Max Verstappen, in only his second year of competition, made history in his maiden ride with Red Bull and took to the top step of the podium in Barcelona.
Working on a two-stop strategy, the driver of the No. 33 Red Bull Racing car held off a hard charging Kimi Räikkönen for over 20 laps to score the victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. At 18 years, seven months and 16 days old, Verstappen displaced Sebastian Vettel as the youngest winner in Formula 1 history.
“It feels amazing,” Verstappen said. “I can’t believe it. It was a great race. I have to say thank you to the team for giving me such a great car. To win straight away in the first race, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Verstappen, who had never turned a lap in a car for RBR, took over the ride formerly occupied by Daniil Kvyat after the Russian Grand Prix.
Räikkönen brought his No. 7 Scuderia Ferrari home to a runner-up finish. Vettel rounded out the podium in his No. 5 Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo, who led most of the race, brought his No. 3 RBR car home fourth in spite of a tire puncture with two laps remaining. Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top-five in his No. 77 Williams-Martini Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz Jr. finished sixth in his No. 55 Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari. Sergio Pérez finished seventh in his No. 11 Sahara Force India Mercedes. Felipe Massa, after failing to advance out of Q1 the day before, finished eighth in his No. 19 Williams Mercedes. Jenson Button finished ninth in his No. 22 McLaren-Honda. After being relegated to the sister Toro Rosso team, Kvyat brought his No. 26 car home to a 10th-place finish.
As for the Haas F1 Team, Esteban Gutiérrez finished 11th in his No. 21 car and Romain Grosjean exited the race with less than 16 laps remaining and finished unclassified. As of the publishing of this piece, no reason was given for Grosjean’s retirement.
Championship leaders Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were involved in a lap 1 wreck that took both of them out going into turn 4. As of the publishing of this piece, no actions have been taken by the stewards.
Rosberg leaves Barcelona with the championship lead. Räikkönen leap-frogged Hamilton for second and tails Rosberg by 39 points. Hamilton trails by 43. Vettel and Ricciardo leave tied for fourth trailing by 52. Race winner Verstappen leaves sixth trailing by 62.
The next race on the Formula 1 calendar is the Grand Prix of Monaco on May 29.