Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner hailed Max Verstappen’s stunning wet-weather drive in the Brazilian Grand Prix, comparing it with some of the finest showings of Formula 1 legends Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
Verstappen recovered from a late pitstop that dropped him outside the Top 10, making some breathtaking moves to finish on the final spot on the podium.
The Dutchman, 19, earned widespread plaudits from the fans, teams and pundits alike, with his father Jos Verstappen admitting that ‘’he’s never seen something like this before.”
But Horner went as far as saying Verstappen’s performance was on the same level as that of Schumacher in Spain 1996 and Senna in Monaco 1984.
“It is right up there, you have to compare it to those great moments,” he said. “You don't witness a motor race like that, and what we saw was something very, very special.”
Horner defended Red Bull’s decision to put Verstappen on the intermediate tyres, saying it was in response to Daniel Ricciardo’s early pace on the green-striped compound,
However, with showers intensifying soon after, both drivers were forced to come in again to revert to the full-wet tyre.
"We elected to put Daniel on them initially, and immediately he started setting purple sectors and went a second quicker than anyone else, which prompted us to then take the risk and go for the change with Max,'' Horner explained.
“Unfortunately not long after that the rain just intensified very slightly, just enough to make the final sector pretty tricky. And then after another safety car we had the difficult decision to make to sacrifice track position versus going on to the safer tire.
“After discussing it with Max we decided to go onto the extreme, and so the same with Daniel. So both drivers had reasonably fresh sets fitted, and then it was really all over to him for those final 15 laps.
He drove an incredible race; losing very little time in each of the passing moves he made to be able to finish the grand prix in third position demonstrated what a great talent he is,'' he added.
by Rachit Thukral