Verstappen to race for Toro Rosso in 2015

AU1220212

Max Verstappen will make his Formula 1 debut for Toro Rosso in 2015, at the age of just 17.

Verstappen, son of former F1 racer Jos, will partner Daniil Kvyat at the Red Bull junior team next season, replacing Jean-Eric Verge, who has raced for the team since 2012.

The Dutchmen, who is currently racing in the Formula 3 Euro Championship, only graduated to cars from karts at the turn of the year, but has excelled in his maiden year in the series, winning eight times.

Verstappen was linked with Mercedes’ junior driver programme earlier this month, only to snub Formula 1’s current form team to join Red Bull’s highly successful junior programme last week.

“Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true,” said Verstappen.

“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.”

The 17-year-old will become the youngest driver to race in Formula 1 when he debuts at next year’s Australian Grand Prix.

Former Toro Rosso racer, and Red Bull junior Jaime Alguersuari, currently holds the record, having debuted at the age of 19 years and 125 days at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

Verstappen will race alongside Daniil Kvyat – who was just 19 when he made his debut earlier this year – meaning Jean-Eric Vergne is without a seat in Formula 1 for next season.

“I would also like to thank Jean-Eric Vergne for all his hard work,” said Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost.

“He has produced strong performances, but unfortunately he was also hindered by some reliability problems, especially in the first half of the current season.

“We hope that we have resolved these problems and that he will be able to end the second half of this season on a high note and thereby show that he still deserves another opportunity in Formula 1.”

Image courtesy of Red Bull Media

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