Most 17-year old boys have a few things on their minds: partying, girls, school, sport; but not Max Verstappen, he has the Formula One World Driver’s title on the brain.
The Dutch teenager made history recently when he signed to pilot a Toro Rosso Formula 1 racecar in the 2015 World Championship. Currently just 16 years old, Verstappen will make his debut at the opening round of the 2015 Formula One season, taking the title of the sport’s youngest driver by two years – the previous youngest was Jaime Alguersari who raced for the same team aged just 19 years 125 days.
If this lad’s surname is familiar it’s because his dad Jos “the boss” Verstappen was an F1 pilot as well, driving for various teams over the years including Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi team, which would eventually turn into the current day Toro Rosso. Even Max’s mum, Sophie Kumpen, is a former kart driver so you could say that racing is well and truly in his blood.
“My father has always been closely involved in my career, from the very start. As a coach, mentor, mechanic, manager and taxi-driver, since I’m not old enough to have a driver’s license yet,” adds the sixteen-year-old.
According to his profile Max first piloted a kart at just four years old. In 2005, he completed a full Mini karting season and won the Belgium Championship Mini kart series, he dominated that championship with 21 wins in 21 races. He currently races for the Van Amersfoort Racing team in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship where he has enjoyed six consecutive wins.
Surprisingly, Verstappen was given the nod without any top-flight single seater racing under his belt. He has ousted Jean-Eric Vergne from Toro Rosso and will partner another youngster, 20-year old Daniil Kyvat, for the 2015 season.