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Verstappen signs to Red Bull Junior Team

NEWS STORY
12/08/2014

Red Bull has announced that Dutch rising star Max Verstappen has joined its Junior Team.

According to the team the move is effective immediately and the 16-year-old will continue his FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign at the Nurburgring this weekend as a Red Bull Junior in the Van Amersfoort Racing team and additionally will compete at the Macau Grand Prix in November.

Verstappen, son of former F1 star Jos Verstappen, has already established himself as a major talent.

Having started in Karts aged seven, the youngster enjoyed tremendous success culminating in victory in the 2013 World KZ championship, the highest karting category, at the age of 15.

In late 2013 he tested a Formula Renault car at Pembury and subsequently drove an F3 car run by Motopark Academy before a further Formula Renault test in December at Jerez. At a test in Valencia in December he out-paced several older, more experienced drivers.

Contesting the European F3 Championship this year with Van Amersfoort Racing, Verstappen scored a podium finish on his race weekend (Silverstone) and is currently second in the championship following wins at Hockenheim, Spa and the Norisring.

Widely seen as a future F1 star, his father has already hinted that the youngster, who is 17 next month, could join Toro Rosso for 2015.

Today's news would appear to validate that claim.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by f1khun, 13/08/2014 2:22

"@f1khun:
Not 123 years old, but 12 years old :-)"

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2. Posted by f1khun, 13/08/2014 2:21

"I am proud to see Max mentioned on this website, since Pitpass is the authority (for me) on all-matters-F1, so thanks Pitpass.

As for Max, there are some additions to the facts.
He started to race karts at age 4 and-a half. And had to wait until he was 12 to compete internationally; when he became 123 years old, he was hungry and ready, and kept moving up the ladder.

His 2013 karting season was amazing, and his racing debut (Ferrari Academy,. Florida World Series) last winter brought Max his first car-race win. Note; Ferrari invited Max and he didn't disappoint.

In F3 he hasn't just one his first race in his second weekend, he had a clean sweep (winning all three races in the weekend) in Hungary at the end of May, then a few weeks later he repeated that feat in Spa (again 3 wins out of 3) and continued to win the Zandvoort masters (not in his own car!). Note: Zandvoort did not have a very competitive field this year, but whoever participated, it was Max who won!

He has made some mistakes, has shown incredible speed and talent and as a person he is mature. He simply states that "you can always improve, and that is what I am looking for; where do I go faster the next lap". He is technically skilled and spends time with his engineers more than his compatriots.

I know that Red Bull, just like any talent program, has more good drivers that they cannot put in a racing car, then those that they CAN promote, but I think - I believe - that Max was signed up for a guaranteed F1 seat in 2016 with Toro Rosso. After all, Mercedes was ready to sign him as well but Red Bull made a (much) better offer. It would make sense to have Max gain a bit more experience, and if he debuts in 2016, he will be the youngest person ever (!) do debut in Formula 1 with a margin of more than 10 months over current youngest Jaime Alguersuari.

Max is the real deal; he hasn't faltered at any given time within what I know and remember. He has been spot on, embraces not only the sport but the fans as well, and is as technically able as his dad and has just that pinch of added patience (inherited from his mom) to give him the edge over his dad. And Jos was a hell of a driver (read back his first test at Arrows Footwork, for example).

Max is ready mentally and with his ability. I think he won't be allowed by FIA to debut in 2015 but I hope to GOD that they signed him up for a guaranteed 2016 race seat. He's ready, and I am sure his talent will bring him there.

Thanks Pitpass, Thanks Max - I enjoy what you're doing out there!
"

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3. Posted by LifelessDead, 12/08/2014 18:26

"Well.... I like what I see when Verstappen races in F3, but so does Ocon.

Let's see what happens now that he's in the Red Bull mill.
They promoted Algesuari to soon, Da Costa got dumped quite late in favor of Kvyat (who manages really well by the way, but the decision in my opinion was still 50/50). Wickins was dumped after beating Vergne (unrightly so?), Aleshin was dumped after beating Riccardo (rightly so?). Carlos Saints might be the next victim of Red Bull's selection process...

But then again, this is probably the best chance now-a-days. Mercedes is stuffed, they're just keeping Sam Bird on a leash. And a pure-talent-without-cash like Frijns is stuck at the sidelines, Ocon should be weary od that as well Genii isn't the best of places to be. (Or even worse, you could be a Ferrari Junior, for what THAT is worth).

But still, first year in a single seater... the speed is there, most of his incidents are related to getting used to having "wings" around his "kart"!

"

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