Max Verstappen will become the youngest ever driver to participate in an F1 Grand Prix when he gets behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. Fortunately for Jean Eric Vergne, whose seat 17 year old Versatappen is borrowing, is scheduled to run in Fridays practice session only.
The FIA has granted Verstappen an F1 superlicence, the kid is widely regarded as the sports next superstar and has won every Jr race category title he has entered. Friday’s session is seen as preparation ahead of his full debut season in 2015.
Formula One is a tough arena where being the very best is just not good enough to survive long term. Verstappen is still enjoying the build up to the race as he countsdown to Friday’s day of reckoning. Speaking to the media he said,
“Its a dream come true not something I could have imagined a few months ago. I have actually been to Suzuka before, to take part in a go-kart race on the track that is located next to the main circuit’s back straight,” he added.
“For me it will be a very valuable experience, spending some time in the car and also getting used to working with everyone in the team, to prepare myself for next year.”
Triple F1 world champion , Sir Jackie Stweart, believes talent is everything in F1 but the sport isn’t for the feint hearted, speaking to BBC Sport he said,
“All eyes will be on him, it will be a big ask, the world is looking at him – and that’s not a small piece of pressure,”
“He has been sensational early in his career, but F1 is another story.”
Stweart added: “He will face more pressure than a young driver would have been exposed to years ago.
“I’ve seen some great young drivers come along and the pressure has been too much for them. It can go either way.
“It’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to that. There has been so much talk about him and his age”.
Max Verstappen will replace Jean Eric Vergne at Torro Rosso for the 2015 campaign and will become the youngest driver to enter a full grand prix season next year beating the previous record set by Sebastian Vettel by two years. Torro Rosso is seen as Red Bull’s B team, only time will tell if the boy wonder is the real deal.