Christian Horner

‘Ricciardo’s smile now on Verstappen’s face’

'Ricciardo's smile now on Verstappen's face'

‘Ricciardo’s smile now on Verstappen’s face’

A season and a half into his meteoric F1 career so far, Max Verstappen is continuing to impress.

In his sixth race since switching from Toro Rosso, the 18-year-old Dutchman finally outqualified his highly-rated teammate Daniel Ricciardo at Silverstone before racing to the podium.

Not only that, he secured yet another official ‘driver of the day’ fans plaudit, and the press was also impressed.

“Verstappen was brilliant,” said Spain’s El Pais newspaper. “The world championship is lucky to have this 18-year-old genius. Verstappen is the new Senna.”

As for his move on Nico Rosberg around the outside of Becketts, Red Bull team boss said: “Max continues to surprise us.”

F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart told the Swiss newspaper Blick: “How he passed Rosberg around the outside can only be described as world-class.

“We already know who the world champion of the future is.”

It’s all great news for the Dutchman, but not quite as comfortable for the established Australian star, Ricciardo.

Horner noted: “Nobody likes to be behind his teammate, but Daniel also had bad luck with the virtual safety car.

“He has already shown in 2016 what a class driver he is, and to have two fully competitive drivers is great news for us as a team.”

But former F1 driver Robert Doornbos sees the momentum clearly on Verstappen’s side.

“Since Max has been on the team, the car has gotten better and better,” he told the Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport Totaal.

“Whether it’s a coincidence or something to do with Max I don’t know, but in any case the smile on Ricciardo’s face is smaller and the one on Max’s face is bigger.”

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