78 FALL 2014
himself, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and, in
more recent times, Jenson Button – jumped
straight into F1 from F3. Then there’s Kimi
Raikkonen, who made the extraordinary
leap from Formula Renault 2.0 with Sauber
in 2001, albeit at the age of 21.
So why is Verstappen seemingly so far
ahead of the development curve?
Firstly, he’s benefited from an
extraordinarily focused program overseen
by his father, ex-F1 driver Jos, who guided
him through more than a decade of karting.
“The last five or six years, I was doing
maybe 100,000km a year with my van,
throughout Europe,” says Jos. “I went to
Italy, Spain, Portugal. Wherever we had a
kart race, we went testing. I did everything
I had to do for him to be successful.”
They turned their attention to cars last
summer: “The first time he drove a racing
With almost two years on the next youngest grand prix debutant, Max Verstappen has time on his side when it comes to resetting some other F1 records.
DriVEr YEar/racE agE
1 Max Verstappen* 2015 Australian GP 17 yrs 166 days
2 Jaime alguersuari 2009 Hungarian GP 19 yrs 125 days
3 Mike Thackwell 1980 Canadian GP 19 yrs 179 days
4 ricardo rodriguez 1961 Italian GP 19 yrs 207 days
5 Fernando alonso 2001 Australian GP 19 yrs 213 days
6= chris amon 1963 Belgian GP 19 yrs 320 days
6= Daniil Kvyat 2014 Australian GP 19 yrs 320 days
YOUNgEs T F1 DEbUTaNTs MiLEs TONEs PErsPEc TiVE…
The youngest F1 point scorer is Daniil
Kvyat ( 19 yrs 324 days). The youngest
F1 World Champion is Sebastian Vettel
( 23 yrs 134 days), who also happens
to be the youngest winner of a grand
prix (Italy, 2008 BELOW) at a mere...
Of the current field, Jenson Button’s
F1 career goes back the furthest.
When he made his debut at the 2000
Australian GP, Verstappen was just...
car was at the end of August at Pembrey
[in Wales]. We were on our own, because I
didn’t want journalists there to put
pressure on him. I gave him two days to
get used to it, then we did about 24 days
of Formula Renault 2.0 testing until mid
December, going all around Europe.”
Think about that for a minute – quite an
impressive schedule by any standards. An
F3 team boss then convinced Jos that Max
2 yrs 164 days
Verstappen starts the
Grand Prix, March 15
Max Verstappen’s first public duty
as Toro Rosso’s 2015 driver-in-waiting was to demonstrate a
two-year-old F1 car on the streets
of the Netherland’s second city.