Having dropped down the order following a late pit stop for wet tyres, Verstappen proceeded to pass 11 drivers, including team mate Daniel Ricciardo and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, in 14 breathless laps in Brazil - a performance Horner believes ranks alongside legendary drives from Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
"I think it's right up there; you have to compare it to those great moments," Horner said after witnessing the 19-year-old capture an unlikely podium in Sao Paulo.
"You don't often witness a motor race like that. What we witnessed was something very special.
"They don't get much better than that. It was a difficult race for everyone, the conditions wet tricky all afternoon. He quickly moved past Kimi (Raikkonen) with a decisive move and from that point on you could see he meant business. The audacious move on Nico (Rosberg) round the outside Turn 3 was the start of things to come."
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who saw his own driver Lewis Hamilton win the race, was also full of praise for the young Dutchman: "The Verstappen show! It was really unbelievable driving, great entertainment. Physics are being redefined."
While Red Bull's strategy didn't work out in his favour, Verstappen said second place was realistically the highest he could have hoped for given the pace and performance of Hamilton out front. He got to within a second of the Mercedes following the second safety-car restart before the world champion - faultless throughout - responded to stretch his advantage to around 8s over the next eight laps.
"The win maybe not, but I think second was possible," Verstappen said. "I had good pace, a good fight with Nico, and was trying to follow Lewis [when] I had a massive moment at the last corner."