Lewis Hamilton says he was put under “immense” pressure from Max Verstappen after getting the better of his Red Bull rival in a titanic fight over the last few laps. Despite starting on pole and leading the majority of the race, Verstappen couldn’t stop Hamilton start his quest for an eighth championship with a win at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Mercedes combined excellent strategy along with expert tire management withstanding an onslaught from Verstappen to win by 0.7 seconds.
“The pressure was immense,” Hamilton said. “He’s a fantastic driver and they have the quicker car. So, to keep him behind on fresher tyres also, it was one of the hardest [races] that I’ve had for a while. But I’ve got a really bad memory so I’m sure there are other good ones too!”
Hamilton dished out huge credit to Mercedes after the improvements made to the W12 car which had a disappointing spin in practice two weeks ago.
“We have got such a great fight ahead,” predicted Hamilton. “It’s not the end for them – they’re going to come back with vengeance in the next race, so we’ve got to work hard. I hope the fans enjoyed it because I enjoyed it. Onwards and upwards from here.”