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Verstappen 'quite relaxed' after grand prix weekend debut

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Verstappen 'quite relaxed' after grand prix weekend debut
Oct 3, 2014, 8:25 AM

Teenager Max Verstappen today said he was “quite relaxed” about becoming Formula One’s youngest ever driver following 22 laps of Suzuka at th...

Teenager Max Verstappen today said he was “quite relaxed” about becoming Formula One’s youngest ever driver following 22 laps of Suzuka at the wheel of a Toro Rosso.

The 17-year-old’s session may have been hampered by an early problem with third gear and, with six minutes to go, a power unit issue, but the Dutch driver said his session had otherwise been untroubled.

“I was quite relaxed about it. I just did what I had to do,” he said afterwards. “There was no really big surprise, but you do have quite a lot of power!”

Verstappen added that he had followed the advice of his father Jos and built up his confidence gradually during the session, eventually posting a time good enough for P12 on the timesheet, just over four tenths of a second down on future team-mate Daniil Kvyat in P10. Verstappen added, however, that he had been cautious in his approach.

“I was not even close to the limit,” he said. “I was just driving safely and not doing any crazy stuff. For me the main thing today was just to try to make a lot of progress.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 08.21.34

The Dutchman was, however, quietly pleased with his lap time. “I wasn’t focused on lap time at all, it was about making laps, getting used to the car, getting used to the track, because it’s not an easy track but yeah, when I saw the time on the screens I was happy. I think I can’t complain.”

Verstappen’s rise to a race drive in F1 at such a young age has been in part attributed to modern Formula One cars being easier to drive than their recent antecedents and when asked if he had found the step up to F1 from F3 difficult, Verstappen said that the switch from karts to F3 has been considerably more difficult.

“The step from karting to F3 was bigger than this,” he said. “You have to learn everything, just getting the feel of a racing car. When you jump into an F1 car basically things are the same, they just happen quicker. But generally it’s closer to an F3 car than jumping from karts to F3.

“The biggest challenge was just getting used to the car really,” he said. “It’s a bit different to the 2012 car so that was the biggest thing. You have to get used to the throttle application, which is a bit different. You have to work with the whole team, get used to all the buttons on the steering wheel, that’s new for me. It’s not really a problem for me, though. With the younger generation you’ve grown up with that stuff on a Playstation and you’ve played many times and the buttons are all there, so you already have a first feel. I think it all went well today.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 08.24.44

He also responded to Red Bull Junior Programme boss Dr Helmut Marko’s suggestion last week that the youngster reminded him of a young Aytron Senna.

“I still have to prove myself in F1,” he said. “It’s always nice to hear it, that Red Bull thinks about me like that. At the moment I’m just focused on what I have to do and in a couple of years we’ll see.”

Verstappen concluded by confirming that his next FP1 outing with Toro Rosso will be in Austin as next weekend he will resume his FIA F3 European Championship campaign at the penultimate round in Imola.

 

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