Christian Horner: Max Verstappen already 'right up there' with wet-weather greats

Mercedes still quicker than Ferrari says Ricciardo

Verstappen sure Red Bull can close gap to Mercedes, Ferrari

"To finish qualifying and to start the race will already be better than Melbourne", he said ahead of the Chinese grand prix in Shanghai.

Wet weather wizard Max Verstappen's team principal at Red Bull, Christian Horner, describes his driver as one of the best of all time in the wet.

Verstappen's display evoked memories of his charge through the pack in the rain at last year's Brazilian Grand Prix, where he charged from 14th to third in just 14 laps, leading Horner to believe he is "right up there" among the greatest wet-weather drivers in F1 history.

"It was remarkable. His first lap in particular was mighty".

"I gained one or two positions and then.trying to go round the outside in turn one, I got another auto", he added later, taking journalists through his first-lap heroics that won him the fans' vote as driver of the day. With a damp track at the start of the race, Verstappen worked his way up to P7 in just one lap, eventually finishing P3.

However, on the wider and more overtaking-friendly Shanghai circuit, passing moves proved more frequent - with Vettel and Verstappen supplying numerous most memorable overtakes on their ways to podium finishes behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

"He appears to have an nearly sixth sense in the wet". He doesn't seem intimidated by it in any way and he is prepared to explore all of the boundaries of the circuit available to find where the grip is.

Verstappen in 2015 became the youngest driver to compete in a Formula One race at 17 - an age when many teenagers have yet to receive their driver's licence.

"I was honestly a bit bored so I just thought let's bang some wheels and get the crowd excited!", he joked. His first race that he won here was outstanding.

Unsurprisingly, Verstappen was voted by F1 fans as the Chinese GP Driver of the Day - the ninth time he has won the award since it was introduced a year ago.

Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen's driving style has been a "breath of fresh air" in his relatively short Formula One career.

"Obviously he's got a great following and he's definitely been in some great situations in some races and really maximised above and beyond, which is why he gets the Driver of the Day award". From there on I think we made the right call with the change of tyres to slicks.

That is despite the fact that Sebastian Vettel carried Ferrari's winter promise into the 2017 season by winning the recent Australian grand prix. The result leaves Hamilton and Vettel hand-in-hand on 43 points. "Hopefully we can put pressure on him", Ricciardo told IBTimes UK when asked if Ferrari and Red Bull can now compete for two podium places instead of just one in recent seasons owing to Rosberg and Hamilton's dominance.

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