Red Bull has confirmed reports that highly-rated teenage rookie Max Verstappen has joined the energy drink company’s driver development programme.
Earlier, it was rumoured the young Dutchman, whose meteoric rise from karting to F3 this year caught the notice of the F1 world, had signed a deal with Mercedes. But then it emerged that Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko made a last-ditch effort to woo the son of former grand prix driver Jos Verstappen.
Responding to rumours Max might make his F1 debut for Toro Rosso next year at the tender age of 17, Verstappen snr answered: “He’s already quite mature. “We are in a good situation,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, “but it’s also tricky — what is the right decision, and also how often is a train like this going to pass by?”
Now, Red Bull has announced that Max Verstappen has “accepted” its offer to join the famous Red Bull Junior Team programme “effective immediately”. He will remain in European formula 3 for now. “It goes without saying that I’m very happy and I feel honoured to be part of the Red Bull Junior Team, which has successfully brought and guided many drivers into formula one,” Max said.
Image: Red Bull