F1 teams’ junior teams
12th August 2014, 16:16 at 4:16 pm #270308
Max Verstappen joins Red Bull’s young driver programme:
He’s currently 2nd in European F3 in his first year out of karts. Also on Red Bull’s programme are Carlos Sainz Jnr (leading Formula Renault 3.5), Alex Lynn (leading GP3) and Pierre Gasly (3rd in Formula Renault 3.5).12th August 2014, 16:26 at 4:26 pm #270310
Hmm, that’s a shame. I think he could have gone a long way without backing from Red Bull, not to mention that I’m not the biggest fan of the RB Junior Team. Then again, he probably learned from Frijns’ experiences and I think the do-or-die mentality kinda fits him.
So, next year then? Maybe GP3, take Lynn’s place at Carlin or claim one of the Arden seats. Or perhaps already one step higher, FR3.5? He could do two years of FR3.5, which means he will be 18 years old after that second season.12th August 2014, 16:37 at 4:37 pm #270311
Looks like he’s heading to FR3.5 – which hopefully means I’ll get to talk about him!12th August 2014, 16:40 at 4:40 pm #270312
I think it is a good step for him to join them. Many always speak of the RB programme as bad or terrible but look what drivers the mother team Red Bull has now. Both superstars coming from, yes, their junior programme.
You either are good enough to join them and fight for your spot or you’re not and are thrown out. That is the hard life of F1, not of RB their Junior programme.
Also, when was the last time Mercedes or Ferrari brought a youngster in? McLaren did so now with Magnussen because they had no other options so it seems. They could’ve taken Magnussen last year but still went for Perez, someone who they knew nothing of.
If I were to be in one junior programma I wanted to be in Red Bulls. If I’m the best, which every driver believes you want chances to prove you are. Toro Rosso provides this chance. And if Verstappen can excel, he’ll end up in a Red Bull some day.12th August 2014, 16:47 at 4:47 pm #270313
@andae23 I know what you mean but if it really came down to a choice between being a Mercedes junior driver and being a Red Bull junior driver that’s basically a choice between wanting to be a DTM driver and wanting to be an F1 driver. I think he’s done the right thing.12th August 2014, 16:58 at 4:58 pm #270314
Surprising, Mercedes’ interest in Max would have been my tip because…
1) There are no Mercedes backed drivers to compete with – Jazeman Jafaar is backed by Petronas and has no affiliation with the Mercedes F1 Team
2) The likelihood that any Mercedes-powered F1 would be a competitive platform to impress bigger team – you can’t unmake an excellent power-unit
3) There is a Mercedes F1 Team reserve role to fill now a deflated Sam Bird is racing sportscars
4) Red Bull’s Junior Team already is heading for a compounded log-jam with Sainz, Gasly, Lynn, Vergne and Kvyat all performing well
I don’t suppose also that this bodes well for Vergne’s chances of remaining in F1 much longer, with Red Bull’s junior queue getting ever longer and more illustrious.12th August 2014, 17:06 at 5:06 pm #270315
@keithcollantine Mercedes is hopeless, but I was curious how he would do without the backing of a big team. I was under the impression that this was also the Verstappens’ plan, but it changed when Max started winning so much. Ah well, we’ll see.12th August 2014, 22:17 at 10:17 pm #270330
There’s no way you can make it up to F1 without the backing of a junior team or a huge sponsorship cheque from a company in your home country. And at least the former rewards talent on principle.
Dr. Marko, a man who, as overseer of the Red Bull Junior Team has rewarded the fastest-rising talents with F1 opportunities, just signed the fastest-rising talent we’ve seen in a while and outbid Mercedes-Benz to get him. There’s no way this falls through unless Verstappen gets stuck in some series higher up the ladder, and given how he’s already been quick testing FR3.5 cars before settling on Euro F3, I don’t see him having any trouble moving up the ladder at a rapid pace.13th August 2014, 1:08 at 1:08 am #270338
Well, I thought he would go to Mercedes, to replace Hamilton or Rosberg/whichever one falls out first or starts losing pace. But this is probably a better option – plus it gives Marko the ability to place him at Toro Rosso next year, if he so desires. Not to mention that RB now have the runner-up in F3, to add to the leaders of GP3 and FR3.5.
Sense would dictate that Sainz moves up for next year, along side Kvyat, while Verstappen and Gasly slug it out in FR3.5. But to be honest, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we saw Kvyat/Verstappen next year. Perhaps it depends on what Vettel does – and how quickly they need a replacement. If they see one of those two as it, then they could be slugging it out at Toro Rosso until one is needed (2016? 2017?). But they definitely have a lot of talent to choose from now!13th August 2014, 2:22 at 2:22 am #270339
All I know is that whatever Jos and Max said at the beginning of the season, about not having any haste when it comes to the future and F1 being far off is being thrown out of the window. All I hope is that he doesn’t face the same path as his father (backed by Marlboro, entered F1 by severing that relationship, never finding another big sponsor, spend years with poor teams).13th August 2014, 4:55 at 4:55 am #270345
Oh dear. Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn must not have been too excite by this piece of news.13th August 2014, 12:43 at 12:43 pm #270355
Interesting article13th August 2014, 13:33 at 1:33 pm #270356
Thanks Matthijs, that is a useful Evaluation of consequences of Verstappens move.13th August 2014, 17:23 at 5:23 pm #270456
@npf1 I wonder how things would have been different then if Verstappen didn’t abandon Marlboro for Benetton. Marlboro moved from McLaren to Ferrari in 1997…. and Schumi broke his leg in 1999, giving Irvine a title chance..
PS. Isn’t it mad how Max won so many titles in his first 5 years (2005-09) of competition?! Even in learning years he then wins 1 title as a minimum… technically 2014 is one of his worst years so far ! He won everything last year, apart from that World Championship where they randomly had a second race, months after he’d won the first race and been declared WKC – that kind of thing turns me off from karting, tbh, and probably hinders its promotion.
GP2 would be interesting, but RB already put him in a 2012 FR3.5 car yesterday, in the wet at the Red Bull Ring. So, in FR3.5 next year, he’ll be looking to minimise the mistakes and battle for the title with Gasly. The cars aren’t always suited for close racing, so there’ll be less chance for a banzai overtaking move (or if it sticks, it’ll really stand out) – if he excites Keith will have to be on his toes!12th February 2015, 9:33 at 9:33 am #292052
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