Max Verstappen produced one of the drives of the century in terrible conditions as he finished third in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
On race day in Sao Paulo it was raining and the safety car was deployed four times as Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Kimi Raikkonen all lost control of their cars due to the standing water on the track.
Felipe Massa crashed in the entrance to the pit lane which forced the safety car to come out again and his walk back into his garage enabled the crowd and pit crews to salute him in his last Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was called to the pits as a result to change from intermediates to the grippier full wet tyre, although he dropped to 14th position. What happened next will be considered one of the best examples of wet weather driving in Formula One history.
The 19-year-old quickly passed Esteban Gutierrez followed by team-mate Ricciardo. Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon were his next victims then Felipe Nasr and Niko Hulkenberg.
Verstappen dispatched Vettel on lap 56 then overtook Carlos Sainz but the Dutchman wasn’t finished there. He produced an outstanding overtake manoeuvre on Sergio Perez at turn 10 to claim his seventh podium finish this year two laps from home. He said:
“There was no way we could carry on [on intermediates] so had to pit again for wets. From there on the race was really good fun, plenty of overtakes around the outside because if you stay behind them there’s too much spray, I had to find another line. I just kept my head down and managed to get past quite a few cars in the remaining laps.”
Daniel Ricciardo finished 8th which secured Red Bull’s second position in the Constructors’ Championship.
“With Daniel finishing in eighth place that secures our second place in the Constructors’ Championship, which is a quite a feat,” said Christian Horner.
“We’d like to dedicate this race to the memory of a very valued member of our team, Mark Simpson, who we unfortunately lost after a difficult illness earlier in the week. ‘Simo’ as he was known to us, was an important part of our team and I’m sure he would have enjoyed what we saw from Red Bull Racing today.”