Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished in second and sixth place respectively in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The man from Holland is showing the world that he has the talent to win the Drivers’ Championship in a few years as he defied the more powerful Mercedes to end the race in Suzuka on the podium for the second time in successive weeks.
Although Mercedes made a complaint against the 18-year-old as they believed he drove ‘dangerously’ to thwart Lewis Hamilton’s chances of finishing behind Nico Rosberg. Subsequently the complaint was later withdrawn after it was learnt that they decision would not be cleared up before the American Grand Prix.
“Lewis (Hamilton) was obviously a bit quicker in the final stages and I knew he was going to catch me, the gap time on the pit board was dropping every lap. Into the last chicane I saw him coming in my mirrors so I defended my position, said Verstappen.
Christian Horner defended his young protégé after his manoeuvres hampered Mercedes chances of locking out the first two positions on the podium:
“A fantastic drive by Max today. A very mature performance, moving into second place and then really looking after his tyres resisting pressure initially from Sebastian and then at the end of the race from Lewis, with some great racing. It was fantastic to see him split the Mercedes and achieve our eighth 2nd place of the year.”
Daniel Ricciardo didn’t have the best of performance however he still finished the race in a commendable position and the Australian is looking ahead to Austin, he said:
“Today wasn’t a very exciting race for me, and unfortunately it just wasn’t my day. We struggled in the traffic and fell behind the eight ball. In the final stint towards the end I had a clear track and I was able put in some good laps but it wasn’t enough. We’ll come back in Austin ready to have a good weekend on track.”