Verstappen impresses on first weekend as a Red Bull junior

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Max Verstappen has immediately shown why Red Bull worked so hard to get his signature for its junior programme after a trio of fine displays at the Nurburgring this weekend.

The 16-year-old currently races in the FIA F3 European Championship, with the next step towards F1 being either GP2, GP3 or Formula Renault 3.5. After an impressive start to the year, the Dutch youngster was signed by Red Bull to its junior programme earlier this week, and appears to be in line for a Formula 1 seat in a few years’ time.

At the Nurburgring this weekend, Verstappen produced three superb performances. After securing pole position for the first race on Saturday, he won ahead of Ferrari youngster Antonio Fuoco, but could not double up after an engine problem sidelined him in the second race.

After taking a ten place grid penalty, Verstappen started the third and final race from 12th place, yet he was up to fifth by the end of the first lap. He eventually came home in third, capping off a quite superb weekend of racing.

This youngster is without a doubt one of the stars of the future, with some even suggesting that he could be given an F1 debut next season and become the youngest ever driver the sport has seen.

However, his father, Jos – himself an ex-F1 driver – is being more realistic about his son’s chances.

“Max to Toro Rosso? We will wait and see,” Jos is quoted as saying by Planet F1. “We will discuss this together with Red Bull as they continue with Max.”

Regardless of when he makes his F1 debut, Max Verstappen is a name that is worth remembering for the future.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”