Max Verstappen is set to become the youngest ever Formula One driver when he lines up at the Melbourne Grand Prix aged just 17.
Verstappen has sensationally been chosen as one of Toro Rosso’s drivers for the upcoming season although he doesn’t even hold a drivers license.
Much has been made of the youngster sudden rise to the highest stage of Formula racing so young, but Red Bull’s sister team have full faith in the young Belgian.
Verstappen is expected to make the seamless transition from karting to Formula One even though he is skipping the traditional step of Formula 2.
The signing of someone so young to a sport that is so demanding and dangerous has seen a change in the rules.
The FIA agreed in a recent meeting with the World Motor Sport Council that a driver must hold a valid road licence and be at least 18 years old.
FIA president Jean Todt was an influential voice in the new criteria as he feels the 17 year old is too young to drive in F1.
More than capable
Verstappen will be one of the most talked about drivers in the upcoming season but the young man believes he is capable of handling the pressure, as he told reporters:
"The simple truth about F1 is that you have to deliver a good job. And that is what I am trying to do."
We could even see another young driver make the step up from karting as Italian Alessio Lorandi has impressed in F3.
At aged 16 and the new rules coming into play in 2016 Lorandi may have to wait until he turns 18 to make the step up to F1.