Max Verstappen narrowly missed out on victory in Bahrain last weekend, with Sir Lewis Hamilton managing to successfully undercut him early in the race and the Dutch ace missing his opportunity to overtake the Mercedes by running wide at turn four.
He eventually ran out of laps to pass the seven-time World Champion – and he was evidently disappointed to finish in P2, as the Red Bull RB16B had the edge over Mercedes’ 2021 challenger throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, Sergio Perez – who qualified in P11 on his Red Bull debut – finished the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth after his race appeared to have come to an end before it started, with his car suffering an electrical issue on the formation lap.
As a result of this, the start had to be aborted and the cars had to complete another formation lap which ate into the race distance.
So, potentially, the issue on Perez’s car may have cost Verstappen another chance to overtake Hamilton for victory, as it reduced green flag conditions by a lap.
However, it should be noted that Verstappen did have several laps right behind Hamilton, so there’s no guarantee he would have made a move stick if he had just an extra lap.
In any case, if the RB16B continues to set the pace throughout the season – and if Perez can qualify closer to the front and offer Verstappen some support against the two Mercedes – the Dutch driver will be in a great position to win the 2021 Championship despite Hamilton holding the lead after round one.