Feb.27 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Max Verstappen is shaping up as a reserve driver for Red Bull’s premier F1 team.

The Dutch 17-year-old, whose grand prix debut this year is controversial due to his age and inexperience, will line up on the Melbourne grid for the first time next month with Toro Rosso.

That is Red Bull’s second team, which has defended Verstappen’s debut on the basis that Toro Rosso exists to bring young stars into formula one.

But it now emerges that, while in Barcelona this week for the final pre-season test, Verstappen will stop into the Red Bull Racing garage to have a carbon seat fitted.

A spokesman for Toro Rosso emphasised, however, that it is a normal procedure for the Faenza-based team’s drivers.

Verstappen’s father, former F1 driver Jos, confirmed on Max’s official website: “A seat fitting is really nothing special.

“In this case it is a standard procedure for Toro Rosso drivers.

“It is intended in the event of Max doing demonstrations or show-runs in the future in a Red Bull car.

“Or – and let’s hope not – in the case that one of the regular Red Bull drivers needs to be replaced. That’s all,” Verstappen, 42, added.