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Max Verstappen

The historic moment for F1 on this day eight years ago

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix marked the first of many wins for Max Verstappen, who became the youngest-ever grand prix winner on this day eight years ago.

Verstappen Spain 2016
To news overview © XPBimages

On May 15, 2016, a historic moment occurred for Formula 1.

In his very first race for Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen crossed the line in first place to secure his maiden grand prix win.

In doing so, the Dutchman became the youngest winner in the sport's history at 18 years and 228 days, breaking the record previously held by Sebastian Vettel by almost three years.

At the time, Verstappen was used to setting records that contained the 'youngest' title and he has since gone on to reach even greater heights.

With 58 grand prix wins and three world championships to his name at the time of writing, Verstappen has established himself as one of the greatest drivers in F1 history.

But the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix was where it all began.

The race was thrown into immediate chaos when the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out on the opening lap.

The battle was then on between Red Bull and Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel taking on a three-stop strategy while Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen opted for a two-stop.

It soon became clear that the latter strategy was the stronger one with Raikkonen hunting Verstappen for the lead.

Try as he might, the veteran was unable to move past the second-year driver. Verstappen's team-mate Ricciardo suffered a puncture late on, putting an end to the already dwindling hopes of a surge to the top step.

Verstappen crossed the line six-tenths of a second ahead of Raikkonen as he held off consistent pressure from the Finn.

"I think he's already marked himself out as a superstar of the future and justified the faith Red Bull has shown in him,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after the race. 

“What he has clearly got is an ability to perform under pressure. 

"When Kimi was following him, never once did he put a wheel wrong or brake a lock-up. He's incredibly calm under pressure."

With Verstappen now third on the all-time F1 win list and on course to take a fourth title, it's safe to say the early assessments of Verstappen from his boss have aged elegantly.

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix