Horner hails 'exemplary' Verstappen


Max Verstappen justified Red Bull's decision to promote him for the Spanish Grand Prix with an "exemplary" winning performance in Barcelona, says Christian Horner.

The Dutch teenager - who had previously driven for Toro Rosso this season - replaced Daniil Kvyat alongside Daniel Ricciardo for Sunday's race, and he enjoyed a stunning senior team debut.

After Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg had crashed at the first corner, the race opened up and it was Red Bull who profited as Verstappen held off Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

In doing so the 18-year-old became the youngest winner of an F1 race, and Horner was delighted to see the team's difficult decision to change drivers mid-season pay off so quickly.

"It's been unbelievable and Max's performance from the moment he stepped into the car to the chequered flag was absolutely exemplary, he's not put a wheel wrong," said the Red Bull team principal.

"He's been quick, measured, mature, he's defended incredibly well against a seasoned pro like Kimi and to score his first grand prix victory now, becoming the youngest grand prix victor on his debut for the team, is sort of fairy-tale stuff.

"I think the biggest aspect of his performance has been his calmness. He's obviously got a lot of capacity when he's driving the car. 

"On the radio there was no agitation in his voice, there was no panic, there was no tension and it was a young man who was completely in control of what he was doing and that's what he has done from the moment he stepped in the car."