Current Max Verstappen

2015 sees the arrival of the youngest driver ever to sit in an F1 car. Max Verstappen was born on 30th September 1997 and, assuming he makes the grid in Australia, will only be 17 years and 167 days, beating Jaime Alguersuaris' record by 1 year and 323 days (assuming my maths is correct).

How can such a young man be ready for F1? As the son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen Max started racing karts at 4½ years old. In 2006 he won the Belgian Minimax Championship in the KF5 category and in 2007 he won both the Dutch and Belgian titles as well as the Belgian Cadet Championship.

In 2009 he won the KF5 Flemish Championship and moved up to International Karting. In 2010 Max finished 2nd in the KF3 World Cup, won the Euro Series and the WSK World Series. In 2011 he again won the WSK World Series and moved up the KF2 class winning the WSK Master Series and the South Garda Winter Cup in 2012. In 2013, at 15 years of age, Verstappen won the World KZ Championship, which is highest level of karting.

For 2014 Max moved up to European Formula 3. He finished 3rd in the Championship winning 10 of the 33 races, more than those who finished above him in the title race. Max was recruited into the Red Bull Young Driver Programme in August 2014 and only 6 days later was announced as one of the drivers for Toro Rosso in F1 for 2015. Apparently he was also being courted by Mercedes for their young driver programme so you have to wonder how much the pull of an F1 seat at Toro Rosso drove the decision to go with Red Bull.

Having already taken part in 3 Friday sessions as a test driver Max Verstappen is the youngest person ever to take part in a Grand Prix weekend. If he acquits himself well during 2015 many will say it is an inspired decision. If he turns into a mobile chicane or treats F1 like a destruction derby I'm sure many questions will be asked as to why someone not even old enough to qualify for a driving licence in his home country is allowed to get behind the wheel of a car at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Future Champion? One season (or even one race) wonder? 2015 will be very interesting for Max Verstappen.
There is no doubt that Max looked a great prospect in F3 and a cut above the others for some of the time. The reason he didn't win the title was because when he is in the pack he appears to be a magnet for accidents. As thats where he'll be next season lets hope he's worked on it.

His team mate Sainz certainly felt aggrieved when he was originally past over for Max so I fully expect the inter team rivalry to get somewhat spicy. Max himself is not best known for his politeness.

The other two Red Bull drivers passed over are Gasly and Lynn who will make up the line up for DAMS in GP2 next year. As DAMS win the title more often than not this should mean they are both at the front in GP2 adding more pressure on to Max.

I think he's a prospect but I worry its too early for him and his career might sink (like his dad). I hope I'm wrong but I think he should have took another year is the junior formula like Esteban Ocon.
While he does hold promise, I think it is too early in his career for the move to F1. I fully expect the pressure of public scrutiny to be very intense for the young man, and that the press will quickly magnify the smallest mistakes he makes. If he turns in a couple of Maldonadoesque performances, I think his F1 career will be over almost before it begins.

My impression is that he was brought up at this time as much for publicity as for anything else. I hope that both he and his team show patience, particularly in the first few races, as I would think he needs to worry about getting finishes to begin with. He can be concerned about scoring points later in the season.
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Even as a biased dutchman, I think it's fair to say he did (very) well the first two races, points are already in the pocket.
I thoroughly enjoyed the two passes on Daniel. Hope to see lots more of that bravoure this season.
So for now my conclusion is that it's not to soon for him. How are your thoughts?
Welcome to the site Jan

I agree he has shown in the first two races he's a prospect and he certainly has guts when it comes to overtaking. I do wonder whether as the season goes on we might find his set up and development skills flounder having not had more experience in the junior formula. A great start though from both him and Sainz. That inter team battle is going to be fun to watch.
I'm quite confident in Max Verstappen's abilities.
There is no doubt that Max looked a great prospect in F3 and a cut above the others for some of the time. The reason he didn't win the title was because when he is in the pack he appears to be a magnet for accidents. As thats where he'll be next season lets hope he's worked on it.
I hope I'm wrong but I think he should have took another year is the junior formula like Esteban Ocon.
He may well have the mental staying power for the long haul. My dad's driver in F3 was an accident magnet, but the guy still kept showing up and doing his best. When he wasn't getting into trouble, he was very racy, and often ran well - if that's the kind of attitude Max has picked up from his experience in F3, then he'll be in good stead in F1. Expect him to be in F1 for years to come, he's more than good enough.
I was really doubtful about the kid doing well but apparently I know nothing because he drove very, very well in Malaysia. Becoming a fan
Although it is still far too early to make any definitive judgements, I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by his (and his teammate's) performances to date. I hope that they can maintain the form they have shown thus far.
I feel a bit sorry for Carlos Sainz. He is probably just as good if not better than Max right now but due to being a few years older and not having the PR machine of Verstappen he'll probably get completely over looked.

He's like JEV mark 2. Hope I'm wrong.
And it makes you wonder what JEV would have done with a couple of years experience under his belt and clearly, a tidy car to drive.
As is tradition one of the older drivers whose career has seen better day has gone to the media to call the new exciting entertaining young kid's driving dangerous:

Massa has decided to take over Mark Webber's role as president of the Moaning and Bitter Drivers Association (MBDA). He has had previous experience in the field though. Maybe he'll try to call a 'his driving is dangerous (and he's quicker than us)' meeting like he did on Hamilton.
Massa is the sort of person that would stay in the outside lane of a British motorway doing a steady 70 going apeshit at the tens of cars undertaking him because 'they're dangerous and breaking the law'.
That's rich coming from Massa, He's been involved in a quite a few accidents of his own. I suppose they were everyone else fault though, especially Hamiltons. (Sarcasm folks)
On this occasion I feel that Verstappens accident was partially lack of experience, a more experienced driver would have spotted Grosjens intent to move in and backed off, avoiding the accident. But I don't think it was dangerous. Anyway he'll learn from it.
The accident was nothing more than a simple misjudgement Romain did brake early but he had to due to his tyres being that much older than Verstappen's it could have happened to anyone but especially a rookie, it was not dangerous driving it was a mistake pure and simple, Massa was not involved and so he is talking from the sidelines, it is just sour grapes on his part because of the moves Max put on him earlier in the race...
Tough being in the Red Bull squad isn't it, it seems you only get the one shot and then you are out, the drivers in their junior program must feel like parts on a production line, the time of plug and play drivers has certainly arrived at that team hasn't it...
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It is a production line and a very brutal one where you are given the cull if you don't meet up to expectations.. I can imagine Helmut Marko is like the farmer that raise you initially then becomes the butcher when the time is right

However every driver who goes on the programme knows the score and have got performance targets to achieve each season if they want to be promoted

Although I still prefer to name Helmut - the Dark Lord of the Sith and he has a line of apprentices that all need to deliver
I think Max would be more scared if Jos was driving.

I mean I know we're suppose to skirt round the issue with the Max PR machine going on. I know the media teams are teally trying to avoid saying it or even think it but I feel someone has to say it so it might as well say it. Here goes......

Jos Verstappen was a truly truly truly truly truly god dam awful F1 driver. Like seriously terrible. He got into F1 on the back of being in Flavio's stable when another of Flavio's kids turned up to be awful. He got panned by Schumacher worse than any other team mate I've ever seen and got dropped before the season ended. He then got fat and spent the rest of his career smashing into people at the back of the field (did I hear a hell yeah from Juan Pablo Montoya?). Lets face it Max got his driving genes from his mum who was a international karting champion.

Phew it feels good to talk about that Elephant in the room.
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