Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Verstappen in no rush to join top team

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says he’s not in a hurry to join a top team but says he wants to be fighting for victories within a few years.

“I’m never in a hurry,” he said when asked how eager he was to join one of the leading teams, “but of course if you have two fourth places, you’re very close to the podium, you want to be on it.”

“I still have a lot of things to learn and I’m really happy where I am right now but hopefully in a couple of years I can fight for victories, that’s for sure. I think everybody wants that.”

Verstappen was courted by Mercedes before joining Red Bull’s young driver programme last year and has also been linked to a future switch to Ferrari.

Speaking during today’s FIA press conference at the Brazilian Grand Prix Verstappen said he’d improved “in every area” since becoming the youngest driver to compete in F1 at the age of 17 earlier this year.

“After only one season in lower categories when you make the jump to F1 I think the raw speed is there, it’s just you need to develop in all the other areas,” he said, “and I think I coped with that pretty well.”

Verstappen added he had made gains in qualifying by getting used to the unusual demands’ of F1’s tyres.

“I’m pretty happy with how the whole season went in general,” he said. “I improved in everything, qualifying I think especially, it’s all going well know. All the areas, especially with the help of the team, it’s going much better.”

“I expected it to be like that because I’m still very young and I have a lot of things to learn.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Verstappen in no rush to join top team”

    1. Kudos to Toro Rosso for giving Max and Carlos as many possibilities as possible to develop and improve. Already in pre-season testing the goal was to give their rookie drivers as much mileage as possible, and introduce incremental steps with car upgrades. Also this season Toro Rosso has generally send out their cars more often then other teams in free practice. It’s kind of their purpose as a team, but still they deserve some credit.
      As for Max, he has done a great job. He rightfully say’s he still needs time. I think next year Toro Rosso will be a great place for him to develop some more, especially with a better, more reliable Ferrari PU in the back of the car.
      At this point last season, Kvyat looked promising as well – although not to the same extent – but I think he got put in the deep too early. Kvyat’s first half of the season was kind of disappointing, and Max should try to avoid that. He’ll be much better of in the midfield to sharpen his skills, rather than being at a top team and sometimes making inevitable rookie mistakes.

      1. For all that Kyvatt is beating Ricciardo this year and this was the man that beat a 4 time world champion last year, then again Vergne also beat Ricciardo over a season shame he does not have a seat in F1 as well.

        1. The season is not over yet, but certainly the point-standings do not reflect on-track performance in my opinion. Kyvat has performed better at very few weekends this year. Ricciardo has often been quicker both over a lap and especially over a stint. If it weren’t for unreliability I believe he would be in front in the WDC. Kvyat has been over-driving on many occasions, notably in Japan – he had an awful weekend. He has good speed however, and maybe next year he can be more reliable as a driver.

          1. Could say the same of Sainz and Verstappen. Points is what counts in the end. What a driver deserves in some peoples opinion has no bearing if they are beaten on points over and over. If Ricciardo loses on points this year then 2 drivers have beaten him over a season before he is even a champion which would give some room. Hamilton beaten once, Vettel beaten once, Alonso beaten once (although not on points) , Button beaten by 3 team mates 4 times, Raikkonen beaten 3 times. My thoughts are if Sainz gets beaten next year it does not look great same for Ricciardo next year should he lose this year….Vergne was every bit as good as him.

            1. Tell that to Heidfeld…

    2. Both drivers impressed this season but another one at a mid-field team without the pressure will do them good. They both have some speed but need to develop it more. There’s more to an F1 driver than just banging in a fast lap and I always found STR to be the perfect space do to it at.

      1. There is more to being an F1 driver, fast laps in Q1, Q2, Q3 then 300km worth of fast laps on Sunday and that’s it.

        1. You do not want to be doing fast laps on Sunday that would be crazy you’d be in the pits 5 times!

          1. Ok in this context average fast laps across a race but some races this year tyre deg has had very little impact.

            1. Regardless of tyre manufacturer or compound; F1 drivers need to know WHEN to put in those fast laps.

              It’s not about preventing degradation, it’s about reading a race.

    3. It’s no surprise he’s not in a hurry to join a top team; he’s only recently turned 18. Which means he has longer to impress than other rookies.

    4. Great that the comments above are also noting Carlos who must surely also deserve a shot in a big team.

      Kudos to STR (as mentioned by another poster) for fielding a fostering such an exciting lineup.

      1. Sainz Jnr has been *very* impressive this year. He seems a bit more raw than Verstappen and has made a few more mistakes, but on the whole he has been a hugely positive addition to the field. Both he and his team-mate aren’t afraid to put their elbows out and give us some exciting racing.

    5. Nice to read Max saying all the right things with a level head on his shoulders. Fact is too, there won’t be a top ride available for a few years anyway, and there is no guarantee he will get one when it does open up. Might have to wait more than just a couple of years. But…new chapter starting in 2017 and there’s questions about the future of JB and KR particularly.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        12th November 2015, 17:32

        @robbie as true as it is when you say there are not available seats immediately, I guess that what Max is showing is good enough to give him some free practice time in a top team. That’s what I would do if I were Mercedes or Ferrari: There is not a seat right now, but give him some FP1 time to see how he compares in equal machinery with Hamilton or Vettel. And I’m sure he may be beating their times sooner than what many think.

        1. You are making an assumption that sooner or later verstappen is going to be better than ham or vet? You have no evidence at all to suggest he will ever be better than them? The only educated assumption you could make is that he will most probably be faster when Hamilton and vettel are at the end of their careers and have slower reactions.

          1. Well given that LH has just suggested he’ll go to 37, and let’s say SV does the same, there’s plenty of time to see Max vs these two. Regarding them slowing down? I’d like to think they won’t stay in F1 after that happens, so as far as I’m concerned any driver in F1 can’t use age as an excuse. He’s there because he can compete at the top level and is an asset to his team. No matter who ‘he’ is.

        2. He has to beat Sainz for pure pace 1st as he has been out qualified. At this stage my opinion is he would get thrashed by Hamilton and Vettel and more so in a big team where more is expected and you are at the sharp end race in race out but a prospect he is. Lets not forget in 6 seasons time he will be the same age Hamilton was in his awesome 2007 debut season. He has 4 seasons after this to beat Vettels youngest champion record, no doubt there is a chance.

      2. Yeah, it is good to hear it. And given that Horner sort of told Mercedes and Ferrari off even trying to get Max contracted anytime soon, It might give hope that STR actually starts giving these guys a solid amount of time to develop their skills before spitting them out or throwing them at the big team

    6. In that interview, Max also credited the family like atmosphere in Toro Rosso and made a passing comment saying, “may be it’s an Italian thing”. Looks like he is already angling himself towards a Ferrari move then.

      1. He was referring to his time in karting with an intalian team and his time now with Toro Rosso which is also italian. He said this in reaction to all drivers being asked to name a strongpoint of their respective teams, following Vettel who just hailed the italian family feeling within in the team.

        So, to take the quote out of context and say it’s probably got something to do with him wanting to move to Ferrari at some point is rather speculative, isn’t it?

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