The title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen continued on the race track of Istanbul, but due to a new combustion engine for the seven-time world champion he was all set to start the race on Sunday from P11. However, as things turned out Max Verstappen was able to finish comfortably at P2, followed by his teammate Sergio Perez to secure Red Bull’s first 2-3 on the podium of 2021 F1 season.
On one hand, where Verstappen got off to an excellent start and stayed in second place behind the Finnish Mercedes driver. Hamilton meanwhile tried to drive forward from his eleventh starting position, which he succeeded in doing at lightning speed. However, overtaking Sergio Perez proved a more difficult task.
Sergio Perez on Lewis Hamilton
“Sergio Perez was defending great there which of course provided a spectacle,” Michael Bleekemolen responded in an exclusive interview with GPblog. “But that is of course what a second driver is for. He just wanted to show that he is still part of the Red Bull-team. On the other hand, with the world championship in mind Lewis didn’t dare take the full risk. In that respect it was a bit of everything.”
However, the world champion continued to drive on the same intermediates, leaving the driver to fear a blowout. It was only at the end of the race that Mercedes decided to call him in. “Of course it was late, on the other hand Sainz showed that going in too early was not the solution either. He didn’t make any progress with his change, which of course woke up other teams. It remains difficult to make the right decision with these weather conditions.”
Once again it seems to be a circuit that favours Mercedes, but Red Bull have shown their ability to deliver craftsmanship on more than one occasion this season. “Every time we think on tracks like this that Red Bull has no chance, but Verstappen always manages to surprise. So let’s hope for an exciting race where Mercedes and Red Bull are close.”
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