user icon

Verstappen was 'prepared' for expected F1 debut criticism

  • Published on 01 Sep 2014 09:51
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Max Verstappen says he was "prepared" for the waves of criticism about his formula one debut in 2015. News that the 16-year-old Dutchman will make history as the sport's youngest ever race driver for Toro Rosso next year has been controversial. Even his predecessor at the second Red Bull team, Daniel Ricciardo, has his doubts.

"I think Verstappen will answer on the track at the time of his debut and the months after it," the Australian said as he accepted the Lorenzo Bandini award in Italy. "For me, I think a driver in formula one at 17 is too young, but that's only my personal opinion so it may be different, we'll see. For me, it's too young," the 25-year-old is quoted by Italy's Omnicorse.

Verstappen, whose father Jos raced in the 90s and even for Toro Rosso's former guise Minardi in 2003, gave his critics more fuel at the weekend as he appeared in a F1 car for the street demonstration in Rotterdam. The 16-year-old crashed the Toro Rosso-liveried car head-first into the barrier, apparently as he fumbled with the complex controls of a modern F1 machine.

Earlier, Verstappen said that when he signed the deal with Red Bull, he expected criticism to follow. "When you are being announced as the youngest ever formula one driver, you can expect it," he is quoted by the Dutch website RaceXpress.nl. "I had prepared myself for it, and it's fine that everyone can have their own opinion. Next year we will see how it turns out," Verstappen added.

Rotterdam at the weekend was the first time Verstappen's F1 veteran father Jos had seen his son drive an F1 car, having missed the recent Rockingham shakedown. "I felt no tension," said the former Benetton driver. "When I see how calm he is and how he deals with everything, I just know it will be ok."

Verstappen snr said he is not sure what the next steps for Max will be, amid speculation he will appear for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings later this season. "I have no clue," said Jos. "It changes from day to day. What we have decided is that it will be a little easier now in terms of publicity. After this weekend, Max should focus on his racing and his preparations."

Max agrees: "I do not know exactly what the programme looks like and whether I will run in practice sessions. Formula one is very different from F3 -- the cars have a lot more power, pulling very fast and just continuing to accelerate. I cannot wait to get on a real circuit and go flat out."

Finally, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he sees no issue with Verstappen's controversial early debut. "Why not?" he told Roger Benoit, the veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick. "If he has the talent, he should try it. I see no reason for an age limit. Maybe I'll try to make a comeback," the nearly 84-year-old Ecclestone joked.

The F1 chief executive also acknowledged that Verstappen's debut might be good for the sport in terms of opening the eyes of a younger generation of fans. "Toto Wolff is always telling me the importance of social networks," Ecclestone said. "Let's see." (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Red Bull Racing
  • Points 2,012
  • Podiums 77
  • Grand Prix 163
  • Country NL
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (25)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), NL
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.8 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
United States of America
20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
Monaco
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan
17 - Jun 19
Canada
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom
8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
France
29 - Jul 31
Hungary
26 - Aug 28
Belgium
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands
9 - Sep 11
Italy
30 - Oct 2
Singapore
7 - Oct 9
Japan
21 - Oct 23
United States of America
28 - Oct 30
Mexico
11 - Nov 13
Brazil
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Aug 28
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
9 - Sep 11
Italy Monza
30 - Oct 2
7 - Oct 9
21 - Oct 23
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
28 - Oct 30
11 - Nov 13
Brazil Interlagos
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar