Max Verstappen was in a state of disbelief after becoming the youngest winner in Formula 1 history on Sunday by beating Kimi Raikkonen to Spanish Grand Prix victory.
Verstappen, 18, joined Red Bull for the race in Barcelona as a shock replacement for Daniil Kvyat, but the move immediately paid off as the Dutchman swept to a dominant win.
A first-lap crash for the two Mercedes drivers left Red Bull and Ferrari to fight for the race win, and when both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel opted for a three-stop strategy, the race was Verstappen’s to lose.
The Dutchman soaked up the pressure piled on by Raikkonen in the closing stages to cross the line first and break Sebastian Vettel’s eight-year record for the youngest race winner.
Taking to the podium after the race, Verstappen – who only became old enough to drink the winner’s champagne last September – admitted that he could not believe he had won.
“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 took a moment to thank his father, Jos, who also raced in F1 but never won a grand prix.
“I think so,” Verstappen said when asked if his father would be proud.
“From a very young age, my Dad helped me a lot. To achieve this: amazing.”