Toro Rosso names Max Verstappen for 2015 race seat, to become youngest driver in F1 history

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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.

UPDATED: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama under red-flag race stoppage due to rain

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UPDATE: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.