Verstappen: This opportunity is a dream come true

Max Verstappen new kid on the F1 block as of 2015

Max Verstappen new kid on the F1 block as of 2015

Max Verstappen is on one of the most remarkable journey’s in the history of motorsport as he has been fast-tracked into Formula 1 and now has been confirmed that he will be making his grand prix debut in 2015 as a Toro Rosso driver, after only recently being signed up for the Red Bull junior programme.

Speaking on the occasion of the announcement that he will replace Jean Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso, Verstappen said, “First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Helmut Marko and Red Bull for all their trust and giving me the chance to make my Formula debut in 2015 with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true.”

Max’s father Jos Verstappen made 107 starts in Formula 1 – with Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi – scoring two podiums in the process. Verstappen senior has been instrumental in the metoeoric success of his son.

 Max Verstappen at the recent Nurburgring F3 race

Max Verstappen during the recent Nurburgring F3 race

Max acknowledges, “There are several people that have helped me throughout the years and still support me to this day and I want to sincerely thank them. First of all a big thanks to my father Jos, who has always been by my side, day and night, year after year. Of course I’m very thankful for all my sponsors who’ve believed in my talent and supported me in these financially difficult times.”

“I hope that I can maintain a wonderful collaboration with them as I embark on this exciting new phase in my career. I also want to thank my manager Raymond Vermeulen, for all his efforts in making this agreement possible. Finally, thanks to all the teams in the various karting and single-seater categories for their vital help and support. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

“We’ve all worked tremendously hard to reach Formula 1 and I will give my absolute best to be successful in the pinnacle of motorsport. With the return of the Verstappen name to Formula 1, I hope we can relive old memories and I’m hoping to see many fans at all the Grand Prix circuits,” concluded the sixteen year old who next year in Australia will become Formula 1’s youngest debutant.

Max Verstappen with his karting world champion trophy in 2013

Max Verstappen with his karting world champion trophy in 2013

Verstappen was reportedly courted by several Formula 1 teams, notably Mercedes, but recently opted to join Red Bull’s junior programme after being convinced by the energy drinks’ motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.

Marko said, “It was not difficult for us and every top team as well to realise what an extraordinary talent he is. We are very proud that he has joined Red Bull. Max is the sort of driver who can start straight away in Formula 1.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost added, “We consider Max to be as one of the most skilled young drivers of the new generation and we believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully.”

Verstappen began karting at age seven and since then became a force in the karting world. He competed in the Mini Junior championship of Limburg. In 2006, Verstappen graduated to the Rotax Max Minimax class and won the Belgian championship.

In 2007, Verstappen won the Dutch Minimax championship. Racing in a CRG entered by his father, Verstappen won the Dutch and Belgian Minimax championship as well as the Belgian Cadet championship.

Max Verstappen had a hugely successful karting career

Max Verstappen had a hugely successful karting career

For 2009, Verstappen was signed up by Team Pex Racing, a CRG customer team. Verstappen won the Flemish Minimax championship and the Belgian KF5 championship.

In 2010, Verstappen stepped up to international karting where he was signed by CRG to race in their factory team at world and European championships. At the KF3 World Cup, Verstappen finished second to the more experienced Alexander Albon. Verstappen beat Albon at the WSK Euro Series. He also won the WSK World Series, beating Robert Visoiu.

In 2011, Verstappen won the WSK Euro Series in a Parilla-powered CRG.

For 2012, Verstappen was picked up by the Intrepid Driver Program to race in the KF2 and KZ2 classes. He won the WSK Master Series in the KF2 class, beating CRG driver Felice Tiene. Verstappen won the South Garda Winter Cup in the KF2 class, beating Dennis Olsen and Antonio Fuoco.

This year he moved up into Formula 3 where he won the Masters of Formula 3 at Motopark, and currently lies second in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship driving for Van Amersfoort Racing. Full announcement here>>> (GP247)