Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed its 2015 driver roster for the Formula One World Championship, which includes 16-year-old Max Verstappen.
Verstappen, who turns 17 next month, recently joined the Red Bull Junior Team and replaces Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso next season. After becoming karting world champion, Verstappen made a smooth transition to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, winning eight of the 27 races held to date.
When he debuts, Verstappen will become the youngest Formula One driver in history.
“First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Helmut Marko and Red Bull for all their trust and giving me the chance to make my Formula debut in 2015 with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” said Verstappen, who is the son of former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen. “Ever since I was seven years old, Formula One has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true.”
Joining Verstappen on the Toro Rosso driver roster next year will be Daniil Kvyat, who returns to Toro Rosso for his second full season in Formula One. In 11 races thus far 20-year-old Kvyat has scored points in four events, leaving him 15th in the championship standings.
“We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family. It’s great to see how the Red Bull Junior Program continues to find talented young drivers and gives them the opportunity to come into Formula One. We consider Max to be as one of the most skilled young drivers of the new generation and we believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully,” said Team Principal Franz Tost. “This year he has already demonstrated how well he can cope under difficult conditions. For example, at the Norisring and Nürburgring, he showed extraordinary determination and the ability to withstand pressure before going on to win. Bearing in mind that Scuderia Toro Rosso was created with the aim of bringing young talent from the Red Bull Junior Team into Formula One and to educate them, it will now be up to us to provide Max with a competitive car, which will enable him to have the best possible start to his Formula 1 career.
“With this in mind, I would also like to thank Jean-Eric Vergne for all his hard work. He has produced strong performances, but unfortunately he was also hindered by some reliability problems, especially in the first half of the current season. We hope that we have resolved these problems and that he will be able to end the second half of this season on a high note and thereby show that he still deserves another opportunity in Formula One,” Tost said.