Verstappen to replace Vergne at STR in 2015
|19 August 2014 by TF1T Staff | M||Tweet
Toro Rosso have confirmed that Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne next season to race alongside Daniil Kvyat.
The young Dutchman recently signed to Red Bull's Junior Programme and is currently in contention for the 2014 F3 title.
He will become the youngest ever F1 driver when he debuts in 2015 at the age of 17.
"Ever since I was seven years old, Formula One has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true,” said Verstappen.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost believes Verstappen, even at his young age, has what it takes to make the jump from F3 to F1.
"We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family," he commented. "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 F1.
"We consider Max to be 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."
The announcement leaves Vergne's future in doubt. Toro Rosso rarely keeps a driver on for more than two seasons and so it's likely the Frenchman knew it was time to move on.
However having been overshadowed by his rookie team-mate on several occasions, he may find it difficult to move on.
Tost thanked Vergne for his contributions over the past two years: "He has produced strong performances, but unfortunately he was also hindered by some reliability problems, especially in the first half of the current season.
"We hope that we have resolved these problems and that he will be able to end the second half of this season on a high note and thereby show that he still deserves another opportunity in F1."