Max Verstappen made no secret of his delight after scoring his best result in Formula 1 to date in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, finishing fourth.
Verstappen made his F1 debut at the beginning of the season at just 17 years old, but has proved that his age is not a sign of inexperience by producing a string of impressive displays.
The Dutchman managed to pick his way through the field in Hungary on Sunday before rising to fourth thanks to a number of incidents involving the front runners, giving himself a boost ahead of the mid-season break.
“Unbelievable – I didn’t expect that at all after my start,” Verstappen told NBCSN after the race.
“At the end of the race I had a bit of front wing damage, so even had to do a drive through, but to finish fourth… no words.
“I think in my second stint everything was going quite well. The guys behind me were not catching up and I was quite comfortable in the car. After the safety car restart, a lot of touching in front of me, crashing. I also had a touch so I had a bit of front wing damage.
“Towards the end, I was asking my engineer for what position are we racing, he said P4, I was like ‘what happened in front of me?'”
Verstappen explained how the result capped off a good first half-season in F1 that has seen him amass 22 points.
“I’m unbelievably happy with P4,” Verstappen said. “Now completely perfect [first half of the season].
“Before it was quite okay, but now with a P4 it’s really good.”
Ryan Norman will return to Andretti Autosport for their third season together in 2019 after scoring his first win and first pole with that organization in 2018.
“I’m really excited to finally make it official that I’ll be returning to Andretti Autosport for my third season competing in Indy Lights,” said Norman in a press release. “We’ve built a solid foundation over the past two years and I’m ready to fight for wins, podiums and ultimately the championship, with such a great group of people who have become like a family to me.”
Norman finished 2018 fourth in the championship, earning his first career win in race 15 of the 17-race schedule at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.
Norman’s first pole came in the finale at Portland International Raceway in September, but he crashed on the first lap and finished last (8th).
“We’re very happy that Ryan is rejoining us for his third season of Indy Lights,” said Andretti Autosport President, JF Thormann. “We were pleased with his performance this past season, and his potential as a driver began to really shine after his win at Gateway. He’s right on track with his progression plan put together by his engineering team, and we feel strongly that he has what it takes to be a contender for the 2019 championship.”
Norman will essentially replace teammates Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta, who will race for Rookie of the Year honors in IndyCar next season. O’Ward finished first in the Indy Lights standings last year; Herta finished second.
Norman’s 2019 campaign will begin on the streets of St. Petersburgh, Florida March 9, 2019. That will be the first of a double-header with Race 2 running the following day.