Following today’s launch of the new STR10 car, Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. have spoken about the preparations for their debut seasons in Formula 1.
Verstappen, 17, and Sainz, 20, combine to form the youngest driver line-up in the history of Formula 1, but both have cut their teeth in junior formulae and met some success.
Sainz won last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship, following in Kevin Magnussen’s footsteps, but he has undertaken an intensive training regime over the winter to embed himself with the team at Faenza.
“I am very happy to be making my first official appearance as a Formula 1 driver here in Spain and I am looking forward to trying the car for the first time tomorrow,” Sainz said. “I have worked very hard over the winter on my personal fitness, as well as spending time in Faenza to familiarise myself with the team, having also done some days in the simulator.
“Now we have just 12 days to prepare for Melbourne, so going through all the race weekend procedures will be a priority for me, as well as putting in as many miles as possible behind the wheel.”
Verstappen’s rise to Formula 1 has been a controversial one. At the age of 17, he has just one full year of single seater racing under his belt, taking part in last year’s FIA F3 European Championship.
Concerns about his inexperience have led to a raft of new rules for obtaining an FIA super licence required to race in F1, yet Verstappen says that he feels well prepared to make his full F1 debut.
“I can’t wait for the season to start and tomorrow will seem like a very long day, watching Carlos in the car!” Verstappen said. “With two days in the 2014 car at the Abu Dhabi test and the Friday mornings I did last season, combined with time spent in the simulator, I feel well prepared and I’m really up for this challenge, which is very exciting.
“Six days on track here in Spain and then it will be time to head for Australia and my first Grand Prix, something I have been looking forward to ever since I started karting.”
Sainz will conduct the first public run of the new Toro Rosso car in Jerez tomorrow before handing the reins over to Verstappen on Monday.