Verstappen ready for F1 debut after “best pre-season ever”

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Max Verstappen feels well prepared to make his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15 after enjoying his “best pre-season ever” for Toro Rosso.

The 17-year-old will become the youngest driver in the history of the sport to start a grand prix in Melbourne later this month, smashing the existing record by over two years.

The Dutchman has gained a lot of attention due to his age, but feels more than ready to make his debut for Toro Rosso after a productive winter.

“I really like the car,” Verstappen said. “Especially if you have such a good winter, it feels good. I think we made a bigger step compared to the other competitors so that’s I think very positive.”

Verstappen was asked to rate his pre-season out of 10, to which he replied: “I think a nine. It was my best pre-season ever with everything.

“We did a lot of laps and that’s all I could ask for. I learned a lot from the first three weeks, so yeah, can’t wait for Australia.”

Verstappen’s final test day in the Toro Rosso STR10 before Australia saw him finish fourth in the final standings despite losing some track time due to an engine issue.

“Today, we didn’t do as many laps as we wanted,” Verstappen said. “The team did a very good job to get me back out on track. I learned a lot about the car in terms of setup and I could see in which areas I can improve.”

Alongside teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., Verstappen forms the youngest driver pairing in the history of Formula 1. However, both rookies have enjoyed solid pre-seasons, and will now be hoping to convert this into a good debut outing in Australia on March 15.