I think it will be a fight between these two drivers all season, states commentator Atle Gulbrandsen on the Viasat broadcast.
The Red Bull team announced on team radio Verstappen to let Hamilton drive past them – because the Dutchman passed the Briton off the field on the 53rd of 56 laps.
I could have secured more than a five-second lead – and then taken a five-second penalty, Verstappen complained to the Red Bull team when he reached the finish line.
The race management was on us and said that you had to let him pass, Red Bull boss Christian Horner replied.
It’s disappointing. But we have had a very good start to the season, says Verstappen in the interview shown on Viasat.
What a difficult race! Max drove fantastic all weekend. I barely managed to keep him behind me, says Lewis Hamilton.
We thought we would be far behind now in the beginning, but it has been worked incredibly in recent weeks.
It was an extremely exciting end to the race: After 40 of 56 laps, Max Verstappen was – from close position – in the depot – and came out 8.5 seconds behind Hamilton.
The Red Bull driver took on the Mercedes driver for each lap, and it was only a matter of time before he passed Lewis Hamilton. But the British defended himself heroically.
Verstappen, who had the best starting track, “showed up in the mirror” – and then he struck in the 53rd round. But suddenly he had to let Hamilton pass him again.
I do not understand what happened, Atle Gulbrandsen exclaims first. After passing the finish line came the explanation of what had happened.
The Dutchman was unable to catch Hamilton again, even though he was close. Hamilton was seven tenths ahead in the end. Valtteri Bottas took 3rd place according to the recipe.
- Mick Schumacher (22) already spun in the fourth round of his debut race – which comes exactly 30 years after dad Michael drove his first Grand Prix. Both 22 years old. Not surprisingly, the Haas driver had to find himself fighting in the back of the field.
- Sergio Perez (31) got into trouble in the warm-up round. The Red Bull driver had to start from the pitlane. He advanced impressively to 5th place.
- The old top teams Ferrari (Carlos Sainz jr and Charles Leclerc) and McLaren (Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) kept a nice pace in the premiere. It bodes well for the Formula 1 season.
- Haas debutant Nikita Mazepin (22) smoked out already in the first round. A bad day for the Russian – and a similarly good day for all those who have run a campaign to get him removed after the video scandal.
- When Aston Martin was back on the track for the first time in 60 years, things went much better for Lance Stroll (10th place) than for former world champion Sebastian Vettel (15th place).
- Fernando Alonso (39) lost in his comeback for the Alpine brakes and had to drive in the garage.
The next race will take place on the legendary Imola track on 18 April.
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes.
2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull +0.745.
3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes +37,383.
4. Lando Norris, McLaren +46,466.
5. Sergio Perez, Red Bull +52,047.
6. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +59,090.
7. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +66.004.
8. Carlos Sainz jr., Ferrari +67,100.
9. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +85.692.
10. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +86.713.
11. Kimi Räikkönen, 12. Antonio Giovinazzi, 13. Esteban Ocon, 14. George Russell, 15. Sebastian Vettel, 16. Mick Schumacher, 17. Pierre Gasly, 18. Nicholas Latifi, 19. Fernando Alonso, 20. Nikita Mazepin.