Site logo

Bahrain GP: Post Race press conference


Today's post-race press conference with Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso.

Track Interviews - Conducted by Nico Rosberg

Fernando, how awesome was that start to the season. P3 for you there.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah. Thank you. First of all, I think congrats to Lance, my team-mate, you know, he had the surgery 12 days ago and now he's fighting right with everybody. So yeah, amazing for the team. It was a great weekend and, yeah, finishing on the podium in the first race of the year, this is just amazing, you know, what Aston Martin did over the winter to have the second best car in race one, this is just unreal.

How did it feel to pass that Ferrari and Sainz, and that Mercedes and Hamilton out on track there? I mean, you were shouting on the radio?
FA: Yeah, obviously, I would love to start in front of them and then use the pace. But yeah, we had not the best start today and we had to pass on track. So yeah, it felt like more exciting, more adrenaline for sure. So people enjoyed it. We did enjoy as well. So let's go into Jeddah.

Great. And you have more wind tunnel time as well. Do you think that's going to play into it, your development rate of the car?
FA: I hope so. But we will not get much next year!

Alright, let's move on to... who's coming next Sergio or Max. Sergio is coming next. Sergio, that's a dream start for the team, isn't it, with a one-two here in Bahrain?
Sergio Perez: Yeah it's a great start. I mean, when we look back at last year, and how we started here, it's really nice. It's a nice comeback. As a team, you know, we worked really hard over the winter. So it's great to see all the boys enjoying the first race. And yeah, we have a strong package. So yeah, it was important today to get both cars until the end.

But of course you are also fighter and you want to win. Which area is it you still need to like work on most to try and to try and get closer to Max and beat him?
SP: Well, I think today was really that start that really put me out of contention from the race. But it was all about minimising the damage. So finishing second is the maximum I could do today. It's a long season. I think I'm getting closer every single session.

So you're confident you're going to give him a run for his money?
SP: Yeah, certainly. I think I'm feeling comfortable with the car and we have a strong package. So, yeah, I will do my best.

Thank you. We'll move on to Max now. The race winner. Max, what a dream start and what an awesome drive there.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, it was a very, very good first stint, where I basically made my gap. And from there onwards it was all about just looking after the tyres, because you never really know what's going to happen later on in the race. So we just wanted to make sure that we had the right tyres and in good condition as well. So yeah, of course, very happy to finally also win here in Bahrain.

True, your first win here. Were there any issues during the race? I mean, you were complaining a little bit about downshifts and also the car balance not being so great throughout the whole weekend.
MV: Nothing big, just little things you always want to fine tune so I think they're quite easy to get on top of.

And are you looking forward to Jeddah? Different kind of track.
MV: Very, very different.

But you're very confident now that you can get on top of the balance issues and everything and be just as strong?
MV: I think we have a good race package. I mean, of course it will depend a bit, race to race, but we can definitely fight with this. And yeah, also a big thank you to the team, you know, over the winter what they've done again, to give us such a quick race car again.

Press Conference

Max, your first win in Bahrain, it was the perfect way to kick off 2023. You delivered what you've been threatening to do in testing. You must be delighted?
MV: Yeah, I mean, it was a really good race. I do think it was important to have that first stint where I could open up a gap a little bit and after that I could look after my tyres quite well. But also the car was working well - a bit like what we've seen in testing and the long runs we've done throughout the weekend. But you still of course need to show that in the race. You never know really what can happen to you throughout the race. But yeah, we were on top of things. And it was quite straightforward. But yeah, I think also, with all the calls and pit stops, we did a good job.

You said yesterday that you weren't that happy with the balance of your car over one lap? Was it much better today in the race?
MV: Yeah, but you know, in the long run, you anyway have quite a different car, and you never really are able to push to the limit. So naturally, that was less of an issue anyway, when I was already not happy in the beginning of the weekend. But I do think that there are still a few things that need to be looked at. But for now, we're happy. And then tomorrow, once we get back home, we'll get on top of everything before we get to Jeddah.

Max, were there any issues for you at all? I mean, you came on the radio at one point, talking about some rear locking. How serious was that? Any other issues?
MV: It happens here and there. I mean, this is not something new. This has happened also in the last year or two years. This is something we are consistently working on and trying to make better. But yeah, I think overall, nothing too big of a concern.

OK, and will this stunning pace that we've seen today translate elsewhere, to Saudi for example?
MV: Well, Saudi is quite a different track to this one. You have a lot more like straights, fast corners, and a lot less deg. And I think here we were particularly good on the deg. So I do expect in terms of race pace that everyone is closer in Jeddah.

How much confidence, Max, do you take from this performance this weekend?
MV: It has been a great start for us, for the for the whole team, you know, so this is not something we were used to! So yeah, we are very happy at the moment. But yeah, we always keep working.

Alright, many congratulations to you. Very well done. Checo, coming to you now. We saw great pace from you in that race. But it seemed it all came on done at the start. Is that is that the case?
SP: Yeah, that was really the case, missing out to Charles on that first stint. It was really difficult to get by him. He had the new tyres. So you could see the difference on that first stint. And as soon as I was getting a bit closer to him, trying to attack him earlier on, I will just deg and destroy my tyres. So I had to be really patient and get my way through it. And once he did, I was able to drive some fast laps and, let's say, that my tyres and on the second stint were in better shape than his and I was able to get through. But yeah, it was just too late. It was just a few laps too many, too late, and that put us quite behind Max. Once that happened, we basically just maintained the gap throughout the race. So we had no chance to fight for the win. But today was all about minimising the bad start. And we've got plenty of things to analyse, to try to improve and get this consistency throughout the season.

It must have been an interesting fact finding mission for you being behind the Ferrari in that first and what did you learn about that car?
SP: Yeah, I actually learned a lot about their car, you know: where they are weak, where they're strong, or stronger than us. So yeah, I think I need to make sure that it stays fresh for my engineers later in the briefing.

Go on, share it with us now. And are you happy with where you've got the car? Do you feel confident in the RB19?
SP: Yeah, I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable with the car. I'm happy. I think we've got some work to do. I think we, both drivers are pushing the car in the same direction, which is good. And yeah, I think it's been an amazing start to the season. Yeah, our best ever start ever, so very different to last year.

Fernando coming to you, podium number 99 of your career. Your first podium here in Bahrain since you won in 2010. Just how sweet is this moment for you?
FA: It is! Obviously, a perfect start for this project. We didn't expect to be that competitive. I think the aim in 2023 was, you know, getting the mix in the midfield, maybe leading that midfield and get close to the top three teams eventually. But even a podium maybe was not in the radar in 2023. And, and we found ourselves second best car today in Bahrain, or the whole weekend, like just behind Red Bull. So, this is, yeah, a little bit of a surprise. But we are extremely proud, happy with the job done at Silverstone in the factory. So big congratulations to everyone. Let's enjoy this moment and build from here, hopefully a good 2023 campaign and get closer and closer to the top guys.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Manama here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2023. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms