Max Verstappen cemented his place in Formula 1 history today by becoming the youngest driver in the history of the sport to score points.
At just 17, the Dutchman’s ascension into F1 has sparked controversy in the sport, with many claiming that he simply isn’t old enough and is too inexperienced to be racing in the world’s premier single-seater championship.
However, he proved his critics wrong in Malaysia on Sunday by producing a composed and mature display to finish seventh for Toro Rosso.
Verstappen even managed to pull off some impressive overtakes on Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and his own Toro Rosso teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr.
The previous record was set at last year’s Australian Grand Prix, when Daniil Kvyat finished ninth at the age of 19 years and 324 days.
This was obliterated by Verstappen on Sunday, though, as he scored six points for P7 at just 17 years and 180 days. Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman was rather pleased with his display.
“I really enjoyed that!” Verstappen said. “I’m very happy to have scored my first ever points in F1 and to end seventh!
“I think we did a great job as a team. The first few laps were a bit tricky for me as I was struggling a lot on the medium tires, so we boxed early for the hard ones and that worked perfectly, the car felt great.
“We had a few good fights with other competitors and it was good fun. This was the right strategy and we did a great job managing the tires. I felt well physically, it was quite hot at the end but I was still able to cope with it and be consistent, so I’m happy with that.
“This is a big boost for the team, we couldn’t have done a better job today.”
It is likely that Verstappen’s new record may never be beaten, with a new rule coming into force for 2016 that requires drivers to be at least 18 years of age to race in Formula 1.