The start of the Grand Prix in Barcelona was very hectic. Verstappen and Hamilton once again went together into the first corner.
Verstappen was able to take the lead and only lost it again to Hamilton in the final laps of the race. The Briton only succeeded in doing this because Mercedes adopted a very risky strategy, which still worked out in the final steps of the race.
Hamilton now described his view of Verstappen’s overtaking maneuver in turn 1:
“In my mind, it’s always a marathon not a sprint, so I’m just always thinking the long game. And, sure, you could be a little bit more aggressive. Do I need to? Well, I’m in the position that I’m in because I don’t get too aggressive when I don’t need to be.”
But Hamilton also admitted a mistake in the maneuver from the Red Bull driver. He saw that Verstappen had moved into his slipstream, even though he could have driven on the inside. He commented:
I knew Valtteri [Bottas] was obviously starting third and the goal was to work as a team, so I stayed to the left.”
“I think in hindsight, there could have been a moment, looking back, that when Max moved in behind me for a second where I could have pulled across and sealed the job there. But I didn’t.”
Verstappen said the following about the start of the race:
“The launch was good, and I of course ran a little bit less wing compared to Mercedes and that helped a bit to get alongside Lewis. And then I went for it in Turn 1.”
Bottas also saw the incident up close. The Finn was in P3 and was knocked off the racing line by this overtaking maneuver:
“Yeah, for sure, but Turns 1/2 – there’s only one line, you can’t do much. So, I knew I could keep my place there, but then in Turn 3 I was really trying to follow Lewis closely on the inside and I had no chance that Charles was so close and managed to get good grip and line from the outside.”