Global RallyCross: Scott Speed puts new VW through paces (VIDEO)

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Andretti Autosport’s preparations for the Red Bull Global Rallycross season continued this past weekend in Portugal, where Andretti pilots Scott Speed and Tanner Faust tested their 2014 Volkswagen Polo that they’ll use for the first race in Barbados.

Speed told the GRC’s official website that the goal of the test was to put together a plan for the upcoming debut of the VW Beetle. To that end, VW Motorsport technicians were among those on site to help Speed, Faust and Andretti with the test.

Nonetheless, he figures the Polo will come out stronger as well thanks to the extra work.

“There’s no question that the Polo is still very much an intermediate ride for us, just to get us by until the Beetle gets here,” Speed said. “But the effort that has gone into it is super valuable for us.”

You can check out an in-car clip of Speed putting the Polo through its paces above.

Nine Red Bull Global Rallycross events in 2014 will be broadcast on NBC, with six being broadcast live. For the full NBC schedule, click here.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.