Max Verstappen has outlined the list of failings that his Red Bull team made in Bahrain and issued a warning that the team must “try to do better” as it bids to win the title this year.
Verstappen went into the season-opener wearing the favourite tag but ended up second best to reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutch driver started from pole but spent the early laps complaining of a differential issue and ended the day admitting the team must work harder on its strategy, flexibility and tyre planning.
“Last year we would have been super-happy with this result and now we are disappointed,” he said. “There are a lot of positives but also things we have to improve.
“I don’t know what was going on [early in the race] but I had more wheel-slip on one side, on the rear, so that’s of course not what you want. I managed to drive around the issue a bit but we’ll have to look into that.
“Strategy-wise, we’ll have to analyse what we could have done better. But also we didn’t have the tyres like they had, so we didn’t really have a lot of flexibility in the strategy. We could have done better in choosing our tyres during practice.”
Verstappen led the early stages but stayed out longer than Hamilton in his first stint then dropped behind the Mercedes after his first stop and had to play catch-up for the rest of the race.
He added: “With these cars, I think the last three years, it is very important to have track position and we gave that up today. Of course, it is still a very long season. So… yeah… we just have to get on with it and try to do better.”