Horner: Max conjures up images of Senna, Schumacher

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen’s sensational wet-weather drive at the Brazilian Grand Prix was “very special” to witness, and draws comparisons with the likes of Formula One legends and rain masters Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

The Dutchman put on an overtaking show in treacherous conditons at Interlagos, slicing through the field to recover from 14th to third in the final 15 laps.

Prior to his late charge, Verstappen had already pulled off a pair of stunning moves on Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

“What we witnessed was something special,” Horner said. “It was a difficult motor race for everybody.

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“Max drove an incredible race, losing very little time in each of the passing moves he made to be able to finish the grand prix in third position demonstrated what a great talent he is.”

The Red Bull team principal also agreed that Verstappen’s display conjured up images from previous wet-weather masterclasses such Senna’s podium finish in an unfancied Toleman at Monaco in 1984 or Schumacher’s first Ferrari win at the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix.

“It is right up there, you have to compare it to those great moments. You don’t witness a motor race like that, and what we saw was something very, very special.”

The most impressive part in the 19-year-old’s performance was perhaps his knack for overtaking in unlikely places, as the teenager found grip in spots where his rivals did not dare going.

“He was just exploring, even behind the safety car you could see him having a look at different parts of the tarmac, just looking for grip.

“All these guys come from karting and it looked very much like a karting approach that he was taking, going to the outside line, the cut back, the outside line around Turn 3, outside line onto the straight. And he was just finding grip on different parts of the circuit, which was great to see.

“I didn’t see anybody [do this] to the extent that Max was. So they have all come the same route through karting, but Max was in a league of his own.”

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