Damage limitation for Verstappen and Hamilton: 'Both had a super bad start'

27-09-2021 18:13 | Updated: 27-09-2021 20:31
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Damage limitation for Verstappen and Hamilton: 'Both had a super bad start'

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both drove an excellent race during the Russian Grand Prix. Hamilton eventually took the win, while the Dutchman managed to drive from P20 to P2.

However, neither Hamilton or Verstappen had the best start. Was this to limit damage and not take a risk? "They both actually had a super bad start as well, like Lewis Hamilton, who had a really bad start, but so did Max. Maybe it was because Max was last on the grid, the whole procedure of putting the car in first gear and adjusting those electronics to get that ideal start, that you almost don't have time for that", Christijan Albers said in the Telegraph podcast.

"That's really quite crazy, you're not at all used to that when you join at the back and you come onto the grid. Normally someone is just waiting for almost half a minute or twenty, thirty seconds. Which for a driver feels like almost five minutes. Now he joins at the back and it's immediately the start, so you could see he lost quite a bit there. Then you see Lewis also being very careful because those guys at the front have nothing to lose. I think they both did well."

Pit stop strategy

Red Bull eventually made the right decision to bring Verstappen in for intermediates quickly. According to Albers, there is sometimes a difference in the speed at which the title rivals respond.

"You often see Mercedes being a bit slow with their decisions and Red Bull being more on top of things. Apparently when it comes to Red Bull's strategy at the pit wall they have someone who really pays attention to the situation and they have a better team in place compared to Mercedes. That was a plus for Max this race. You also saw when Lewis arrived at Parc Fermé, you saw him looking next to him all the time like 'who is next to me'. At some point Max was standing there and that was obviously not great."

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