The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday provided us with the youngest ever Formula 1 race winner in Max Verstappen. Here’s a list of the youngest winners in the premier competition of car racing.
Verstappen was just 18 years and 227 days old on Sunday when he won at the Circuit de Catalunya. Son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, Max managed to beat Sebastian Vettel’s record by a huge margin of 2 years and 210 days. Verstappen qualified in fourth and thanks to a two-stop strategy run to perfection, finished in front of the two Ferraris. Barcelona also marked the debut of Verstappen at Red Bull Racing after swapping seats with Daniil Kyvat who moved to Toro Rosso. Max became the first Dutch driver to win an F1 race, which was the icing on the cake.
The youngest quadruple world champion really does not need an introduction. But back in 2008, not many had heard of the young German when he put his Toro Rosso on pole at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Vettel won the race in dominant fashion, leading for almost the entire duration in wet conditions. That weekend would mark the first pole and victory for Toro Rosso as well as Vettel. Seb was 21 years and 73 days old when he broke the record which was previously held by Fernando Alonso.
Spaniard Alonso became the youngest GP winner on 24th August, 2003 with victory at the Hungaroring circuit in Hungary. Piloting a Renault, Alonso put his car on pole position and was in complete control of the race from the start. Such was his domination on the day, he even managed to lap the then reigning champion Michael Schumacher who was running in eight. Aged 22 years and 26 days, Fernando beat the long-standing record held by the legendary Bruce McLaren set in 1959.
New Zealander Bruce McLaren is world renowned for starting the McLaren Racing Team. But it is a lesser known fact that he was the record holder for the youngest driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix for almost half a century. Bruce set the record at the 1959 US Grand Prix when he was 22 years and 104 days old. Driving for the Cooper Works team, McLaren won the race in dramatic fashion as his teammate Jack Brabham’s car sputtered to a halt 400 yards from the finish line on the last lap. McLaren was running behind him in second and was urged on by Brabham frantically towards the line resulting in him winning the race.
The current reigning Formula 1 World Champion won his first race at the age of 22 years and 154 days. Driving a McLaren, Hamilton won the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix from pole in his rookie season. The result would also give Hamilton the lead in the championship, the first rookie to do so. However, he lost the title to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the last round at Brazil.