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Max Verstappen

The magic stint that delivered Verstappen to Bahrain victory

Max Verstappen commenced the new Formula 1 season in strong fashion, dominating the opening round in Bahrain last weekend.

Verstappen win Bahrain 2024
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Just for a moment in Bahrain, the competition was allowed to think there was something up for grabs at the front of the field.

George Russell in particular shot out of the starting blocks like a comet, but after a handful of laps the pace of the competition collapsed and Verstappen put himself in an untouchable position.

After the initial tour of the circuit, Verstappen was the only one who managed to continuously drive lap times of 37.0 or 37.1. With competitors such as Charles Leclerc and Russell, the pace was considerably slower.

Verstappen's ability to be consistent is nothing new - we already saw him complete a mega stint in Mexico last year in which he kept his tyres alive for a long time while delivering mirroring lap times.

It was no different in Bahrain. While Leclerc and Russell quickly ran out of rubber, Verstappen was able to easily extend his stint without losing pace.

Bahrain GP first stint (softs): Verstappen vs Russell

Lap VER RUS
2. 1:36.296 1:36.635
3. 1:36.753 1:36.406
4. 1:36.647 1:37.738
5. 1:37.173 1:38.116
6. 1:37.092 1:37.784
7. 1:37.038 1:38.082
8. 1:37.024 1:37.862
9. 1:37.229 1:37.730
10. 1:36.960 1:37.782
11. 1:37.045
12. 1:37.030
13. 1:37.028
14. 1:37.011
15. 1:37.168

Bizarre first sector

Verstappen switched to the Hard tyre for his second stint, but the three-time World Champion did not show any hiccups. Between laps 20 and 26 on the white-walled tyre there was a maximum difference of 0.063s between Verstappen's fastest and slowest first sector.

Blazingly fast, faultless and so consistent that the competition didn't stand a chance in Bahrain.

Verstappen first sector during second stint

Lap Time
20 30.585
21 30.576
22 30.560
23 30.553
24 30.548
25 30.518
26 30.522

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