F1: Red Bull's Verstappen gets in shape for new season
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Max Verstappen has admitted it was definitely ‘an opportunity missed’ after letting a chance to beat Mercedes slip through their fingers at Bahrain during the opening round of the 2021 Formula One season.
Verstappen battled it out with Lewis Hamilton in a thrilling end to the race, managed to send one past the Brit for the win, only to be ordered to give the place back due to track limits.
Verstappen had to settle for second place after setting fastest lap after fastest lap throughout the weekend, and after a frustrating race, seemed to remain calm and collected in front of the media.
“But I’ve always been super calm?’ the Dutchman joked ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP.
“But what do you want [me] to do, I think it makes no sense to start smashing things, or throw things first of all.
“Like I said if that’s a bad result then I’m just looking forward to the next 22 races.
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“Of course when I crossed the line I was disappointed, but I think I’ve learnt over the years that there is nothing lost after the first race.
“The most important thing is to score points, not like last year where you’re off the pace and you don’t even score points, so this time we had a very competitive package in general, and we scored good points. Not first, but still second, so it’s not the end of the world.”
And the Dutchman hopes coming second to Hamilton and Mercedes won’t be a defining moment in how the title race pans out.
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He added: “I wasn’t really that surprised that they were so close in the race, because like I’ve said before, I think they didn’t have the perfect lap in qualifying.
“They are very close, even though sometimes they don’t say it, but they are very close.
“I think it’s definitely an opportunity missed, but I think if we have the fastest car then it’s not going to matter, because then we have 22 races to finish in front of them, but we’ll see about that.
“Like I said this is not Bahrain, maybe Bahrain was a one off, but I hope of course not.
“I have a good feeling that it will not be, but then in the race – I mean, I was battling with a few issues as well, so it was not let’s say the smoothest race from our side in general, so we definitely can do better than what we showed there.
“But on the other hand for sure they can also do better so, we’ll just have to make sure that we keep improving and keep bring bits to the car to make it faster, and the rest is all about when I look at myself, of course you always try to improve, you always try to do better, so as a team, we always try to improve with procedures and everything.”
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