Max Verstappen is being labelled as a future world champion after his stellar performance over the weekend in Spain. It’s time to look at what led this 18 year old to getting his first Grand Prix win.
Hamilton started the Spanish Grand Prix in pole position, it seemed as though this could be the weekend when the wheels of fortunes changed to his favour, but alas, it was not meant to be. Nico Rosberg qualified P2 and although he started the race in the wrong settings he managed to overtake Hamilton to take P1. He held first place for less than 30 seconds before Hamilton tried to overtake from the inside, Rosberg closed the gap forcing Hamilton on to the grass. The two touched tyres and span off into the gravel meaning the end of the race for the both of them. It was agreed that the crash was a racing incident but Niki Lauda as well as a lot of fans would disagree.
With the two Mercedes leaving the race it made way for Red Bull to make their mark. Daniel Ricciardo led for a while until the team made an error in strategy meant Ricciardo gave first place to Verstappen.
It all led to perhaps the most exciting Grand Prix so far this season with a battle being carried out between the Red Bull’s and the Ferrari’s. The race came to an explosive end with Ricciardo’s right rear tyre gaining a puncture due to the length of time he’d been out of them, the australians still managed to finish 4th.
There were a total of 5 retirements from the Grand Prix, the first two coming from the Mercedes boys. Nico Huldenberg had to retire after an oil leak had caused a fire in his car. It was a sad end once again with McLaren having to retire Fernando Alonso’s car and Romain Grosjean’s luck with Haas may be starting to run out after he was the last to retire this weekend.
Max Verstappen: It feels amazing. I can’t believe it. It was a great race. 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!
Kimi Raikkonen: Obviously I’m happy for Max but disappointed for myself, but that’s racing. We have our best today after quite a difficult day yesterday and then a pretty poor start. We tried and tried. I was fast but once I got close I could not follow close enough through the last corners and losing downforce behind. I tried and tried but it wasn’t enough today. I think after yesterday we would have been happy to take second and third but obviously we got so close today that it’s even more disappointing, but that’s part of racing and at least we scored good points for the team.
Sebastian Vettel: I think first of all, many congratulations to Max, it’s a great achievement and in the end it’s his day. For sure, for us we would have loved to be a little bit closer and in front but we tried everything. We tried with strategy but it didn’t quite work today. Nevertheless, I think it’s a great effort from the team after a not so good day yesterday to come back and recover. But as I said, it’s Max’s day and as a sportsman I think we have to respect that, so well done again to him and to the team.