Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Hamilton says it will “take everything and more” to keep beating Red Bull

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says “it’s going to take everything and more” for Mercedes to keep beating Red Bull after taking a narrow win over Max Verstappen in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s Red Bull looked like the car to beat going into the race. He topped all three practice sessions, took pole position and led the early stages of the race.

But an early pit stop for Hamilton to fit the hard compound tyres allowed him to undercut Verstappen and take the lead. He ran a long final stint on hard tyres, at the end of which Verstappen drew within range.

“What a difficult race that was,” said Hamilton. “Definitely stopping early, we knew was going to be difficult but we had to cover Max.”

Verstappen briefly passed Hamilton at one stage, but ran wide at turn four when he did so, and was told to give the place back. Hamilton held on to win the race by seven tenths of a second.

“Max is really doing well at the moment,” said Hamilton, “so it’s going to take everything and more for us to put in performances like this. We love the challenge, I love the challenge, I still love what I do.”

Hamilton said he expected to be “six to eight tenths” of a second slower than Verstappen per lap. He credited the “spectacular” work Mercedes have done since pre-season testing to improve the car and get the whole team “hyped” for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend despite not expecting to win.

“They’ve had amazing performance all weekend, so it was going to take something pretty special,” he said. “We stopped for that last stint and trying to find the right balance between not pushing too much and having tyres at the end of the race was typical, and Max was all over me right at the end, but just about managed to hold him off.

“It was one of the hardest races I’ve had for a while, so I’m really grateful for it and massively thankful to the men and women back at the factory and here also for continuously pushing the boundaries and never giving up even if we do feel we’re behind.

“It was so hard in the car today. But what a great event and this is a really good start for us.”

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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15 comments on “Hamilton says it will “take everything and more” to keep beating Red Bull”

  1. There seem to be bridges on sale everywhere right now…

  2. Lewis i hope you will be proud of the inevitable statue outside of turn 4 you really placed the car perfect you stole 2 wins from Nico and Max there. Also thank you so much Sergio Perez if Albon was in that car were seeing 9th or 10th maximum. Huge result Lewis what a legend also Bottas gonna be even more further behind this year in a twitchy car. Perez shown today what a car the Rbull is. Lewis stole this one Max chucked it away or did he? Bottas in the lead Max probably still wins.

    Reply moderated
  3. More and more yes. I believe it will be decided by whoever makes the fewest mistakes. Both teams tonight had mistakes..This has been the most intense long race battle we have seen since Italy 2019.

    Reply moderated
  4. Turkey 2020 and now Bahrain 2021, where Max had a faster car yet finished behind Hamilton.

    1. @amg44 If you had watched the race, you would have seen Hamilton was easily keeping up with Verstappen when they had the same tyre.

      1. That is not something he wanted to notice, so he “missed” that part.

  5. Everything and more?
    I’m sure he’ll give 110%

  6. “Everything and more” is what it should take to win an title. I got hugely frustrated by Hamilton winning every race easily due to his car and team mate but I loved seeing him win today and having to fight for it.

  7. Davethechicken
    28th March 2021, 20:30

    Lewis always does like to talk up the opposition. Every year is the same. Maybe it is ego, maybe it is self motivation.
    Either way he usually comes out on top.

  8. And normal service resumes

  9. To be fair, this is actually the first race for a long time that Lewis has described as hard that was actually hard. And he took the victory well.

    But let’s not pretend that the 2021 Mercedes is anything other than a very fast race car. Red Bull are very close. But Bottas (who is not a good driver) had a bodged pitstop and an extra pitstop and still finished a comfortable margin ahead of anyone else.

    1. Neverelectric
      28th March 2021, 23:26

      Red Bull are very ‘close’?
      They topped the timesheets in testing, topped all practice sessions, got pole position and Max took chunks out of the mercs on track pretty much at leisure, but you say RB are only ‘very close’?
      Hahahahaha

  10. Oddly, my impression is that will take everything and more from RB+VER to beat HAM+MERC.
    Bottas, prior to the last pitstop, kept the regular pace – ahead of everybody else and 0.3-0.5 behind HAM.
    So, RB+VER in 2021 can beat HAM, if HAM is not at 90% and VER is at 110%.

    1. Well ham needed 110% of the track on corner 4 for 32 laps.
      So that’s quite a lasting advantage.

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