Max Verstappen made certain of leaving a lasting impression on Lewis Hamilton by putting in a storming drive to go from near the back of the grid to the podium in Sunday’s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.
The triple world champion and the teenaged Red Bull driver engaged in some light-hearted banter on the podium, with Hamilton, while summing up the race, hesitating mid-sentence and seemingly forgetting Verstappen’s name before calling him “this young guy here".
“You always call me ‘this guy’,” responded a smiling Verstappen, who was sharing the podium with Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel together for the first time.
“I do? Okay, this dude, this dude,” Hamilton said, putting his arm around the 19-year-old Dutchman’s shoulder.
Verstappen started Sunday’s race 16th after a misfiring engine hobbled him in qualifying.
He made rapid progress up the field, overtaking nine cars in the damp and treacherous conditions on the first lap alone.
He ran as high as second behind Hamilton and fended off late-race pressure from team mate Daniel Ricciardo to finish third and give Red Bull their 100th podium place.
Asked if passing all those cars on the opening lap felt like playing a video game, Verstappen said: “More or less. It felt a bit like that.
“I gained one or two positions and then...trying to go round the outside in turn one, I got another car,” he added later, taking journalists through his first-lap heroics that won him the fans’ vote as driver of the day.
“Then inside turn two, another car, outside turn three...always trying to go around the outside or inside and it worked. Yeah, nine cars is quite a lot on one lap.”
Here are the full results from the Chinese Grand Prix and driver/constructor standings:
Full results from the Chinese Grand Prix
- Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton,1:35.378, lap 44.
How it stands: F1 world championship standings after Chinese Grand Prix
How it stands: The constructor championship standings after the Chinese Grand Prix
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