Red Bull’s newest addition to the team needed only one Sunday afternoon in order to become Formula One’s youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix.
Verstappen managed to keep Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at bay for almost 1/3 of the race in order to secure his first ever win in F1, after also benefiting from Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton retiring after just a couple of corners.
Even though it’s technically too soon to tell, calling up Verstappen from Toro Rosso and sending Daniil Kvyat down in his place looks like a brilliant move now from the Red Bull Racing team. According to some, Verstappen’s win is the most astonishing victory in Formula One history and considering his age, it’s hard to imagine him slowing down any time soon.
“It feels amazing I can’t believe it, it was a great race,” said Verstappen. “I have to say thank you to the team to give me such a great car to win straight away in the first race – amazing feeling!”
When asked about how he managed to remain calm and not make any mistakes when pressured by Raikkonen, Verstappen answered by saying that after his team switched him to the medium tires, the car started feeling great.
“From there on I was just managing my speed, my tires; I was just managing everything. At the end I think we did the best strategy possible. Especially in the last stint I got quite a bit of pressure from Kimi behind, but on this track it’s quite difficult to overtake so for me it was a case of not making mistakes, no front locking, so that’s what I tried to do and it worked.”
Verstappen is also the first driver to win in his first race for a new team, since Fernando Alonso did it for Ferrari back in 2010.