Verstappen was 'prepared' for F1 debut criticism

"When you are being announced as the youngest ever Formula One driver, you can expect it."

Verstappen was 'prepared' for F1 debut criticism
Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso
(L to R): Jos Verstappen, with Max Verstappen, and Giedo van der Garde, Sauber Reserve Driver
Max Verstappen
(L to R): Jacques Villeneuve, with Jos Verstappen, and his son Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen, Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F312 Volkswagen
Listen to this article

Sep.1 (GMM) Max Verstappen says he was "prepared" for the waves of criticism about his Formula One debut in 2015.

News that the 16-year-old Dutchman will make history as the sport's youngest ever race driver for Toro Rosso next year has been controversial.

Even his predecessor at the second Red Bull team, Daniel Ricciardo, has his doubts.

"I think Verstappen will answer on the track at the time of his debut and the months after it," the Australian said as he accepted the Lorenzo Bandini award in Italy.

"For me, I think a driver in Formula One at 17 is too young, but that's only my personal opinion so it may be different, we'll see. For me, it's too young," the 25-year-old is quoted by Italy's Omnicorse.

Verstappen, whose father Jos raced in the 90s and even for Toro Rosso's former guise Minardi in 2003, gave his critics more fuel at the weekend as he appeared in a F1 car for the street demonstration in Rotterdam.

The 16-year-old crashed the Toro Rosso-liveried car head-first into the barrier, apparently as he fumbled with the complex controls of a modern F1 machine.

Is it too soon for Verstappen?

Earlier, Verstappen said that when he signed the deal with Red Bull, he expected criticism to follow.

"When you are being announced as the youngest ever Formula One driver, you can expect it," he is quoted by the Dutch website RaceXpress.nl.

"I had prepared myself for it, and it's fine that everyone can have their own opinion.

"Next year we will see how it turns out," Verstappen added.

Rotterdam at the weekend was the first time Verstappen's F1 veteran father Jos had seen his son drive an F1 car, having missed the recent Rockingham shakedown.

After this weekend, Max should focus on his racing and his preparations

Jos Verstappen

"I felt no tension," said the former Benetton driver. "When I see how calm he is and how he deals with everything, I just know it will be ok."

Verstappen senior said he is not sure what the next steps for Max will be, amid speculation he will appear for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings later this season.

"I have no clue," said Jos. "It changes from day to day.

"What we have decided is that it will be a little easier now in terms of publicity. After this weekend, Max should focus on his racing and his preparations."

Max agrees: "I do not know exactly what the programme looks like and whether I will run in practice sessions.

"Formula one is very different from F3 -- the cars have a lot more power, pulling very fast and just continuing to accelerate. I cannot wait to get on a real circuit and go flat out."

Finally, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he sees no issue with Verstappen's controversial early debut.

"Why not?" he told Roger Benoit, the veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"If he has the talent, he should try it. I see no reason for an age limit. Maybe I'll try to make a comeback," the nearly 84-year-old Ecclestone joked.

The F1 chief executive also acknowledged that Verstappen's debut might be good for the sport in terms of opening the eyes of a younger generation of fans.

"Toto Wolff is always telling me the importance of social networks," Ecclestone said. "Let's see."

shares
comments

UBS reducing F1 sponsorship

F1 experts criticise Mercedes over driver duel

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Williams launch
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Throwback: The 1987 Lotus 99T The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate