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Toro Rosso Rookies Verstappen and Sainz Manage Expectations Ahead of Melbourne

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Toro Rosso Rookies Verstappen and Sainz Manage Expectations Ahead of Melbourne
Jan 5, 2015, 7:28 PM

Max Verstappen and his father Jos have moved to dampen expectations ahead of the Dutch prodigy's eagerly anticipated F1 race debut in Melbourne.

Max Verstappen and his father Jos have moved to dampen expectations ahead of the Dutch prodigy's eagerly anticipated F1 race debut in Melbourne.

The 17-year-old, with less than a year's car racing experience under his belt, will become F1 racing's youngest ever racer when he takes to the grid at the Australian Grand Prix on 15th March.

His third driver practice appearances for Toro Rosso in the latter half  of last season have already whetted the public and media appetite but Max has pleaded for time and space to learn the F1 business properly.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Abu Dhabi Test - Day One - Abu Dhabi, UAE

"Occasionally I hear or read things that make it seem as though miracles are expected but I'm a driver, not a magician" Max told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"I don't think victories or podiums next year are really likely. If I managed to finish in positions 8 through 10, it would mean that I am coping well with the task. But in order to rise above sixth place would need luck."

"Of course, you might get lucky in the rain or in the event of many drivers retiring, but I do not expect us to fight with Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.

"The budgets of those teams are much higher than ours, even if fortunately the numbers from the wind tunnel show that our car will be good," the new Toro Rosso driver added.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Preparation Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

His father Jos echoed those sentiments, adding that his son will need at least three years to acquire world championship winning knowledge.

"Next season in the races he will continue to collect miles and gain experience," he said. "And undoubtedly once in a while he will park the car in the gravel.

"I especially hope that the people support him and do not suddenly use his young age against him," Verstappen Senior added.

"Many think that Max is the new world champion, but that's nonsense. Hopefully (he will be) over three years."

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Abu Dhabi Test - Day One - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Meanwhile Verstappen's fellow rookie team mate at Toro Rosso this season, Carlos Sainz Junior, has made it to F1 entirely on his own merits, insists his former world rally championship winning father.

Carlos Sainz Senior was a budding Formula Ford driver in the 1980s before turning his attention to the special stages where he became one of the all time heroes of the sport.

While he acknowledges that his son has occasionally benefited from his surname and lineage, they have not propelled him to the top tier, according to the Spanish legend.

"There have been times when the surname has benefited him," he admitted to Spanish newspaper Marca.

"But at the end, you don't get to formula one because of a surname, even less on a team such as the Red Bull Junior Team."

Sainz said his son, reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion, arrives F1 "prepared and having won one of the preceding championships to formula one with very good results".

"I sincerely believe that he arrives ready to do a good job," he added. "He has an exceptional talent, more than people think, and I hope he can prove it."

Sainz admits that he will be of little assistance to his son in his debut season at the top level because "he knows more than I do."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen Shop Now
Teams Toro Rosso Shop Now