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FIA called 'STUPID' over historic Verstappen ban ruling

FIA called 'STUPID' over historic Verstappen ban ruling

FIA called 'STUPID' over historic Verstappen ban ruling

FIA called 'STUPID' over historic Verstappen ban ruling

Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko has reflected on the criticism the team received when they handed Max Verstappen his debut in Formula 1.

Verstappen was signed to Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso in 2015 after being promoted all the way from Formula 3, where he finished third in the standings the year prior and also won the Zandvoort Masters.

READ MORE: Mercedes driver announcement imminent as team 'offers contract' to F1 star

The Dutchman has gone on to have an incredible career in the sport thus far with Red Bull - after being promoted to the main team to replace Daniil Kvyat in 2016 - winning the last three championships consecutively and holding the third most amount of wins, with 57.

Verstappen currently leads the 2024 championship by 13 points over team-mate Sergio Perez, having won three of the opening four races.

READ MORE: Here's where Hamilton will make his sensational Ferrari debut next year

Max Verstappen joined F1 with Toro Rosso in 2015
The Dutchman is now a three-time world champion

Marko slams 'stupid' FIA over Verstappen debut

2024 marks ten years on from the 26-year-old’s first taste of F1 machinery, where he took part in FP1 with Toro Rosso back in 2014 at Suzuka, aged just 16.

In August 2014, it was announced on Red Bull’s Servus TV channel that the Dutchman would be driving with Toro Rosso for 2015; a move which prompted criticism from their competitors and pundits in the paddock.

But the decision would prove to be well worth the risk and speaking with Autosport, Marko even slammed the FIA for their reaction to the shock announcement.

Helmut Marko reflected on the criticism the team received in 2014

"We were declared completely crazy by just about everyone and had all sorts of things thrown at us," he said. "The FIA was even stupid enough to change the whole licensing system so that no one could debut so young again."

Before 2016, minors were allowed to drive in F1, but since then, the FIA changed the rules so that the minimum age to enter the sport is 18 years old.

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