Max Verstappen became the youngest formula one winner in history at 18 years and 228 days, beating Sebastian Vettel’s previous record by two and a half years after winning the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s victory represented a great day for him and his team, Red Bull, who had not won a race since Spain 2014. But it was a wonderful occasion for Formula One too. Hamilton took the lead from pole but Rosberg went past him on the outside on the first corner. But coming out of the third bend, Hamilton saw a gap in Rosberg’s defence and attempted to overtake him on the inside.Rosberg moved over and squeezed Hamilton on to the grass. The world champion went into a spin and clipped Rosberg’s car as he did so, putting both cars out of the race, leaving the field clear for Red Bull and Ferrari to battle it out for glory.Rosberg appeared to be over-aggressive but you are allowed to make one block to defend your lead. Hamilton, possibly piqued after making yet another indifferent start, may have had a rush of blood and was determined to get straight back at his team-mate. But there was a gap, and he was travelling much faster than Rosberg, whose engine was in the wrong mode.
Verstappen led from lap 44, which was roughly the time everyone started concentrating on the race. He was the beneficiary of a split strategy from Red Bull. The team decided to give their other driver, Daniel Ricciardo, a three-stopper (Verstappen had two) to cover the threat from Vettel, who they thought would be the fastest driver in the race after the removal of the Mercedes. But this is to take nothing away from Verstappen, who resisted a long and persistent challenge from Kimi Raikkonen to win the race on his debut for Red Bull. He joined Red Bull this month because the team were unhappy with the start to the season made by Daniil Kvyat. The day, however, belonged to Verstappen. Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, said: “It’s been an unbelievable performance, from the moment Max stepped into the car until the chequered flag he’s been exemplary. He’s not put a wheel wrong. He’s been quick, measured, mature. He’s defended incredibly well against a seasoned pro like Kimi. To score his first grand prix victory, becoming the youngest victor, on his debut for the team is fairytale stuff.”
The man of the moment said: “It’s amazing, I couldn’t believe I was leading. I was looking at the pitboard, saw my name with 10 laps to go, then started to watch the board.“I was thinking: ‘Don’t look at it, focus on the tyres and bring it home.’ It’s a great feeling. I absolutely didn’t expect this.”