Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the season opener race of the season at Bahrain this Sunday. He had started the race on pole position. Max Verstappen who had started the race at P2 had quite the good run until he had to retire his RB18 right at the closing stages of the race.
Before retiring, there was a tussle between him and Leclerc for P1 in laps 17, 18 and 19. But, Leclerc managed to keep his lead throughout the race. Despite the progress made this weekend, Dutch former racing driver Jan Lammers believes that it is too soon to believe that we will have a new champion.
Jan Lammers believes that the benefit stems mostly from the notion that a competition was quickly sparked amongst various teams and drivers. Although Ferrari appeared to be the quickest, Max Verstappen’s strong racing capabilities allowed him to put the RB18 tight to Leclerc’s F1-75.
“Three-way season battle in store”: Jan Lammers
On being asked to pick a season favourite for the championship title this season, Lammers replied, “Of course it is too early to decide. Of course, after such a convincing race you think: ‘He’ll walk straight to the championship’. We thought the same last year with Verstappen. The biggest gain we have to see at the moment is the prospect of having a battle between three teams.”
He added on how he believes that there’s going to be a close three-way competition between Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes this season. He also mentioned that people cannot write off Mercedes yet just because of Ferrari’s 1-2 podium finish in the season opener at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Despite not getting it right during the practice sessions and driving a not-so-strong qualifying run, Mercedes 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton barely ended up finishing on the podium . Despite the fiasco at Red Bull Racing, Hamilton finished the race, whereas Verstappen and Sergio Perez could not.