June 15, 2024

Red Bull is still unmatched on the track, despite their turbulence off it. At the season’s first grand prix in Bahrain, Max Verstappen won handily and led Red Bull to a one-two finish. The Dutchman was later referred to as “not just in a different league, but in a different galaxy” by rival team principal Lewis Hamilton.

For those who were expecting for a title fight this year, this was a sobering reminder of reality after the excitement of qualifying on Friday, when the top eight were separated by a mere 0.5 seconds.

Being only third fastest behind Red Bull and Ferrari, it was also a bit of a wake-up call for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton came in eighth, and George Russell came in fifth, between 47 and 50 seconds behind the race winner. Compared to this time last year, that was four seconds closer to the Red Bull. However, this was concerning because Mercedes wrote off their entire car concept after last year’s season opening, which was so terrible.

But the atmosphere afterward was very different. Wolff insisted that the team would have been able to compete with the Ferraris had it not been for an engine cooling problem that had cost them up to half a second each lap.

There was proof of that in some kind. Russell had moved as high as second with an outside, having begun third.

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