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Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner has hailed Max Verstappen was "remarkable" following the Dutchman's charge from 19th in qualifying to third place in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

Verstappen was left towards the back of the grid due to an engine issue in qualifying, but made the most of the damp conditions early on to rise up the order, passing nine cars on the first lap alone.

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While Verstappen was unable to match the pace of Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, he held off a late charge from team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to complete the podium, managing a stunning turnaround in fortunes.

"Remarkable," Horner said of Verstappen's drive. "His first lap in particular was mighty. I saw one of his passing moves where he went down the outside and passed about three cars and it was obvious that he meant business. He emerged from the first lap in sixth or seventh place.

"He appears to have almost a 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. There's one move he made on the outside of Turn 6 where he just went straight down the outside of about two or three cars and then cut back. It was very, very impressive."

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.

"I think he's right up there. It's not a coincidence, now you can see Brazil wasn't a one-off," Horner said.

"Maybe good old Bernie's sprinkler system would be good for us! I think the way he's grown up, driving go-karts in the wet on slick tires and stuff like that, he's developed a real instinct and feeling."

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