Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team's best result of the Formula 1 season at the Brazilian Grand Prix was put in the shade by what he called 'the Verstappen show.'
While Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg delivered a 1-2 finish at a wet Interlagos to set up an F1 title showdown in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight's time, Max Verstappen thrilled fans with a brilliant charging performance.
And for Wolff – who had caused controversy in the build-up to the event following a telephone call he made to Verstappen's father Jos – there was no doubt who the star of the Brazilian GP was.
"As Bernie [Ecclestone] would have ordered it, it is a showdown in Abu Dhabi," said Wolff. "[It is] a 12 points gap so they will sort it out on track.
"[But this was] the Verstappen show. This is unbelievable. The Verstappen show. Unbelievable driving, and great entertainment. Physics are being redefined."
Jos Verstappen later revealed that he had been told the same thing by Wolff after bumping into the Mercedes chief in the paddock shortly after the race.
Verstappen said: "I didn't call him but I met him. I will tell you also what he said to me: 'We are racing for the championship but today was a Verstappen show'. I think he was right, he was really good."
He said: "I know he [Max] could do this, but you need opportunities and everything needs to work like that.
"He had his moment on the straight [with his high-speed spin] and today everything worked out. He did the perfect race. I think today was one of his special moments. It was good for F1, but I think it is even much better for himself."
Mercedes reliability fears
While Verstappen was a big talking point on Sunday, attention will likely switch to the showdown between Hamilton and Rosberg in Abu Dhabi.
Wolff reckoned that the 1-2 finish in Brazil was the team's best performance of the year because of how challenging it was.
"You cannot expect a 1-2 in these conditions," he said.
"You have such tricky conditions and driving home with a 1-2 with a faultless drive from Lewis with the best pace from the field, I am very happy with this result. It is maybe the best result of the season.
"Now [for Abu Dhabi] we just have to give them two cars to fight it out, as our biggest nightmare would be mechanical issues. But this is how the sport is and as Bernie would have ordered it."