Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, VKV Ciy Racing, Rotterdam, 2014

Give Verstappen time – Vettel

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, VKV Ciy Racing, Rotterdam, 2014Max Verstappen should be given time to show what he can do in a Formula One car, according to Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen, who turned 17 on Tuesday, will make his first appearance in an F1 race weekend for Toro Rosso in Friday’s first practice session. He will race for the team in 2015.

“Obviously he has only done half a year, three-quarters of a year in Formula Three,” said Vettel. “I think he’s got a remarkable record in go-karting. He has the potential but on the other hand you need to give him time, as much as he needs.”

Vettel said the fact the current generation of F1 cars are less physically demanding to drive had made it possible for younger racers to enter the sport.

“I think Formula One has changed a lot, especially this year,” he said, “it’s not a secret, cars go slower, different to drive [compared to] previous years probably a little bit more technical but less demanding in terms of the corner speeds that we are taking, especially on a track like this.”

“When I was 19, joining Formula One the first time of course you always feel ready,” he added. “You don’t say no if someone gives you the opportunity to race or drive a Formula One car.”

“But you have to take your time to get used to all the things, not just the car, but also working with the team which is completely different in Formula One to all the other categories.”

Vettel said he was not concerned about losing his records for being one of Formula One’s youngest achievers to a driver like Verstappen.

“I think records are there to be broken,” he said. “Obviously he starts quite a bit younger than all the rest of us.”

“It’s hard to say but one day there will be somebody to break these numbers and one day there will be somebody again to break the numbers again. I think that’s normal.”

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Keith Collantine
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16 comments on “Give Verstappen time – Vettel”

  1. Formula-I (@)
    2nd October 2014, 8:54

    Give him a time in Formula Renault 3.5 or GP3 and then GP2 and F1, not a direct promotion

    1. Agreed. It’s an insult to drivers like Palmer and Sainz, but what do we know. At the end of the day, if F1 was faster with fatter tyres (mechanical grip not aero) Max wouldn’t be able to drive an F1 car at such a young age as Vettel says.

      1. Erm…Palmer? Seriously? In his fourth year with the best team in the series?

    2. I seem to get the feeling that this is more about the media attention than anything else. Although I knew and was ready for everything when I was 17… :D

      1. It’s obvious Toro Rosso care much more about media attention than ruining a young driver’s career.
        It’s surprising Jos Verstappen is letting this happen considering his F1 career was put off course by coming in too soon against Schumacher.

      2. My thoughts exactly. The whole signing of Max V at such a young age does feel like a PR stunt to me.

        1. C’mon, that would be ridiculously elaborate.

    3. Why should he compete against the “pay to win” drivers in these lower categories?
      The kid has been racing since he was 4 years old, rewrote history books and that is the reason he gets his chance in Formula One.

      One of a ki(n)d…….

  2. Come on guys, we know the arguments, but if you ever followed and watched Max’ career closely and also how Jos trained him during the last 10 years, you should be able to see that Max is one of the very rare talents who can make this step directly, like Raikkonen did for example…

    It was their plan to test a lot in FR2.0 last winter, and jump into F3, also because Max was adapting very quickly. He tested in the 2012 Toro Rosso car, which is another F1 car compared to 2014 and more difficult to drive, and he coped very well with it as the team was impressed. He has sat multiple times in the simulator or more than 1 team, at McLaren and also Red Bull he was setting very fast times that engineers told they would like to see him in a real car as they never have seen this raw speed for a first timer in a simulator or setting faster lap times to the race drivers…

    Age is just a number

  3. I was of the understanding that this wasn’t about the physical demands of racing an F1 car, but the mental aspect for someone who has only literally just turned 17. But then, even there, there must be something to his maturity level, not just his racecraft, that has those involved in his career this confident in him. After being called a ‘Senna’ it will be exciting to see him go, and I agree with SV that he should be given some time. He’s not going to win races or the WDC in a Torro Rosso, but in Senna-like fashion he only needs to outperform the car consistently to show us whether or not Marko was right. The good thing about his lack of experience is that he won’t have bad habits or different ways of doing things engrained in him that will interfere with the F1 way. He’s a clean slate for the team to work with, and will only know these new hi-tech cars and this torque.

  4. Honestly, people who keep saying this is for media attention are just plain wrong. They are effectively putting him in their car! It’s not like they are letting him drive a FP here and there to in the end never give him a chance like Silvestro, Wolf, Sirotkin, …

    In fact those ‘youngest’ records are fun for one day. Afterwards they mean nothing to nobody. Who cares if you were the youngest if you’re never going to win a race. Then it is quite a silly record. Vettel on the other hand has some very interesting ‘youngest’ records like champ, double, triple and four time champ. Also his record for earliest penalty in career is quite the feat.

  5. Johan Cruijff was professional football player when he was 16.
    Boris Becker won Wimbledon when he was 17, Martina Hingis won Wimbledon actually at the age of 15.

    I’m not saying that Max Verstappen is a ‘normal age’, but I don’t see why Formula 1 ‘has to be’ different than other major sports.

  6. It’s interesting to see how Max changed our perception of current cars – before the season began everyone had been talking about how the lack of blown floors, reduced front aero and more torque make 2014 machines harder to drive and how drivers are now more likely to make mistakes. But now, when an unexperienced teenager gets to drive one, we suddenly realized that they’re still a piece of cake to race with, compared to cars from a couple of decades ago.

    1. Has he driven one yet? We’ll see about that in about 8 hours’ time. Phanboost permitting (or whatever it’s called).

  7. I am of the view ‘If you’re good enough you’re old enough’.

    He’s bound to make rookie errors next year (maybe even tomorrow), but let’s see what he can do before we judge fully. I hope people don’t jump on him the moment he makes a mistake, with comments referring to the fact he’s 17/18 and lack of experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what the youngster can do.

    1. The making mistakes part is exactly the problem though. Not whether the youngster can drive the car quickly. It is quite possible or even probable he can do so. But F1 is different from other sports. In tennis, if you make mistakes you will only injure yourself or lose. In F1, the race proceeds with quite a lot of cooperation amongst the competitors, and a mistake will easily ruin others’ races not to mention risk their lives.

      Experienced drivers make fewer mistakes.

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