Formula 1 has brilliant future with youngsters – Ross Brawn

F1's second youngest podium

Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn says the sport is in safe hands in the wake of the Austrian Grand Prix battle for victory between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

21-year-olds Leclerc and Verstappen lined up from the front row of the grid and the Ferrari racer led much of the 71-lap encounter, before being reeled in by his erstwhile karting rival.

Leclerc and Verstappen scrapped for the lead through the closing stages, with the Red Bull driver overhauling his opponent three laps from the chequered flag.

The average age of Verstappen, Leclerc and third-placed finisher Valtteri Bottas was 24 years, five months and 13 days, making it the second-youngest podium in Formula 1 history. 

It was the first time that two 21-year-olds had locked out the top two positions.

“I’m particularly pleased that the top two finishers made up the youngest pairing ever to come first and second in a Grand Prix,” said Brawn. 

“Max and Charles both deserved to win and if they had finished in reverse order it would have been equally laudable.

“Max drove an amazing race, particularly when one considers that his start, to use a word that’s popular in this sport was ‘sub-optimal’. 

“He produced some superbly aggressive passing moves, drove some very fast laps on tyres that had done more than 30 laps, and his race pace management was pretty much perfect”

“Charles also put in a superb performance – dominating the opening sessions and delivering great pole laps. 

“However, for the second time this year he saw his chances of winning evaporate almost within sight of the flag. 

“Despite the disappointment it’s clear that the Monegasque driver is clearly getting better and better, showing great maturity in how he races and how he dealt with a far from simple post-race situation. 

“These two kids are definitely promising a brilliant future for Formula 1 in the coming decade.”