Max Verstappen will become the youngest ever Formula 1 driver next season when he replaces Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso.
The Red Bull junior team has confirmed that the Dutchman, set to be just 17-years-old when he lines up for next year’s Australian Grand Prix, will drive alongside Daniil Kvyat
Announced as a Red Bull development driver last week, Verstappen has this year graduated from karts to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
“Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true,” said Verstappen.
The rising star is the son of Jos Verstappen, who drove 106 F1 grands prix with Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi between 1994 and 2003.
“There are several people that have helped me throughout the years and still support me to this day and I want to sincerely thank them,” continued Max.
“We’ve all worked tremendously hard to reach Formula 1 and I will give my absolute best to be successful in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“With the return of the Verstappen name to Formula 1, I hope we can relive old memories and I’m hoping to see many fans at all the Grand Prix circuits.”
The current record for the youngest F1 driver is held by Jaime Alguersuari, who debuted with Toro Rosso at 19 years and 125 days old during the 2009 season.
Kvyat was also a 19-year-old when he made his first F1 start earlier this season.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is in no doubt that Verstappen will be ready for F1 next season.
“We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family,” he said.
“It’s great to see how the Red Bull Junior Programme continues to find talented young drivers and gives them the opportunity to come into Formula 1.
“We consider Max to be as one of the most skilled young drivers of the new generation and we believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully.”