Less than a week ago, Max Verstappen was named as a Red Bull Junior Team member.
In 2015, he’ll still be in a junior team… but the junior team at the highest level of motorsport.
The young Dutchman, who’ll only turn 17 in September, will join Scuderia Toro Rosso on the 2015 Formula One grid. His teammate? Relative graybeard Daniil Kvyat, who’s 20, and will be entering his second season on the grid.
Verstappen will become the youngest driver in Formula One history when he takes the grid next season, by more than a year. Jaime Alguersuari was 19 years, 125 days old when he debuted at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, replacing Sebastien Bourdais at 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,” Verstappen said in a release, via Red Bull.
Father Jos Verstappen competed in F1 from 1994 to 2003, with the Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Arrows, Tyrrell, Stewart and Minardi squads.
The announcement leaves Jean-Eric Vergne a free agent, and he’ll have the final eight Grands Prix of 2014 to prove his worth or join the Toro Rosso ex-F1 alumni club that includes Sebastien Buemi, Alguersuari, Bourdais, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed.
My MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith pondered this possibility of him being promoted last week; meanwhile, Verstappen impressed on his Red Bull Junior debut this weekend.
NBC Sports Group Formula 1 insider Will Buxton raced against Verstappen in the Florida Winter Series this past offseason.