Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is convinced that 16-year-old Max Verstappen is the right driver to take the team forwards upon his F1 debut in 2015.
Verstappen’s swift promotion into an F1 seat after just one year in single seaters has caused a stir in racing circles, with many believing that he is too young and too inexperienced.
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was one of Verstappen’s most hostile critics, calling his appointment “the worst thing ever for F1”.
However, Tost is certain that the Dutchman is the right driver to join Toro Rosso alongside 2o-year-old Daniil Kvyat after some successful first tests for the team.
“Max Verstappen did, last week, a test in Adria,” Tost explained. “He finished by doing 396km without any problem. People were really impressed with his performance and now it’s in the hands of the FIA whether he gets a superlicence to do the Friday P1 session in Suzuka and then we will see.
“We will prepare him step by step and I am convinced that he is the correct driver for us for 2015.”
Verstappen was originally set to take part in practice at the final three grands prix of the 2014 season in Austin, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but this has now been brought forwards.
His initial running has been well-received by the team despite his relative inexperience, and it seems for all of the concerns and worries many have raised about the Dutchman, he is well on his way to making his F1 debut in Australia next March.