The championship race between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton may have been the highlight of the weekend, but teenage sensation Max Verstappen produced an outstanding performance that made him the ‘Driver of the Day’ in Brazil.
A rather chaotic rain-hit Brazilian Grand Prix began with a delay of ten minutes, with treacherous conditions and most drivers confirming in their pit radio of the difficulty in visibility throughout the race.
Red Bull’s early gamble on intermediate tyres failed to pay-off as he initially lost places, but the genius of Verstappen quickly made up for it.
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Known for his scintillating overtaking skills, he pulled off a string of moves in a race that started on the back of the safety car.
Making up 13 positions in 16 laps simply reaffirms the talent of the 19-year-old as experts believe he has the requisite skills to be one of the greats of the sport.
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The second pit-stop relegated him out of the points but a quick launch of overtaking manoeuvres managed him to secure third.
During the course of the race, Verstappen aquaplaned on the start-finish straight with heavy downpour, but spontaneous decision-making helped him to save the car from colliding into the barriers.
The high-speed half-spin at the final corner took everyone by surprise, but he coped with the issue without losing a place, but ended the race behind Rosberg.
The race lasted nearly two-hours with several delays due to weather conditions while the driving expertise of the Dutchman has been hailed by team principal Christian Horner, who believes Verstappen is in the same bracket as greats like Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna after Sunday’s show.
Autosport.com quoted the Red Bull boss saying: “It’s right up there. You have to compare it to those great moments.
“You don’t often witness a motor race like that, and what we saw was something very, very special.”
(Scroll to 0.27 to see the incredible save from Verstappen)
Deemed as ‘the next big thing’ in Formula One, Verstappen still has plenty of years ahead of him to prove his mantle and stamp his authority as seasons progress.
He currently sits in fifth position in the Driver's Championship this term with 192 points and is on the threshold of passing Sebastian Vettel, who is on 197 points, to guarantee a fourth place finish as we gear up for the season finale at Abu Dhabi in a fortnight.