Verstappen ‘didn’t need a year in GP2’


Although he concedes he sometimes has a slight disadvantage compared to GP2 graduates, Max Verstappen feels his raw speed proves it was a good decision to skip the sport's lower categories.

Verstappen made history at the start of this year as he became Formula 1's youngest-ever driver at the age of just 17 after the Red Bull Junior Team's management fast-tracked him to a Toro Rosso race seat.

As far as experience in a single-seater goes, he spent just one season in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship before getting his big break, but the Dutch youngster believes he didn't miss out much.

"I've always made quite big steps in my life in terms of racing series, or even in go-karting," he told Autosport.

"In terms of speed, I didn't need to do a year in GP2 or whatever. It's just the experience you miss a little bit.

"In terms of qualifying, it's about experience in different conditions as I haven't driven the tracks as much as the other guys.

"That makes it a bit harder for me sometimes, compared to [team-mate] Carlos [Sainz] or other people.

"But I've learned a lot this year, I'm getting better and better all the time, and I also have a lot of potential."

He has already showed a lot of promise during his 10 Formula 1 races to date, claiming a career-best fourth-place at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but the rookie is confident he will improve further once he gets "more comfortable".

"I'm 17 compared to other guys who are 21, 22, so I think I will only get better and better," he said.

"When I compare myself to when I was in karting, from when I was 13 through to 16 there was a massive improvement, and I think I can do the same [in F1].

"I am still very young, so my level will keep improving until a certain age. I have a lot of confidence I will keep improving.

"At the moment there are errors, but that's because I'm a rookie and I want to prove myself.

"But the more you settle in, the less mistakes you make and you get more comfortable."