The British pilot Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), winner of Bahrain Grand Prix of this Sunday after a tight fight with the Dutch Max verstappen (Red Bull) stressed that his rival is going to “squeeze the fight to the limit” and that he “loves the challenge” that this entails.
“Max is doing very well, me too, and he is going to push us to the limit. I love this challenge, I love what I do,” said Hamilton after winning the Sakhir circuit and achieving the 96th victory of his sports career.
Hamilton won despite starting from second place. He took the lead by overtaking his first stop four laps over Verstappen, who started from pole position.
“What a race, it was very difficult. We stopped early, we knew it was going to be difficult, we had to cover Max’s stop, because they have performed very well all weekend,” he said.
The British driver explained that he lost the final advantage he had over Verstappen, 8 seconds, because he was trying to “maintain the balance between pushing and holding the tires.” Max was on top at the end and I was able to keep him by the hair, “he acknowledged.
The leader of Mercedes praised the team’s work at the factory, recalling that they thought they would be “between 6 and 8 tenths” per lap of the Red bull. “The work during the week has been spectacular and I am very happy,” he added.
Hamilton admitted that he expects Red Bull to remain faster than Mercedes in the next race, the Emilia Grand Prix. Romagna in Imola (Italy).
“Maybe the car is better in Italy, but I think they will continue to have an advantage, because their rear is better, and that allows them to take care of the tires,” he explained to ‘DAZN F1’.