Unable to launch a second attack after giving back the lead, Lewis Hamilton has told Max Verstappen it is those mistakes that “makes and loses you wins”.
As Sunday night’s Bahrain Grand Prix played out, Verstappen found himself trailing Hamilton with 10 to go but on tyres that were 11 laps fresher.
Lap after lap the Dutchman set about closing the gap until he was finally able to make his move.
However, he did so with all four wheels off the track at Turn 4.
Race Control immediately informed Red Bull that he had to give the position back, which he did so, with Hamilton again up into the lead.
Verstappen wasn’t able to put together another attack, bringing his RB16B home 0.7s behind race winner Hamilton.
The Mercedes driver says if it weren’t for that mistake, Verstappen could have taken the win.
He told Sky F1: “In the race it was so hard to keep the car and the mindset consistent to not make mistakes and hold the ground.
“I think ultimately if he [Verstappen] hadn’t made the mistake then he probably would have won the race but that what makes and loses you wins.”
With four laps to go, Max takes almost certain victory from Lewis
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 28, 2021
As for Verstappen, the Dutchman initially questioned why Red Bull didn’t let him stay in the lead and take a penalty, one he feels he could have overcome in the final two laps.
“Why didn’t you let me go? I could have easily pulled those five seconds [for a penalty instead],” he asked the team on the radio.
“I prefer to lose a win like that than be second like this.”
He later conceded that it was the right thing do, unfortunately his tyres weren’t good enough to launch another attack after the first failed attempt.
“I had that one shot because Lewis got held up a bit with the backmarker and I went outside of the track,” he said.
“I of course gave the position back and tried again but my tyres were not in a good state anymore to really put the pressure on.”