Hamilton takes 2021 F1 season opener just 0.7sec ahead of Verstappen

Hamilton marks 96th career win, Verstappen marks 200th podium finish for Honda
by Leandre Grecia | Mar 29, 2021
PHOTO: Honda Racing F1

The 2021 Formula 1 season is off to an electrifying start.

The season opener, the Bahrain Grand Prix, recently concluded with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG taking the win. But while it seems like business as usual for Hamilton and his crew, the race was closer than some of us may think.

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen finished second, a mere 0.745sec behind Hamilton. It was quite the finish, and it all went down to the final lap of the race. In fact, Verstappen actually had the lead early on, but after a number of exchanges, Hamilton eventually held on for his 96th career win.

Verstappen’s finish was still impressive, of course, as third-placer Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes finished almost half a minute behind. McLaren’s Lando Norris finished the race in fourth, while Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez in fifth.

Max Verstappen

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Verstappen’s second-place finish also meant something important—it also marked Honda’s 200th podium in Formula 1.

“We have to look at the positives, we are taking the fight to Mercedes and I think that’s great, it’s good to start the season this way and we managed to score some good points for the Team,” said Verstappen. “We will analyze what we can do better as there are always things you can improve and it’s great to get Honda’s 200th podium this weekend. Now it’s full focus on the next race.”

For the full race results, you can check out the table below:

Position

Number

Driver

Laps

Time/Retired

Points

1

44

Hamilton

56

1:32:03.897

25

2

33

Verstappen

56

+0.745s

18

3

77

Bottas

56

+37.383s

16

4

4

Norris

56

+46.466s

12

5

11

Perez

56

+52.047s

10

6

16

Leclerc

56

+59.090s

8

7

3

Ricciardo

56

+66.004s

6

8

55

Sainz

56

+67.100s

4

9

22

Tsunoda

56

+85.692s

2

10

18

Stroll

56

+86.713s

1

11

7

Räikkönen

56

+88.864s

0

12

99

Giovinazzi

55

+1 lap

0

13

31

Ocon

55

+1 lap

0

14

63

Russell

55

+1 lap

0

15

5

Vettel

55

+1 lap

0

16

47

Schumacher

55

+1 lap

0

17

10

Gasly

52

DNF

0

18

6

Latifi

51

DNF

0

NC

14

Alonso

32

DNF

0

NC

9

Mazepin

0

DNF

0

Honda has already announced its decision to exit the championship after this season. We know it’s still a bit early in the season to make predictions, but do you think Honda just might be able to bring in a win in its last year in F1?

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PHOTO: Honda Racing F1
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