Red Bull's latest prodigy Max Verstappen found himself in an embarrassing situation after colliding with the barrier during a demo event in Rotterdam, The Daily Mail reports.
Having entertained the crowd with a session of doughnuts, the 16-year-old, who was making his first public appearance in an F1 car, made contact with the barrier leaving an awkward response from those in attendance.
The Dutchman caused damage to the front wing of the Red Bull RB8, which he was driving in one of his first tasks as a new recruit of the junior team.
It has been quite an incredible time of late for Verstappen, who is competing in his first year of single seater racing in the Formula Three European championship. He is second in the standings and having performed so impressively, he was approached to join the Red Bull junior team as one of their young drivers.
Then remarkably, despite not being old enough to hold a driver's licence and the fact that there are three more experienced drivers currently being supported by Red Bull in stronger categories at the moment, Verstappen was just a week later announced as Jean-Eric Vergne's replacement in the Toro Rosso team for 2015.
If there had not been enough controversy and debate over the decision to promote Verstappen to Formula One with such little single seater experience, this incident will only further ignite the argument that he is most certainly not ready.
Now, a driver cannot be judged simply on a small error in isolation. But at the same time it does worry you as to how he will cope amongst the experience men on the Formula One grid.
No matter how good Verstappen's driving ability is, which it is very clear to see it is of a superb standard from his Formula Three season and karting history, to have a 17-year-old competing in motorsport's elite category is an enormous mental and physical strain.
The only worry is that it may damage him and harm his long term potential. Surely there is not such a rush that Red Bull could not offer him one more season of racing in a category below Formula One, where the pressure will not be so great and the attention not all on him? Because it is a monumental change from what he will be used to and a massive ask to expect him to perform under those circumstances.
It has become common now and we have seen it with Daniil Kvyat, who will be Verstappen's team mate, for drivers to jump straight from GP3 to F1- but not from F3. And besides, Kvyat had other experience in single seaters, as did Valtteri Bottas who made the same step.
I don't even doubt that Verstappen's pace will not be good enough. It just genuinely doesn't feel ethical. However, at the same time I can't wait to see him. It is harsh on Carlos Sainz JR and Pierre Gasly, other junior team members who seemed next in line for an F1 seat with Toro Rosso, but it seems their progression is being managed in a more conventional and sensible manner.
I just hope that with the attention on this small crash, Verstappen's confidence has not been dented and he can continue to drive in such a dazzling manner as he has been this year.
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