Formula One: Hamilton wins as Max Verstappen has his Senna moment
Mercedes may have claimed yet another 1-2 finish in a stop-start Brazilian Grand Prix, but as is increasingly the case, everybody was talking about teenage wonderkid Max Verstappen after a truly astonishing drive that has brought comparisons with Formula One’s greatest names.
The Dutch star made a late pitstop to drop to 16th with only 15 laps to go, but a stunning show of talent ensured Verstappen whizzed past 13 of them to finish third.
Passing cars right and left in treacherous conditions, the drive immediately drew comparisons with Ayrton Senna’s breakout performance at Monaco in 1984, and Michael Schumacher’s famous first win for Ferrari at Spain in 1996.
Those drives marked out both Senna and Schumacher as divine talents, and now it appears Verstappen can become every bit as good.
He may have already claimed his first Grand Prix win in Spain earlier this season, but it was this weekend’s display which has made people stand up and really take notice.
The Dutchman could be poised for an explosive season in 2017 if Red Bull can provide the car.
But before we look too far ahead, this season’s championship is still yet to be decided.
Lewis Hamilton’s third straight victory ensured the title race goes down to the wire in Abu Dhabi, while Nico Rosberg’s second-place in Sao Paulo means the gap is 12 points.
Hamilton must finish fourth or higher to have any chance of winning a third-straight title, while Rosberg can secure his first drivers’ crown by finishing anywhere on the podium.
But if anyone is likely to upset the Mercedes party in a fortnight’s time, you can probably put some money on it being a certain teenager.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing