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Brundle: Dominant Red Bull could nurse "critical" car issues

Martin Brundle believes that whilst the Bahrain GP "wasn't plain sailing" for Red Bull, their impressive display meant they could manage potential problems with their cars.

Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle believes that Red Bull could afford to manage "critical" issues on both of their cars, such was the level of dominance in Bahrain. Along with the team changing the oil inlet pipes on both RB19 cars , eventual race winner Max Verstappen reported clutch problems mid-race, which required instructions from the team to remedy. The reigning champion still took victory comfortably, and the team are looking to fix the reliability issues that have so far been the only stumbling block to their success.

Following the race, Sky Sports commentator Brundle suspected that Verstappen's lead would have been "much more" if the team did not adopt a cautious approach and 'turn their cars down' in Bahrain. "It was the first time Red Bull have been one-two on the grid and then finished one-two in the race since Abu Dhabi 2013, so basically the first time in the hybrid power unit era, which started in 2014. Surprising really, given their relative dominance last year too," Brundle noted in his column for Sky Sports . "Talking to a couple of key people after the race it clearly wasn't as plain sailing for Red Bull as it looked. Both the cars had new oil inlet pipes fitted in parc ferme, and in the race they were managing critical transmission issues on both cars. "But whichever way you cut it Verstappen was cruising out front and it's not difficult to believe he could easily have been 10 seconds further up the road if required. Maybe much more. "I'm sure they had the motor turned right down too to save that high power mode energy for another day, and he could have won the race at will, whatever they did strategy wise. As it was, they did something other teams couldn't match - the soft-soft-hard tyre combo."

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