'F1 the best option for Max' - Jos Verstappen
19 August 2014 – Jos Verstappen says Formula 1 is the best option for his son Max, after the 16-year-old was confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver for 2015.
Verstappen Jr stepped up from Karts for 2014 and raced in Ferrari's Florida Winter Series, before participating in the European Formula Three Championship, in which he has won eight races to sit in second place in the title race.
Verstappen Sr. raced in Formula 1 for several teams between 1994 and 2003 and reckons his son's adaptability will aid his progress next year.
"The last couple of weeks felt surreal," said the elder Verstappen. "We were in the middle of the negotiations and so much stuff was coming our way. You're constantly questioning yourself: Is this the right choice, is it too early?
"He'll turn 17 next month and is on his way into Formula 1. He won't have the experience but it's been a well thought through decision and in the end I'm the one that knows Max best. People need to realise that Max is able to adapt and learn tremendously fast
"I mean, Max got into a Formula Renault 3.5 for the first time last week. He just got in and drove off with extraordinary pace. He is so in control that he'll be able to understand and master driving an F1 car.
"Plenty of drivers didn't make it through GP2 so after a carefully deliberating with Max, [Manager] Raymond [Vermeulen] and Red Bull, we came to the conclusion that F1 is the best option for Max."
Verstappen Sr. says Red Bull's determination to sign his son gave them the edge over rival Formula 1 outfits.
"For me, the thing that gave Red Bull the edge was their determination and motivation to make Max part of Red Bull," he said.
"They knew that Max is something special and they gave us the feeling they realised that. Furthermore, they are the benchmark when it comes to driver development. Especially within motorsport, they are a big player with fantastic facilities and trainers."
Verstappen Sr. raced for Minardi in 2003, prior to the team being purchased by Red Bull and rebranded as Toro Rosso, and believes that his son is 'in the right hands'.
"He has to put in plenty of miles in faster cars, he has to become physically stronger and practice in the simulator," he said. "At Toro Rosso, he has to become an integral part of the team and get the right feel for what's going on. Instead of working with five people, he'll have to get used to working with 50.
"Yes, it is a lot to learn for a young guy but it doesn't matter if he is taught this at age 17 or 18. As long as he has the will to do it and the right people around him, things will work out. I'll definitely come along in the beginning but I won't meddle with the car and the team, but I'll keep an eye on the bigger picture
"I've done everything for him but now it feels like I need to let go of my son. However, with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, I feel he's in the right hands."