Red Bull engineer claims their ‘sponsors need airtime’ after Max Verstappen domination

Max Verstappen won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix by 11.9 seconds from team-mate Sergio Pérez.

Last weekend’s season-opener was certainly a dominant one for Red Bull, with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen having cruised to victory at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Nobody was able to compete with the imperious Dutchman, who was rarely seen during the race, after beating team-mate Sergio Pérez by virtually 12 seconds and third place Fernando Alonso by almost 40 seconds.

It was certainly the perfect way for him to start his title defence, with Verstappen targeting a third consecutive drivers’ championship.

Red Bull in general just look phenomenal, with Mercedes’ George Russell having admitted that the Milton Keynes-based team already have “this championship sewn up”.

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“Red Bull have got this championship sewn up,” said Russell after finishing seventh, as reported by The Athletic.

“I don’t think anyone will be fighting with them this year. They should win every single race this year, (that) is my bet.”

Red Bull engineer Laura Davies joked that the dominant Austrians “need some competition”, with their sponsors needing “airtime”.

“That was far too easy…” Davies said.

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“We need some competition at the front… Our sponsors need airtime…”

Red Bull’s rivals will have been left hugely concerned following comments made by Verstappen after the race, where he revealed that his race engineer informed him early on to stop pushing, suggesting that the RB19’s full potential is yet to be truly seen.

“After that first stint, I just drove home,” Verstappen told Dutch broadcaster Viaplay.

“Of course, I had a big gap right away and after that, we didn’t really need to push anymore.

“Every time I wanted to push a bit, GP (Gianpiero Lambiase) – my engineer – got angry, so of course that says enough about the race.

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“Of course, I’m very happy, it’s obviously a top start to the season and a very different start to last year.”

Despite their easy victory, Red Bull will still be aware that things can change incredibly quickly, given that Ferrari started 2022 on top before enduring several issues.

Early indicators do suggest that it’s Red Bull’s title to lose this year, with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari having a mountain to climb in order to catch the reigning champions.