Differential issue cost Verstappen 0.3s per lap in Bahrain

Max Verstappen was "clearly handicapped" by a differential issue that cost him 0.3 seconds per lap early on in the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, according to Helmut Marko.

Differential issue cost Verstappen 0.3s per lap in Bahrain

Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull for the F1 season opener and led the opening stages of the race, but frequently reported problems and was unable to pull more than two seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton.

This allowed Hamilton to pit early and get the undercut on Verstappen, laying the foundations for the Mercedes driver to win the race by 0.7 seconds following a late battle.

Red Bull F1 advisor Marko said the differential issue in the opening stages was costing Verstappen around three-tenths of a second per lap, with teammate Sergio Perez managing a similar issue on his car.

"What was most serious at the beginning of the race was that there were problems in the differential area," Marko said in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com's German language sister site Formel1.de.

"In Sector 1, we lost drastically, up to three tenths per lap. The same was the case with Perez, by the way. Not only was there less grip, but the rear wheels were spinning and the tyres were getting hot.

"During this phase, we didn't manage to gain the advantage we would have needed to avoid an undercut. We fell back from 2.5 to 1.7 seconds. That was the decisive phase of the first stint, where we were clearly handicapped.

"And then we had another problem, namely that we had to turn down the engine power due to temperature problems. But Max still managed to catch up."

Read Also:

Verstappen was able to catch Hamilton in the closing stages thanks to a tyre advantage, but made an overtake off-track at Turn 4 and was asked to give the position back.

Hamilton was then able to keep Verstappen at bay and prevent him from making a second overtake, ensuring Mercedes made a winning start to the season.

Despite missing out on the race win, the performance nevertheless marked Red Bull's strongest start to a season for a number of years, giving the team hope of mounting a sustained title challenge.

Looking ahead to the second race of the year at Imola, Marko said that even with a strong car and power unit package, Red Bull would still have to perform flawlessly to defeat Mercedes.

"I think with the package we have, a very competitive engine, a chassis that reacts well to everything, that we will be back on par with Mercedes," Marko said.

"We know now, you can only succeed against Mercedes if you act flawlessly. Everything has to be right.

"We assume that it will be a similar situation - hopefully with a reversed podium and Max on top."

shares
comments

Related video

The day Jenson Button won a Grand Prix while standing still
Previous article

The day Jenson Button won a Grand Prix while standing still

Next article

How Senna enraged an unknowing Schumacher in Brazil

How Senna enraged an unknowing Schumacher in Brazil
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021