Max Verstappen capitalized on a first lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to become Formula One’s youngest winner on this day in 2016.
Eighteen-year-old Verstappen showed maturity beyond his years on his Red Bull debut to fend off the challenge of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Dutchman, who had only been promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull after Daniil Kvyat was eliminated the previous week, eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s record for youngest winner set at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix by two years and 137 days. .
Team principal Christian Horner was bowled over by Verstappen’s maturity, saying: “He is an independent man and a very complete young man. You would never think that he was 18 years old.
“He was fast, measured and mature. He defended incredibly well against a seasoned pro like Kimi and achieving his first grand prix victory, becoming the youngest winner on his debut with the team, is the stuff of fairy tales.”
Horner, then 42, quipped: “He’s the first driver I’ve ever had that could legally be his father!”
Verstappen has won the last two world championships with the team, finally overcoming his rivalry with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, and is also leading the standings this season.