Team principal Christian Horner of the Formula 1 team Red Bull believes that Max Verstappen has shown his most sporty side in the Bahrain GP. 3 laps before the end of the race, Verstappen took the lead from Lewis Hamilton with an overtaking action, but he exceeded the so-called ‘track limits’ in turn 4. As the rules indicate, the Dutchman was back in first place a few corners later off to the Brit.
“When you get that instruction, you have to make way,” said Horner. “It’s about real, fair racing. Max did what he had to do. ” After the opening race of the season, it was mainly about the ‘track limits’, the ends of the track. There are many asphalt run-off strips along the Sakhir circuit. If a driver with 4 wheels goes outside the track limits, he can be punished for doing so. The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas did this regularly during the race in turn 4 in order to lose less speed, until the race management pointed this out to them.
When Verstappen exceeded the track limits in the final phase when passing Hamilton on the outside, he was immediately ordered via the on-board radio to relinquish his place in order to avoid a time penalty. “We were suddenly told during the race that the track limits were back in effect,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
Prefer time penalty
In hindsight, Verstappen himself would have preferred a time penalty. “I’d rather finish first with a penalty than second in this way,” he told Ziggo Sport.