After becoming the youngest ever winner in Formula 1 history, Max Verstappen likened the Spanish Grand Prix to an endurance race, as he held off Kimi Raikkonen to claim his first Formula 1 win.
Verstappen became the youngest ever Formula 1 winner in the history of the sport at 18 years and 227 days, breaking the record set by Sebastian Vettel, also in a Toro Rosso in 2008, by three years.
“It’s amazing,” Verstappen said.
“I mean, this race felt like an endurance race to me, especially the last 10 laps. I couldn’t believe that I was leading the race.”
Verstappen made the switch to another set of medium compound tyres on lap 34, and made them last 32 laps until the end of the race.
Raikkonen also made the mediums last until the end of the race, pitting a lap after Verstappen, however wasn’t able to get close enough to the teenager to make a move for the lead.
“Today everything just went well,” Verstappen continued.
“I could hold onto the tyres and I think we did the best strategy possible and yeah, unbelievable, I can’t believe it.”
“On the first stint on the soft I could keep up quite well after the two Mercedes crashed. But at one point, if you are so close behind the first you start to destroy your tyres so yeah I lost a bit of ground there and we decided to pit again there, when we went onto the medium tyre the car felt great.
“From there on I was just managing my speed, my tyres; I was just managing everything. At the end I think we did the best strategy possible.”
On the other side of the garage, Daniel Ricciardo’s race was ruined by the wrong strategy call and to top it off a puncture on the penultimate lap.
Ricciardo was pressuring Vettel for the final podium position late in the race when his left rear tyre punctured.
“Seb [Vettel] and I were fighting pretty hard, but I don’t think we ever made contact. So a bit like China, what caused it I don’t know,” Ricciardo said.
Image via Red Bull Content Pool