Verstappen baffled by 'conservative' Red Bull strategy during Bahrain GP

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Max Verstappen was left baffled by why Red Bull was "so conservative" on tyre strategy during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Finally given the chance to go head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton, the Dutchman showed occasional bursts of speed but never threatened the Mercedes for victory on Sunday.

In a race where tyre wear was a key factor, Hamilton went medium-medium-hard with his strategy, while Red Bull opted for medium-hard-hard before stopping again for mediums in the hope of a Safety Car, which came but unfortunately too late as the race ended under yellows.

And Verstappen was unhappy at the lack of risks his team took, particularly given the lack of challenge from behind.

“Second is still of course okay, but I think in the [way that] we were second, it wasn’t very satisfying," he said.

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"We were trying to keep the pressure on, but I think we didn’t do a good job with the strategy today. We were always four, five seconds behind whatever we did today. I think that’s just very costly.

"I would have liked to be a bit more aggressive. If it fails being aggressive, so be it. I have nothing to lose. Even if we would fail I would still be second. I don’t get why we were so conservative.

"We had the tyres to be more aggressive and we didn’t do it."

Verstappen also lamented the timing of his pit-stops, as well as critical time that was lost.

"First stop, we should’ve pulled Lewis in instead of Lewis pulling me in," he explained. “My second stop wasn’t good - I don’t know what happened there, we’ll look into that.

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“I stopped another time. For the first lap [on fresh tyres] it’s great, but with the pace car after the red flag and safety car [at the end of the race for Sergio Perez' retirement] the three-stop was a no-go.

"And we still did it! I don’t really get the point of that. We’ll look into it.

“We just have to learn from it, try to understand why. I will of course talk to them about it, and of course, I will hear their reasons behind it," Verstappen added.

“There's no point in arguing a lot during the race. We’re at the end of the season and everything is a bit done anyway."