SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) The glory belonged to Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the history was made by the other Italian team as Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen became the youngest driver to score points in Formula One history.
At 17 years and 180 days, the Dutch teenager is almost 2 1/2 years younger than Daniil Kvyat when he set the record on debut at last year’s Australian Grand Prix.
The record for youngest in the points has been tumbling regularly in recent years – it is the fifth time it has changed hands in the 2000s – but Verstappen looks likely to hold it for many years to come, as F1 changed the rules soon after he was hired and from now on drivers must be at least 18 to compete at the top level.
In typically teenage fashion, Verstappen described the race and his seventh-place finish for six points as ”good fun.”
”It was quite hot at the end but I was still able to cope with it and be consistent, so I’m happy with that,” Verstappen said. ”This is a big boost for the team; we couldn’t have done a better job today.”
His teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. – at the ripe old age of 20 – finished eighth.
Both drivers are the sons of accomplished drivers. Sainz’s father was a World Rally Championship title winner, and Verstappen’s father Jos also competed in F1.
The elder Verstappen – whose career is best remembered for being caught in the middle of a terrifying pit-stop fire – was happy to acknowledge his son as ”certainly” the best driver in the family, even if dad gave his son a lift to the race on Sunday as Max does not yet have a full license to drive on public roads.
”He is better prepared than me,” Jos Verstappen said. ”Physically, mentally and the way he feels at home on the track…he has to be better than me.
”I’m very pleased for what he has done today. I’m happy that he finished the race and the way he raced, he deserved it. I’m very proud.”