for them in Bahrain.
It certainly looks like we might have a title fight on our hands. What more could you ask for as a fan?