Sometimes, something or someone comes along that just blows the sport apart. It has been quite a time a force as big as Max Verstappen has hit, with shockwaves being felt all along the paddock and there are some drivers which are getting rattled by it. The drive yesterday in Brazil showed his talent, and the leaders should be scared, because he is coming at them for the World Championship.
Such was the nature of the last part yesterday, that the way in which he executed it has been compared to some of the best wet weather driver ever. Senna of course had his fair share of outstanding wet weather drives, the last of which was at the European Grand Prix in 1993, where he near enough lapped the entire field. Reminiscent of Verstappen yesterday, there were many pit stops enroute to that victory, pitting at the time it best suited the tyres.
Michael Schumacher’s win at Barcelona in 1996 was also one of those epics – winning the race in a not very competitive Ferrari at the time in an extremely dominant style, which saw championship favourite Damon Hill have a calamity of a race. There was also Jenson Button in Canada, tangling with his teammate and then winning from the very back of the field, and although Verstappen didn’t win yesterday, the will was there to do so and if he had more laps he would have done so.
It said a lot from his team boss Christian Horner, in the team’s official press statement focusing on the Dutchman and hardly mentioning his teammate: “An extraordinary motor racing day in testing conditions for the drivers and of course the officials. Having got ourselves into a good position at the start of the race, at the restart Max made an unbelievable pass on Rosberg round the outside of turn 3 which set up his afternoon of audacious driving and passing moves.
“It was a race that continuously teetered on the Intermediate being the better tyre and after the delay due to the conditions it did look like the better tyre. When Daniel fitted the tyre he started setting purple sectors and we therefore took the gamble to put Max on to the Inter. The rain then marginally increased and we had to make a difficult decision to pit both of our cars, dropping them down the order but giving them fresh extreme tyres.
Thereafter, the last 15 laps were something special to witness as Max made his way back through the field to achieve a quite remarkable podium. With Daniel finishing in eighth place that secures our second place in the Constructors’ Championship which is a quite a feat. We’d like to dedicate this race to the memory of a very valued member of our team, Mark Simpson, who we unfortunately lost after a difficult illness earlier in the week. ‘Simo’ as he was known to us, was an important part of our team and I’m sure he would have enjoyed what we saw from Red Bull Racing today.”
Yes, he didn’t win the race in Brazil, although he did win the driver of the day, it is exciting to see a bright new star explode on the scene. No wonder Sebastian Vettel is moaning, he is a far better driver.