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Verstappen F1 rookie smash proved SURPRISING fact about him

Verstappen F1 rookie smash proved SURPRISING fact about him

Verstappen F1 rookie smash proved SURPRISING fact about him

Verstappen F1 rookie smash proved SURPRISING fact about him

Former Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost revisited the start of Max Verstappen’s F1 career and explained how a crash in the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test made him realise that he was in fact ‘too fast’ for the car.

Verstappen became the youngest ever driver to race in F1 when the joined the grid as a 17-year-old for Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso in 2015.

The Dutchman wowed team principal Tost and Red Bull driver programme boss Helmut Marko in the F3 European Championship the year prior, with three victories in the wet at the Norisring making it clear to Tost that he had to skip the queue and drive Toro Rosso machinery the next year.

Before that, he had three FP1 outings in 2014 in Japan, Austin and Brazil, followed by the Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi, where it was not long before Verstappen put the car in the barriers.

READ MORE: Former F1 star teases sensational return after Marko revelation

Max Verstappen became the youngest F1 driver at 17 years and 166 days old
Verstappen jumped from F3 to F1 after impressing Franz Tost and Helmut Marko

Rookie Verstappen 'too fast' for Toro Rosso

But rather than putting it down to the future three-time world champion being out of his depth, Tost instead claimed that the Toro Rosso was not up to his level.

The Austrian told Max Verstappen’s official website: “After those races in Germany, we called each other. Helmut and I are of course always in touch about such matters, we discuss at length the performances of young drivers.

“For me, it was clear that I wanted Max in our car, as a driver and not as a test driver. You know, when Max first tested at Friday practice, he was just 17. Many ‘experts’ said it was far too early. To which I said: but not for Max Verstappen. Because he is not a passenger in the car, as you often see with newcomers, he is driving the car. The way he controlled the car, completely mastered it… Extraordinary.

“Believe me, if that hadn’t been the case, he really wouldn’t have been in the car. Then I would have said: go and drive Formula 2 for a year first. But I was one hundred per cent convinced that we could take Max straight from Formula 3 to Formula 1.

Tost claimed a test crash for Verstappen proved he was too fast for the car

“Max’s first test was at the circuit in Adria to get the feel of a Formula 1 car. In Suzuka, he drove at the Japanese GP in the first free practice, and later it happened in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi,” he added.

“I remember exactly what happened in Abu Dhabi in practice: he crashed immediately in one of the first laps there. And I also knew why: Max was simply too fast for the car.

“In Sao Paulo, he was also going very fast. At one point, I think in the first corner, he almost lost the car. But how he then caught it and got it back was fantastic.

“No spin, nothing at all. For me it became clear there once again that he had the level to drive for us the following year.”

READ MORE: https://www.gpfans.com/en/f1-news/1011048/lewis-hamilton-ferrari-list-f1-floyd-mayweather-gordon-ramsay/

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