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    Max Verstappen calls Pink Bull’s Bahrain 1-2 ‘precisely the beginning we wished’

    A 12 months in the past, Pink Bull left the Bahrain Grand Prix locked out of the factors, trying up at the remainder of the sector as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez each failed to complete.

    A brand new 12 months supplied a a lot totally different story for the staff.

    After locking out the entrance row throughout Saturday’s qualifying session — with Verstappen on the pole and Perez simply behind him — the drivers accomplished the weekend atop the rostrum. Verstappen pulled away from the sector to safe first at Bahrain, whereas Perez got here throughout the road forward of him to present Pink Bull a powerful 1-2 end to start out the season.

    The defending Drivers’ Champion mentioned after the race that it was precisely what the staff hoped for.

    “That is precisely the beginning we wished, a one-two end. I’m extremely proud that we’ve got achieved this as a Staff,” mentioned Verstappen after the race in an announcement supplied to the media, together with SB Nation. “I may see early on that we had the tempo within the automobile, I used to be in a position to construct a spot from the beginning after which simply managed it for the remainder of the race, it was a simple day for us. It additionally feels good to lastly win in Bahrain, I haven’t had the very best historical past right here.”

    Verstappen’s win on Sunday was his first at Bahrain in ten races at Sakhir. His earlier greatest was a second-place end in 2021.

    Whereas Verstappen managed to tug away from the sector, his teammate needed to take care of a couple of totally different battles on the observe to safe his second-place end. Perez initially fell behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, however was in a position to battle his manner again into second, and that place was secured when Leclerc retired early resulting from an influence downside.

    “My begin wasn’t best, Charles was slightly too aggressive, pushed me to the fitting and I did my greatest to keep away from him. That meant my first stint wasn’t best, Charles was very robust on that new tyre and it was troublesome to get by him shortly sufficient,” mentioned Perez after the race. “I believe that’s the place I misplaced out to Max, I used to be behind him by about 10 or 12 seconds and after that it was sport over on catching Max, it was all about getting Charles. It was vital to get by him, minimise the injury and get that P2 for the Staff.”

    Staff Principal Christian Horner was overjoyed with the consequence.

    “What a race! Max definitely confirmed he has not misplaced any of his tempo coming into the brand new season, grabbing pole and the victory with each fingers. Checo had a bit of labor to do with Charles, however he performed it properly after which from there it was about managing the race until the tip,” exclaimed the Staff Principal after the Grand Prix. “The tempo was there, the reliability too, we additionally had a stable pit cease technique. It’s nice to have each the fellows up there inside a tenth, preventing over the tremendous margins. That pushes the Staff ahead they usually definitely delivered. Evaluating it to final 12 months, after we completed with no factors, is kind of a distinction.”

    Nonetheless, each Verstappen and his boss acknowledged that Bahrain is simply the begin to an extended F1 season.

    “Nonetheless, it’s vital to recollect that is simply race one, there’s numerous racing nonetheless to do, however it’s a nice begin, from the entire staff,” mentioned Horner. “It was vital for us to get on the board, get some good factors in early and we’ve got achieved that as we speak. We look ahead to see what Jeddah brings.”

    Verstappen famous after the race that Jeddah is a a lot totally different observe than Bahrain, that may convey totally different challenged for Pink Bull and their 2023 challenger, the RB19. “Looking forward to Jeddah, it’s a totally totally different observe with totally different situations, there’s numerous lengthy straights and quick corners, so it is going to give us a totally totally different image of the place everyone seems to be on the grid however no less than this was an excellent begin for us.”

    Nonetheless, with how final 12 months began — after which ended — that is as near an ideal begin for Pink Bull.

    And one which has the remainder of the sector questioning tips on how to shut the hole on the defending champions.

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