Formula 1 drivers on Verstappen promotion

Formula 1 drivers on Verstappen promotion

22 August 2014 – Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver in Formula 1's history when he joins the grid at just 17 years of age next season. A hot paddock topic ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, GPUpdate.net presents the views of various drivers as they assess the Toro Rosso driver's chances.

Sebastian Vettel:
"I think it's a big step but I think it's about keeping expectations low. Let him finish his season in Formula 3 as there are obviously lots of things for him to adapt to next year. I think he has proven in go-karting in particular and in the first half of his Formula 3 season that he has a lot of talent, so it will be a good step for him."

Daniel Ricciardo:
"Definitely the Red Bull Junior Team for me worked a treat. It helped me get to where I am. It's good they're now helping out Max. The age is the question mark but the talent is there. It's going to be interesting but it's good."

Lewis Hamilton:
"It is different for everyone. Just look at Kimi [Räikkönen] (who made his debut after limited Formula Renault races). You have other drivers who started earlier and managed. So Max has been doing fantastically well considering the small experience he has. I hope he has as good a group of people as I had to guide him."

Nico Rosberg:
"All the journalists are always asking, 'is it only with money that you can get to the sport?' and things like that. It's great to see that if you have the talent and you really deserve it… there have been many examples recently that have made it into Formula 1. That's important, that's good. Of course, it's very young but I think we'll be OK."

Fernando Alonso:
"It is not an easy environment, not a place where you can make any mistakes because there is a lot of attention and there will be a lot of eyes on you. We need to see how next year how Verstappen does. At the moment we welcome him and wish him good luck. Sometimes you are ready for F1 at 17; sometimes you are ready for F1 at 29, or sometimes you are never ready. It depends on the character or personality. We have to wait and see."

Jenson Button:
"When I was 20 I wasn't ready for F1, I was probably ready when I was 23 but people are ready at different times. Also if someone says, 'are you ready for F1? I will give you a drive', what are you going to say? You are not going to say no as there might not be another opportunity. That is what happened to me with Frank [Williams]."

Felipe Massa:
"He's a very quick driver. 17 is a little bit young! We need to wait and see how he's going to perform in his first year. I think the most important thing is that he has the talent. I hope he can be clever as well, to learn everything from Formula 1. I hope he's quick enough to learn and to be consistent in Formula 1 and that he can stay, not just staying for one or two years. Until now he shows great talent. I hope he can show the same in Formula 1."

Daniil Kvyat (future team-mate):
"It's not my job to analyse all the things deeply and so we will just wait and see. I think any driver can come to Formula 1, can adapt, can get up to speed. I think everybody comes to Formula 1 for some reason – because he has talent, because he has been successful somewhere, but there are many things that make the difference."

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