Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen thinks his team is “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams, after he and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr finished P7 and P8 respectively in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Lining up sixth on the grid, the Dutchman slipped down the order over his opening stint as he struggled on the medium-compound rubber. Although he could not challenge the top three teams, the FIA European F3 graduate is pleased with his recovery through the field.
“P7 was the maximum for us behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams as they are a bit too fast at the moment,” said Verstappen. “But we are the best of the rest, so I think we did a good job.
“It was really difficult in the first few laps, I was struggling a lot on the medium tyres, so we decided to box and go for the hards. It was the best choice for me. We had some good fights and I was enjoying that a lot and at the end the pace of the car was quite good, so I am really happy.”
By securing his maiden points at the grand age of 17 years and 180 days, Verstappen also became the youngest ever driver to score in Formula One, deposing fellow Red Bull stablemate Kvyat in the books. And this does not really seem to faze the Dutch prodigy.
“Not really, just happy to finish in the points”, replied the teenager when asked if he felt anything special about writing history.
“The youngest for me doesn’t really matter, I am just really happy to score points, especially in seventh and ahead of Red Bull.”
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