Verstappen Spain

Verstappen claims astounding victory on debut for Red Bull

In a thrilling finish to the Spanish GP Max Verstappen has won his debut race for the Red Bull senior team, becoming the youngest driver to win a race ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Any criticism aimed at the Red Bull camp for switching Verstappen and Kvyat after Sochi was silenced as Verstappen unveiled yet another weapon in his arsenal; conserving tyres while defending. The result gives Red Bull their first win since Belgium in 2014, and announces the arrival of a new F1 superstar in the machinery to challenge for victories.

"It feels amazing, I can't believe it," said Verstappen on the podium. "I need to thank the team for giving me such a great car. To win straight away in the first race is an amazing feeling."

In the final ten laps Verstappen led the race, with Kimi Raikkonen close behind and both trying to make their ageing tyres last well past the optimal operating window. Behind them Ricciardo was chasing down Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari who had pitted earlier in the hope of grabbing track position leaving the Australian all the work to do.

The 2nd place was enough for Kimi to jump Hamilton to claim second place in the drivers' championship on 61 points ahead of Lewis' 57.

In the end the battle for P3 was too much for Ricciardo, who was also defending from a lapped Daniil Kvyat before suffering a left-rear puncture, amazingly still finishing fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas in P5.

Speaking after the race Ricciardo was bemused about the strategy choice which saw him drop from the lead to fourth and the opportunity for a podium, let alone a race win, slipping through his fingers.

"It's frustrating, it feels like we threw the win away today," Ricciardo vented. "I don't understand why... Normally the guy in the lead gets the best strategy."

On the attempts to overtake Vettel, Ricciardo was unapologetic. "Apparently he said I was a bit aggressive on the radio. Typical." 

On the opening lap, Hamilton managed to hold his lead off the start line, but Rosberg pulled into his slipstream and carried a speed advantage into the next few corners eventually squeezing past Hamilton for the lead. Coming back at Nico, Hamilton made a move which Rosberg defended, leaving Hamilton no choice but to take to the grass which sent him in to a spin and collected Rosberg ruining both of their races.

It was immediately unclear which driver was at fault, although both Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff expressed their disappointment with Hamilton's challenge.

After the discussing the incident with the stewards, their decision was that the crash was a racing incident and no further action was taken.