M it belonged to the old Ferrari engine Toro Rosso certainly not one of the hottest points contenders ahead of the Bahrain weekend. But in the end Max Verstappen got 8 points on the power route. 'We can be very satisfied with that,' beamed the Dutch youngster afterwards. 'Everything was just right in the race.'
A good start and good top speed helps Verstappen
Heil getting through the first corners was a key to the good result: 'The first lap was very chaotic. We turned 3 cars into turn 1 at the same time. There wasn't much space. Some lost front wings and other parts. For me it was also very close. I had competitors all around me. You were only looking for a good gap. Fortunately, my car remained undamaged. '
After that, Verstappen was able to assert himself well in the top ten. Toro Rosso is no longer as easy a victim on the straights as it was last year with a Renault engine. 'The Ferrari package allows us to drive a higher top speed in the race. The energy management is better,' revealed the 18-year-old.
Although the gap on Romain Grosjean at the finish was only two and a half seconds, Verstappen believes that 6th place was the maximum. 'Haas did a good job. But we knew beforehand that Bahrain would not suit us. Hopefully we will be in front of them again in China. The order will change from track to track in the narrow midfield,' says Verstappen.
Sainz experiences a corrupted Bahrain race
With team-mate Carlos Sainz, however, everything went wrong that could go wrong. Sergio Perez hit his rear tire on lap 2. With tattered rubber, the Spaniard dragged himself back to the pits. In doing so, he also damages the underbody. After 29 laps he finally gave up in frustration: 'We were still hoping for a safety car. But with one lap behind we decided to save kilometers.'
That crashed during the first pit stop Car from the jack. 'We have to analyze that. Fortunately, it happened in a race where it didn't really matter,' said Sainz. 'That was just a day when everything went wrong. The frustration is great, but what do you want to do. You mustn't drag yourself down too much. The season is still over19 races. '
Just like Verstappen, Sainz is already hoping for the turning point in the next race.' With China, races are starting again that should suit our car better. We are currently fighting mainly with Williams, Force India and HaasF1. You really have to compliment them for their amazingly good work. But we know that we also have a good car. The midfield is very close together. '