Max Verstappen reveals one factor which changed Red Bull race

Red Bull completely dominated the 2024 Bahrain GP finishing 1-2 with Max Verstappen also getting fastest lap


In the aftermath of a dominant performance at the Bahrain International Circuit, where Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two finish, the Dutch driver highlighted the unexpected wind conditions as a key element that positively influenced their race strategy. 

Contrary to pre-race expectations, the intensity and direction of the wind seemed to work in Red Bull‘s favor, allowing Verstappen not only to manage his tyres more effectively but also to maintain a pace that was significantly ahead of the competition.

Verstappen expressed surprise at the margin by which they led, especially considering the half-second gap to the nearest rivals, which was not anticipated based on their long-run simulations and fuel load adjustments during the practice sessions. 

“I think today was probably better than expected,” Verstappen told the press after the race. “The thing that changed was the wind and the intensity of it. 

“So yeah, it just clicked a bit better. I just had a better feeling with the car. And I could look after my tyres quite well at the same time, so that was very positive, probably a bit more how it was in testing as well. 

“I just felt very comfortable with the car and that really showed today, so [I’m]  very happy to kick start the season like this, but also as a team, to have a one-two is just fantastic.”

Verstappen still cautious 

Despite this advantage, Verstappen remains cautious, recognizing that such favorable conditions may not present themselves at every Grand Prix. However, the victory in Bahrain serves as a testament to Red Bull‘s adaptability and the synergy between Verstappen and his car under varying conditions, and sets a high bar for the season, signaling Red Bull’s strong start in their championship defense.

Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“I also think that in general, the other teams are closer,” Verstappen continued. “I just think that today, everything just worked really, really well. 

“Of course I don’t expect that to happen every single Grand Prix in the near future. But still, we take it, we look back at it, of course we analyse it, and we’ll try to improve further.

“I don’t know how they [the other teams] approach their long runs, with fuel loads and whatever. But from our side, it was definitely not expected to be a half a second ahead. But, it was probably a bit better than than I thought today.”

As the Formula 1 season progresses, it will be interesting to see how other teams respond to Red Bull‘s early success and whether they can decipher and counteract the advantages Red Bull exploited in Bahrain. The emphasis on tire management and adaptability to changing conditions will likely be critical factors in the fiercely competitive races ahead.

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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