Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Max Verstappen youngest F1 winner at 18

BARCELONA, Spain — Dutch teen Max Verstappen stunned Formula One by winning Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, taking advantage of a first-lap crash by Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to become the sport's youngest winner a few days after being promoted by his Red Bull team.

Verstappen, 18, drove like a veteran in fending off a late challenge by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who not long ago raced against Verstappen's father, former Benetton and Arrows driver Jos Verstappen.

"It feels amazing. I can't believe it," Max Verstappen said. "To win straight away in my first race with Red Bull is incredible."

The spectacular victory — the first ever by a Dutchman in F1 — saw Verstappen break by nearly three years the record held by Sebastian Vettel, who was 21 when he won for the first time. Vettel, now 28, was third in Sunday's race.

Jos Verstappen, who never finished better than third in 107 career F1 races, was visibly moved as his son received the winner's trophy. "He is doing an incredible job, especially with his age," the 44-year-old Verstappen said.

Max Verstappen moved to Red Bull this month from its junior team, Toro Rosso, in a swap with Daniil Kvyat.

Rosberg, who had won seven races in a row dating to 2015, and Hamilton collided on lap 1 and both ended up in a gravel trap. Neither driver was willing to take blame.

NHRA: Doug Kalitta beat teammate J.R. Todd in a near dead heat for the Top Fuel victory at the Southern Nationals in Atlanta. The official margin was 0.000 seconds. Matt Hagan won in Funny Car, Jason Line in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

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