Lewis Hamilton, the only driver in F1 history to bag 98 pole positions, started off the season with another banger as he outmaneuvered Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the pole position. Since the past four seasons, Red Bull has been desperately trying to beat Mercedes in the Constructor’s Cup and they seem to have finally played their cards right.
Max Verstappen has been phenomenal throughout the pre-season testing. He further built upon his form with a marvelous fusion of pace and skill at Bahrain. Even though Sir Lewis Hamilton walked away with the trophy eventually, he could feel Verstappen breathing down his neck the entire race.
Lewis edged past Verstappen at Bahrain with a very thin margin between them. The threat from the Dutchman made him admit that Red Bull has an upper hand this season. “I think Red Bull’s pace is incredibly strong, as you could see. We can’t match them in qualifying right now. That’s a big step for us,” remarked the Briton.
Red Bull has a colossal advantage over Mercedes this season, and that is their pace. Even at windy tracks like the Bahrain circuit, the RB16B displayed the strength contained within. Although Lewis would have fancied a good battle from Verstappen this season, the close context last week was uncomfortable for him.
Lewis Hamilton skeptical about Imola and Portimao
Imola and Portimao usually record wind speeds at around 30 to 40 km/hr. Considering this and judging from Red Bull’s form in Bahrain, the wind could act as a boon to them. We have seen Mercedes struggle with pace last week and as the tracks are fast-paced, Max might as well make it worse for Lewis at Imola.
The seven-time world champion usually took the chequered flag with no competition to at least half a minute of his time. However, after smelling Verstappen from such close proximity at Bahrain, he will monitor the rear-view mirror now.
He further went onto to express his concern about the races that await him, revealing his thoughts on them. “The thing is, we just don’t know how much better they’ll be in other places that we go to – or how much worse, or how good [Mercedes will be].
“Maybe our car’s better in other places than it is here, or maybe it’s worse – we’ll wait and find out. One thing’s for sure, we’ll work as hard as we can to improve it,” elaborated Lewis.
The Imola Grand Prix is almost two weeks away and that gives immense time to both teams. We are sure that both the Milton Keynes and Brackley-based outfits would be running through their strategies. Eventually, Red Bull will aim to win the race, while Mercedes will aim at desperately holding on their win.
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