On Sunday, Max Verstappen took victory within the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix on the ninth time of asking whereas Crimson Bull picked up a one-two due to Sergio Perez – and the reigning champion was clearly elated at his profitable begin.
Verstappen led from lights out, swapping his beginning set of softs for one more set on Lap 14 earlier than switching to hards on Lap 36, to win the Bahrain Grand Prix by 11 seconds over group mate Perez. The 2-time champion by no means appeared threatened for the lead, and now has 25 factors to his tally as he seeks a 3rd title.
READ MORE: Verstappen leads 1-2 in Bahrain season opener as Leclerc retires and Alonso takes ultimate podium place in type
“That is precisely what we had been dreaming of and what we wished to attain, so yeah, nice day for the entire group,” mentioned Verstappen. “It has been a terrific begin for us, for the entire group, so this isn’t one thing we’re used to. We’re very blissful in the meanwhile, however we at all times preserve working.
“I believe for me, the primary stint was an important, the place I might pull a spot. As soon as we had the hole it was nearly ensuring we might do our stint plan. And that labored out nicely.
2023 Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen crosses the road to seal dominant victory in season opener
“I believe additionally, the automotive was engaged on each [tyre] compound we placed on the automotive, so it appeared a bit after all lonely on the market, however there was nonetheless a variety of issues to take a look at, or fine-tune, however general I’m very blissful to win right here.”
Verstappen had extra causes to smile given Crimson Bull suffered a double-DNF in final yr’s Bahrain Grand Prix as Ferrari took a one-two to start the season with an ideal begin – and this yr it was Charles Leclerc who dropped out of the working from P3 as Crimson Bull claimed most factors (bar the quickest lap).
READ MORE: Leclerc calls on Ferrari to ‘perceive what went flawed’ after painful Bahrain GP retirement
“Final yr was very disappointing after all… and I do assume our mentality has additionally modified a bit in contrast to a couple years in the past, when it comes to how we’re working and the way we’re growing a automotive,” mentioned Verstappen as he appeared again to final yr’s season opener.
“It’s nice to lastly have a automotive which is ready to win from the beginning – and it additionally helps that the automotive shouldn’t be so chubby, it’s completely tremendous now. It is a nice begin, however we additionally know that all through the season it’s important to preserve growing. In fact, we’re on that, however we hope that’s hoping to be greater than the opposite groups as a result of it’s important to preserve that benefit going.”
Saudi Arabia hosts the second spherical of the season on March 17-19 – and Verstappen mentioned he anticipated the opposite groups to be nearer to Crimson Bull at Jeddah.
READ MORE: ‘Every little thing went flawed in the present day’ says annoyed Ocon after being penalised thrice and retiring early in Bahrain
“Nicely, Saudi is a distinct observe to this one. You’ve much more straights, quick corners, and so much much less deg. So I believe right here we had been notably good on deg – so I do anticipate on race tempo that everybody is nearer in Jeddah,” he commented.