Lauda praises ‘unbelievable’ Verstappen after Brazil drive

Max Verstappen - Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Niki Lauda heaped praise on Max Verstappen after the Dutchman’s stunning drive through the field in the closing stages of the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

After an enforced pit stop to switch back to the Full Wet tyres from the intermediates, Verstappen fell down to fifteenth position with less than a quarter of the race remaining, but stunning moves around a number of his rivals, including outside passes on Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez.

He also made excellent passes on Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr, amongst others, as he took the driver of the day honours, as voted for by Formula 1 fans from around the world.

Verstappen had earlier passed both Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg to run second in the Grand Prix, but the three additional pit stops compared to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers up front meant he was forced to make the fight back, which heavily impressed Lauda.

“This race was incredible to watch, though I did not understand with the Safety Car start,” said Lauda to Sky Sports after the race. “Lewis and Nico did a perfect job coming first and second. Verstappen was outstanding, the way he passed everybody so it was an interesting race.

“He did the job, unbelievable, the way he passed it was just incredible. I knew the guy is good but he proved to everybody what he can do.”