Verstappen Recounts His First Win In Formula 1

by Adam OndrikWednesday, 31 January 2024 at 23:00
verstappen max redbull rbcp17
Max Verstappen described his first-ever Formula 1 victory that he achieved with Red Bull Racing during the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
When this article is published, Max Verstappen's win count in F1 is at 54. The triple World Champion achieved his first race win when he was only 18 years and 228 days old.
Thus, he became the youngest Formula 1 driver to win a Grand Prix race in the history of the sport. The 26-year-old remembered the race on a recent episode of the Talking Bull podcast:

"I qualified fourth. Turn 4 was a beautiful corner that day on Lap 1 when two Mercedes cars just disappeared off the road! Then I knew, ‘Okay, we might be on the podium here today, if I’m holding on in the race."

Mercedes had by far the most dominant car during that season. However, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided ahead of turn four and put both of themselves out of the race (despite the terms of the engagement agreement).

"Again, it was like my first proper race distance in the car, so it was definitely a bit different to what I was used to; in terms of speed, it was quite a bit faster."

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix was the fifth race of the season. It was Verstappen's second year in F1, and he had just been promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso (now known as VCARB).
In other words, Verstappen was too fresh in all aspects, and nobody expected him to even finish on the podium. He continued:

"How the race panned, I could look after my tires quite well; we did a two-stop, and I had to keep Kimi behind for quite a few laps."

The driver, who is now famous for being incredibly consistent under all circumstances, admitted he felt really nervous as he found himself defending the P1 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen ten laps before the end of the race.

"I definitely felt like with ten laps to go that I was getting quite nervous, but I couldn’t make a mistake, I kept telling myself that this is going to be my first win, I can’t lock-up or do anything wrong here."

And then it happened: Max Verstappen crossed the finish line in P1 and achieved his first win in F1 during his first race with the Red Bull Racing team. A magical moment that shocked everyone.

"It’s a weekend you’ll never forget because you work to get into F1, you dream of being the podium one day, you dream of, of course, being on the top step."