Max Verstappen has expressed his disappointment after narrowly losing the Bahrain Grand Prix in the final few laps to World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen, who had topped every session of the Bahrain weekend, was engaged in a race-long battle with Hamilton, which saw the race lead change between the pair as Mercedes and Red Bull went on different strategies.
After his final pitstop, Verstappen gained ground on Hamilton and actually passed the Brit for the race lead at turn four but gave the position back because he breached track limits when committing the pass and therefore risked a penalty.
Hamilton hung to take his 96th Grand Prix win of his career, leaving Verstappen furious on the team radio as he questioned the team's decision to let Hamilton go, arguing that he could have made up a five-second gap in clear air.
After the race, Verstappen explained why he could not get past Hamilton in a post-race interview with Sky Sports F1.
“There were a few things going on throughout the whole race, the Mercedes undercut us, so we were just sticking to our strategy, which I think was working fine, but the problem is these cars are so hard to pass, once you have that track position it showed again today that it’s just super powerful."
Verstappen was at a loss at why he couldn't catch Hamilton in some sections of the track, with tyre management and backmarkers playing a crucial role in his narrow defeat.
“As soon as I got close, I had that one shot because Lewis got held up a bit with a backmarker, and I went outside of the track, I of course, then gave the position back, tried again, but my tyres were not in a good state anymore to really put the pressure on, so that was a shame.”