Verstappen ‘one with the car’ during perfect win

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Max Verstappen has insisted his first victory of the new F1 season “couldn’t have been better” after dominating the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman secured the Grand Chelem by leading from lights to flag at the Bahrain International Circuit and taking the fastest lap en route to a 22.4-second margin of victory over teammate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen is aiming for a fourth-straight Drivers’ title this season and after getting off to the best possible start, he conceded the race was “unbelievable”.

“It went even better than expected,” said Verstappen.

“The car was really nice to drive on every compound, we had a lot of pace and it was super enjoyable to drive.

“We stayed out of trouble and it is a great start to the year, it couldn’t have been better.

“It was a lot of fun.

“It is always very special to have these kinds of days because they do not happen that often where it all goes perfect.

“You’re just one with the car and everything feels just great.”

‘Focused on our own race’

Verstappen was only troubled into the first corner as second-placed Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ George Russell and fast-starting Perez attacked from the start.

But having defended from that threat, he was never troubled on his way to victory.

“The start was good, the first corner is a very tight hairpin so naturally, you want to defend the inside just to be safe,” explained Verstappen.

“So that’s what we did and basically from there onwards, we just focused on our own race.”

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