/ Motorsport / ‘Kid’ Verstappen the big talking point at Spa

‘Kid’ Verstappen the big talking point at Spa

Linked In Share

Aug.20 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 has emerged from its summer slumber, but the big talking point at Spa-Francorchamps will be a 16-year-old ‘kid’ who doesn’t even have a license to drive a road car.

“Because he lives in Belgium, he cannot start lessons until about six months before his 18th birthday,” manager Raymond Vermeulen told the German newspaper Bild.

He is referring, of course, to Max Verstappen, the 16-and-a-half year old who has been signed up by Toro Rosso to debut next year and make history as F1′s youngest ever driver.

But Verstappen, the son of former F1 driver Jos and female karting sensation Sophie Kumpen, is unfazed, particularly as a top-three finish in the FIA’s top F3 category will ensure he receives the most important document — a F1 super license.

“I think the biggest step I had was karting to formula three,” he told the BBC this week. “I think F3 to formula one will be a smaller step.

“The cars are really safe. I think it’s more dangerous to bike through a big city than race in an F1 car.”

He told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “The biggest adjustment will be the life around it all — the attention, the full agenda, the travelling. But I’m pretty relaxed.

“I have never had nerves or stage fright, and I won’t now.”

Verstappen may not be worried, but his age and inexperience may make some of his 2015 rivals nervous.

“What the senior drivers will think about it? Don’t ask them, because they won’t like it,” admitted F1 broadcaster Tony Jardine.

Verstappen said: “These are guys I only know from television, and some of them my dad even raced against.

“I’m thinking about being in the driver’s briefing and saying to Fernando Alonso, ‘Can you move over, please?’ But once I’m in the car I’m not afraid of anyone.”

Toro Rosso gave another teenager his F1 debut this year, and Daniil Kvyat is now regarded as a new star of the sport.

“Everybody has the right to an opinion about my age,” said Verstappen. “Of course its beneficial if you have more experience, but you only gain that from driving the car.

“At Red Bull and Toro Rosso there will be plenty of people to help me.”

John Watson, another broadcaster and a former driver, sides with Verstappen in the new era of cars that are easier to drive and unprecedented safety conditions.

“The age aspect is no longer as compelling as it was in my generation,” he told the Mirror. “They can put the kids with talent in simulators and help make the technical side second nature.”

And as far as F1 legend Gerhard Berger is concerned, Verstappen is a cut above.

“To switch from karting straight into formula 3 and go straight to the front is something I’ve never seen,” said the Austrian, who is now the FIA’s junior series chief.

“Max stands out,” Berger told Auto Bild.

Sports physio and performance expert Camiel van Druten told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “Does it matter whether you’re 17 or 19? Max is strong and mature.”

But all that doesn’t mean the speed of Max’s rise to the pinnacle of motor racing hasn’t given father Jos – whose first F1 teammate was the great Michael Schumacher – pause for thought.

“The past few weeks has sometimes felt unreal,” he admitted. “In the middle of negotiations, I was constantly asking myself — ‘Is it the right decision? Is it too early?’.

“Of course he is missing experience, but it was a well thought out decision. The bottom line is that I am the one who knows Max best. People need to understand that he is extremely adaptable and he learns extremely quickly.

“And formula one is different now to what it was twenty years ago, with all the advanced simulators for example.”

Just before Red Bull signed on the dotted line, Verstappen was put at the wheel of a much more powerful Formula Renault 3.5 car.

“Straight away he went like hell,” said Jos. “He will also know how to drive a formula one car.

“Red Bull is also the benchmark when it comes to building young talent. This is especially true for motor sports.”

Verstappen snr said he will travel to all or most of the grands prix next year, but only to be there for Max rather than play an overly active role.

“I will not interfere with the team or the car,” Jos promised. “I will just be there for when he needs me.

“I’ve done everything for my son and now it feels as though I have to let go. I think with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, he is in the right hands.”

by Mircea Serafim (my Google+) - Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - filed under Motorsport. Image credit: .
Linked In Share
Related Articles


Discuss: ‘Kid’ Verstappen the big talking point at Spa

Leave a Reply
















Inautonews Facebook PageInautonews RSS FeedInautonews TwitterInautonews Youtube Channel

Sign up to receive our email newsletter on your email. It's safe. No spam!

