Toto Wolff has praised his team for making a bold strategy call that resulted in Lewis Hamilton taking victory in Bahrain.
Hamilton had been trailing Verstappen on track during the first stint, but employed an undercut by coming in on Lap 14.
This proved crucial, as Hamilton's immediate pace prevented Verstappen and Red Bull from pitting without losing position.
"It was a great battle of strategies," Wolff explained to Sky Sports.
"I think, on pace at the beginning, Max had it pretty much under control.
"We took a bold move in pitting so early, gained the position with traffic, it was indeed bold."
With Verstappen closing back up towards the halfway point of the race, Wolff admitted the team pitted again on Lap 28 in order to stop Verstappen from taking the initiative with another undercut.
"We thought of doing the same again, in order to prevent against the undercut. And we knew we are going to run out of tyres at the end, we just made it."
A small slide from Verstappen towards the end prevented him from recovering the lead position after yielding for exceeding track limits with three laps to go, with Wolff explaining that may have caused some tyre overheating for the Red Bull.
"I think he [Max] had a tiny, tiny mistake with the rear, probably overheated a bit and then Max had to give back the position because we were told during the race that track limits were suddenly being imposed again during the race but I think an amazing fight for the first race.
"I see these guys still a tiny, tiny edge in front of us. And he [Christian Horner] will be less grumpy the next time he wins!"