'I saw him pointing 90 degrees!' - Rosberg marvels at Verstappen recovery


Lewis Hamilton may have won the Brazilian Grand Prix, but it was Max Verstappen who stole the show at Interlagos, leaving Nico Rosberg wowed by the teenager's exploits.

Verstappen has enjoyed a rollercoaster season since his elevation from Toro Rosso to replace Daniil Kvyat as Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull team-mate.

Still only 19, he already has a race win to his name, triumphing in Spain as the only man to break the stranglehold of Mercedes this season.

And while the Dutch-Belgian has come in for criticism over his sometimes erratic approach, he demonstrated the qualities that have made him the sport's most exciting new talent in a rain-soaked Sao Paulo on Sunday.

As the race restarted on lap 31, after one of many periods under the safety car, Verstappen pounced to pass Rosberg on the outside of turn three to gain second place.

Eight laps later, the teenager somehow recovered from a tail spin to narrowly avoid hitting a barrier, before defending a subsequent attack from Rosberg, who witnessed the newcomer's lightning-fast reflexes first-hand. 

Speaking after the podium presentation, the championship leader said: "I arrived in the straight and I saw him pointing 90 degrees toward the wall. I thought, 'what the hell!'"

Despite ultimately finishing second behind reigning world champion Hamilton, Rosberg's title destiny remains under his control, with third place or better at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit this month good enough to seal a first crown, regardless of his team-mate's efforts. 

"It didn't go my way today," he said. "Lewis just did a great job. But for sure, it was very difficult conditions out there. I can live with second."

The race came under threat as the downpour persisted in Brazil, with the International Automobile Federation reportedly concerned over driver safety during the second red flag period in quick succession to be caused by a crash.

However, Rosberg feels officials and organisers were justified in pressing ahead.  

"It was on the limit but yes, in the end they got it right," he said.

"They did a good job judging, but it was quite a fine line out there."