Report – Takata officials under investigation by US prosecutors
Report – Takata officials under investigation by US prosecutorsAccording to a report coming from The Wall Street Journal, the federal prosecutors have opened a probe to see whether Japanese ...
Haas not worried about Ecclestone comments
Haas not worried about Ecclestone commentsOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Gene Haas has played down suggestions Bernie Ecclestone could freeze him out of F1 long before his ...
Grosjean hints at Lotus stay for 2015
Grosjean hints at Lotus stay for 2015Oct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Romain Grosjean appears set to remain at Lotus in 2015. Although the French driver has been leaving ...
No Barrichello in Austin
No Barrichello in AustinOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) A familiar face will be missing in action when the F1 circus reconvenes in Austin next ...
Bianchi’s recovery chances ‘very small’ – Burti
Bianchi’s recovery chances ‘very small’ – BurtiOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Luciano Burti, a former F1 driver and full-time pundit for Brazil's Globo, has bad news about the ...
Berger rumours return to F1 headlines
Berger rumours return to F1 headlinesOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Rumours linking Gerhard Berger with a return to the F1 paddock have resurfaced. Earlier, McLaren ...
F1 world still guessing on Alonso’s next move
F1 world still guessing on Alonso’s next moveOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Yet another week in F1 history is passing by with little more known about the future of arguably the ...
Barcelona ‘calm’ amid Madrid race reports
Barcelona ‘calm’ amid Madrid race reportsOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Spanish grand prix boss Salvador Servia insists reports the capital Madrid is bidding to join the F1 ...
Rosberg appoints himself ‘title hunter’
Rosberg appoints himself ‘title hunter’Oct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Nico Rosberg has admitted he will think more about his own interests now after Mercedes wrapped up ...
McLaren denies more bosses to follow Sam Michael exit
McLaren denies more bosses to follow Sam Michael exitOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) McLaren has denied it is set to lose more key team figures ahead of the looming Honda era. The ...
Caterham collapse ‘better’ for F1 – Ecclestone
Caterham collapse ‘better’ for F1 – EcclestoneOct.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Caterham is on the brink of collapse, as the backmarker team loses even the support of F1 supremo ...
First Koenigsegg One:1 registered in Germany, power leads to computer glitch
First Koenigsegg One:1 registered in Germany, power leads to computer glitchThe first ever production version of the Koenigsegg One:1 has been recently registered in Germany. The world’s first megacar ...
Next-gen Audi A8 to be the company’s first autonomous vehicle
Next-gen Audi A8 to be the company’s first autonomous vehicleThe German based automaker Audi will soon introduce its first ever production autonomous car, in the shape of the next generation ...
Honda to pull the plug on the Euro-spec Accord in 2015
Honda to pull the plug on the Euro-spec Accord in 2015The Euro-spec Honda Accord will be discontinued next year as the company has recently announced. One of the most popular ...
New Nissan Concept teased for Sao Paulo Motor Show
New Nissan Concept teased for Sao Paulo Motor ShowA new teaser image with a brand new concept has been released by Nissan ahead of the model’s debut set for the 2014 Sao Paulo ...
Read more automotive news


2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Live Images

lamborghini reventon for sale 1
jlr china plant 1
Chevrolet Colorado Sport concept
2015 porsche cayenne tuning topcar 1
chevrolet chevelle ringbrothers sema motor show 2014 1
renault sport r.s. 01 1
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG tuning voltage design 1
2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1
Spy-Shots of Cars
Spy-Shots of Cars
2015 ford f-150 customized sema motor show 1
2016 honda hr-v us spec 1

More automotive from inautonews
According to a report coming from The Wall Street Journal, the federal prosecutors have opened a probe to see whether Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp’s executives withheld information from regulators. The case has been initiated as a response to Takata’s ongoing airbag problems, and the ...
read more
Inautonews Editors Section
Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI AT
Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI AT The new generation of the A-Class has been around since 2012 and its overall design is quite drastic, considering its predecessor. Now, two years ...
Test Drive: Citroen C-Elysee 1.6 HDi Exclusive
Test Drive: Citroen C-Elysee 1.6 HDi Exclusive Citroen has introduced the second generation of the C-Elysee last year. The model is smaller than the C4 and it is based on the Peugeot 301, being ...
Test Drive: BMW X4 xDrive30d
Test Drive: BMW X4 xDrive30d The newest crossover to make its way into BMW’s lineup is the X4. This is based on the X3 and it is basically a smaller version of the X6, aimed ...

Editors Section
Inautonews Editors Section
2012 Safest Cars list 2011 Safest Cars [Video] 2011 IIHS Safest Cars [Video] 2011 EuroNCAP Safest Cars 2010 Safest Cars [Video]

Latest in Safety Report – Takata officials under investigation by US prosecutorsAccording to a report coming from The Wall Street Journal, the federal prosecutors have opened a ... Recall roundup: 1.14 million Volkswagen carsThe German based automaker Volkswagen has recently issued a recall for 1.14 million cars in China ...
Safety Section