F1: 16-year-old Verstappen impresses team in first proper test

September 10, 2014

Max Verstappen had his first proper F1 test at Adria Raceway in Italy Wednesday, at the wheel of a 2012 Toro Rosso STR7.

The Dutchman had previously driven a Red Bull demo car in straightline running at Rockingham, and on the streets of Rotterdam, but this was his first proper circuit lappery.

He ran a total of 148 laps, more than enough to fulfil the 300kms superlicence requirement, so if the FIA is happy he will be able to do FP1 sessions later this year.

Describing the test, the team said: “The track was still damp in the morning after overnight rain and Verstappen’s first few runs were done on intermediate tires, but conditions improved enough for him to switch to slicks later in the day. He did a mix of short and long runs as well as trying his hand at other features of a race weekend, such as pit stops and start launches.”

“I was looking forward to my first drive in a Formula 1 car on a proper race track and I really enjoyed it,” said Verstappen. “It was a good opportunity to work with Xevi, who will be my race engineer next year, as well as having a chance to get used to all the buttons on the steering wheel. I think it went well and I can’t wait to get back into a Formula 1 car as soon as possible.”

Sporting director Steve Nielsen said: “Max did a very competent job, giving the impression he has been driving a Formula One car for quite a while, not like someone on their first day behind the wheel. He made no mistakes all day, seemed confident and once he was told something he remembered it. In general, he coped very well with this first test.”

Race engineer Xevi Pujolar added: “Max started his run on intermediates and got up to speed, making no mistakes. We worked through various procedures that make up a race weekend. He was very focused and precise and learned quickly, without having to ask many questions. Once we were able to fit slicks, he got used to the car in the dry and built up his speed, while we tried various fuel levels, replicating both qualifying and race trim, doing a mix of short and long runs. For a first day, it was very impressive.”