Max Verstappen, son of ex-F1 driver Jos, has been confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver for the 2015 Formula 1 season.
The Dutch youngster is currently racing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. It is his first season competing in single seaters and he sits second in the standings with two race weekends remaining.
It has now been confirmed on Red Bull-owned Servus TV that Verstappen will step up to Formula 1 next season. He was named as a Red Bull Junior Team driver last week, joining Carlos Sainz Jr, Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn.
Verstappen, who turns 17 in September, will become the youngest F1 driver in the sport’s history. He will race alongside Daniil Kvyat, leaving Jean-Eric Vergne without a drive.
He said on the news: “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 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.”
“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.”
His father Jos raced for Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi between 1994 and 2003, scoring two podium finishes from 106 starts.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost also commented on the announcement. “We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family,” he said.
“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.
“This year he has already demonstrated how well he can cope under difficult conditions. Bearing in mind that Scuderia Toro Rosso was created with the aim of bringing young talent from the Red Bull Junior Team into Formula 1 and to educate them, it will now be up to us to provide Max with a competitive car, which will enable him to have the best possible start to his Formula 1 career.”
Image courtesy of Red Bull