The first race of the F1 season in Bahrain was one to remember with Lewis Hamilton getting the better of Max Verstappen, however Flavio Briatore believes Red Bull cost themselves a win with their strategy.
There have been no shortage of comments regarding Verstappen's pass of Hamilton at Turn 4 with four laps remaining which saw the Dutchman cede his position after being told to do so by the race directors. While Briatore believes Red Bull's decision to have the Dutchman give up his position was the right one, he believes they lost the race in the pits.
"I think Verstappen could have won," Briatore told Adnkronos.com. "However Red Bull brought him in too late to change his tyres.
"However the car is performing well. There will be times when Mercedes will dominate races, but certainly Red Bull will have a say in the title given Verstappen's performance.
"The decision to give Verstappen's position back? It was the correct decision by the team because they noticed what was going on. The mistake was not bringing him into the pits earlier because he had used tyres and Hamilton was taking three or four tenths off him."
Despite the defeat, Briatore has no doubts that Verstappen will be in the title fight all season.
"The title will be between Verstappen and Hamilton," Briatore added.