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Marko: Verstappen's age not a risk

NEWS STORY
20/08/2014

Red Bull's motor sport boss, Helmut Marko, has dismissed claims that Max Verstappen might be making his F1 debut too young.

For once F1 was in the headlines for the right reasons, the news that Max Verstappen (at 17) would make history by becoming the youngest driver in the history of the sport next March grabbing headlines around the world.

However, as some speculate that the youngster, who only made the switch from karts to single-seaters this year, and is currently second in the FIA European F3 Championship, is making the move up to F1 too soon, Red Bull's head of motor sport has dismissed the claims.

"He will be 17 when he has his first race, which is pretty young, but I don't think it is a risk," the Austrian told the official F1 website. "He proved in various races that he can use his head. I had quite a few conversations with him and there you can see how mature he is.

"Toro Rosso is well known for educating and training young drivers," he added, "so he comes into (that) environment. I think he'll go into the season well prepared. We can't see any risk doing it like that.

"I think he has unbelievable speed," he continued. "For his age he is very mature and he is a hard worker. He has all the necessary ingredients you need to be absolute champion."

Verstappen, who turns 17 at the end of next month, is equally confident.

"I'm a relaxed guy, I will handle it," he told BBC Sport. "I think the biggest step I had was karting to F3. I think F3 to F1 will be a smaller step.

"I'm not that worried about it," he added. "The cars are really safe. I think it's more dangerous to bike through a big city than race in an F1 car."

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by TokyoAussie, 23/08/2014 13:31

"I don't see how he can possibly be experienced enough for F1. At 16, he has most likely never been laid."

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2. Posted by nicksnotmyname, 20/08/2014 20:22

"I sincerely wish Verstappen the best of luck.
It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Verstappen senior is an ex-F1 driver would it?
"

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3. Posted by Paul C, 20/08/2014 18:05

"Wow Marko, are video gamers next for Toro Rosso?"

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4. Posted by Kkiirmki, 20/08/2014 11:18

"It's one of the only (if not sole) reasons for Toro Rosso to exist...to breed the next generation of Red Bull drivers."

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