The Dutchman still became the youngest driver ever to start a Grand Prix as he lined up on the Melbourne grid aged 17 years and 166 days. The Toro Rosso rookie then managed to stay clear of the first corner tussle and broke into the top 10.
Verstappen remained in the points-paying positions throughout a mammoth opening stint that saw the FIA Euro F3 graduate drive 33 laps on the same set of medium tyres.
Barely had the teenager exited the pits that an internal combustion engine problem forced his STR10 into retirement, which delayed his potentially beating Daniil Kvyat’s record as the youngest point-scorer in F1.
“A disappointing way to end my first ever Formula 1 race, but there have also been many positives along the way this weekend,” said Verstappen. “In today’s race I had a good first run on the mediums; a lot of people around me were on softs and I was still able to stay quite close to them.
“But as soon as I re-joined the race after my pit-stop I saw smoke, so I reported that to the pit-wall and they asked me to stop the car. It’s a real shame, because I was feeling good, the car was working well and if I had been able to stay on track I think we would’ve finished in the points.”
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