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Formula 1

Italian media praise Hamilton after teaching Verstappen a lesson

The Italian media were unanimous in praising Lewis Hamilton for his stellar performance in Bahrain given it came against Red Bull, who had the better car.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

The opening race of the season went to Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes driver finishing just 0.745s ahead of Max Verstappen. However the big talking point coming out of the race was track limits and when they are applied or not.

Verstappen thought he had gotten the better of Hamilton with four laps remaining, only for the stewards to intervene and tell him to give the position back after running wide at Turn 4. The decision ultimately cost the Red Bull driver.

"The deciding moment of the race took place four laps before the end when Max passed Hamilton," wrote La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He went off the track and had to give up his place, but there was controversy surrounding the decision taken by the FIA.

"Red Bull had the better car, but it was Hamilton who took the win. He made the difference in the last stint. That shows that Hamilton doesn't just win when everything is handed to him.

"Mercedes turned the situation around, because it was clear they weren't as strong but still managed to win. Hamilton therefore remains the maestro.

The battle that Verstappen fought does not take anything away from the masterpiece that Hamilton delivered.

"Strategically the Germans did a great job of putting Red Bull and Verstappen under pressure. Hamilton did a great job by driving for an incredibly long time on the last set of tyres. In doing so, the master still trumped Verstappen."

Sky Sport Italia had nothing but praise for Hamilton's performance, with both drivers credited for their battle at the season opener.

"Hamilton delivered a masterpiece in Bahrain, victory once again went to the seven-time world championship who fought a great battle with Verstappen," the publication wrote.

La Repubblica took it one step further.

"He [Hamilton] brought Mercedes back to the top of the podium and taught Verstappen a lesson."

However the Italian press made sure to credit the other participant in the battle as well. Although Verstappen lost the battle, the hope is that the fight will continue for the rest of the season.

"After four years, Hamilton finally has a rival," Corriere della Sera stated. "Verstappen was on his way to victory but Hamilton got away because Verstappen was handed a penalty.

"The first conclusion from the race weekend in Bahrain is that Hamilton is no longer alone. After Rosberg years ago, he now faces competition from Verstappen. The Dutchman lost because he was penalised by the unclear regulations.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

The latest news about the Bahrain Grand Prix straight from the Bahrain International Circuit.

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