Jul.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Teen sensation Max Verstappen has burst into the running for Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Ferrari.

A source told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that the 17-year-old Dutchman is considered “a serious option” by the fabled Maranello team.

Toro Rosso rookie Verstappen, however, is firmly under contract to team owner Red Bull, meaning Ferrari would need to buy out the deal.

But Verstappen said the rumours are flattering anyway.

“It means I’m doing well,” he said at Silverstone.

“Sure it would be nice to drive for Ferrari. I think if you get a chance like that, you have to take it.”

In truth, more experienced candidates like Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg are probably higher on Ferrari’s priority list.

But Jos Verstappen, Max’s famous father, said: “It says something about Max that after eight races in F1 he is already linked to Ferrari.”

He referred to Max’s existing Red Bull deal but commented: “Whether that makes it impossible? I think in life nothing is impossible.”

Jos added: “We are always thinking about the future, as ultimately the goal for Max is to win races and fight for the championship.

“However, he is still in a phase of his career where it is especially important for him to gain experience.

“I think it’s difficult to know whether after one season he would be ready for that (Ferrari). But when I see how quickly he is picking up everything, how he develops and how he performs, I think Max is doing incredibly well.

“Whether the car is blue, yellow or red, to me it makes not so much difference,” added Jos.